Sunday, September 25, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 70 - SOLD

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 70"



This weekend has been relaxing and hectic all in the same go. We move apartments next weekend, which normally in the US would be no big deal. You might hire a mover, or to save money just rent a truck for the weekend and pack it yourself. Or, if you have a lot of friends with trucks (and we have been one of those friends) you enlist the help of your benevolent friends' help with promise of payment in beer and pizza. Ah, the good old days.

Now, for better or for worse, any movement we make in Singapore is tied to an HR department. (Besides the face few people own cars, much less a nice, big, pickup truck!) You don't really realize how much freedom you are giving away by getting their "help" and support. So rather than having the ability to find a mover, or even make a decision, it takes a three day game of telephone between six people (usually three of which speak about three to five words of english) to figure out anything. It gets a little disconcerting when I've spoken to the owner of the moving company, Peter, and he says he'll come over for the estimate. Later that day, another gentleman, who is not Peter, shows up. Here is how our moving estimation progressed:

Him: "You move?"
Me: "Yes, when do you come to pack?"
Him: (points to washer/dryer) "Take, take?"
Me: "No, No. What day to pack?"
Him: (points to bed, fridge, other various items) "Take, take?"
Me: "No, yes, no, no, no, all this, look! Lots of items in closet. What day can we schedule?"
Him: (complete and total look of confusion, then a look of understanding and clarity) "Ah! 40 cartons, can, can-lah?"
Me: "Can, but what day?"
Him: "I call boss."

That, almost literally, was the entire extent of our conversation. Needless to say, it gets a little strange when everything has to go through HR, and I'm actually happier that I am packing our things. The boxes were delivered on Saturday (we get to pack ourselves, but we have people to carry the heavy stuff, yay!) and we are about 80% packed. This week is pretty busy, so I won't get much of a chance to paint, but I'll hopefully get some chance...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 68

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 68"
6x16 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase
This was the painting and post that Blogger devoured. It is of a row of houses in the Chinatown area, on the main drag. I think my favorite part about these houses is that I didn't make up any of the colors that they had on them. All five of them have a really wonderful red/green color scheme going on.

Monday, September 19, 2011


6x12 Oil on Panel
Click Here to Purchase
I've taken a little break this week from the shophouses, and expanded into the rest of Southeast Asia. It is definitely a challenge, and the paintings are taking much longer than the little shophouse ones, but I also think that the quality is coming out very nicely. This is a fond memory from Koh Samui, an little tiny island in the middle of the South China Sea, off the east coast of Thailand. 

Also, Blogger seems to have eaten one of my posts, about which I apologize. I posted number 68, but then it never appeared on the blog or on my list of entries. It has disappeared somewhere, probably the same place that socks go when only one of a pair comes out of the dryer. Those gremlins are awful!

Test Post

Did Blogger just eat a post? Sorry if this winds up being emailed to you! Here is a photo of a lovely beach at sunset just in case it winds up in your inbox:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 67 - SOLD

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 65"
6x16 Oil on Panel
This longer panel is of a bright orange building down in the heart of Chinatown. In so many other cities and towns, this would be a vulgar, garish thing. It is literally Clemson orange with Chinese red trim and some aqua accents on the shutters. One of the most interesting combinations of colors I've ever seen, but it strangely works for the building. To be fair, it is next to a school but yellow with cobalt blue trim building, so it is in great company!

I thought you all would enjoy a "welcome to Asia" moment I had last night. Pictogram - FAIL. To make the context even more amusing, it was seen at a port-o-potty at the Swiss Club Oktoberfest event. So that meant a bunch of locals and Germans and Swiss in full Lederhosen. Locals in Lederhosen is definitely a sight to see. But back to the sign, even the Asia hardened people I know here were left unsure at the meaning! I think the best explanation we had was that you are not allowed to throw away carrots or spareribs, but you are allowed to throw away annual reports. However, you can only throw away annual reports when barefoot and when you are not smoking. Silly, I know, but so is the sign!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 66 - SOLD

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 65"
6x6 Oil on Panel
This was a really cool scene in Chinatown after dark. I believe it was close to Temple St. The more I am working on these shophouses, the more I am having a lot of fun using the camera parallax to really warp, twist and accentuate the perspective in a way that enhances the mood.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 65

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 65"
6x6 Oil on Panel
Click Here to purchase

This is one of my personal favorites in this whole series. There is a hawker/restaurant on a corner in Geylang (an area of Singapore that has an, um, colorful, reputation). None of the signs on this building have any English on them, and the upstairs is completely dark. But just in case you have any doubt about what they serve, they have this giant banner hanging up. Duck rice is actually a really tasty dish. Now, it of course won't compare to the braised duck I had when my uncle treated me to a dinner at Louis XVI in New Orleans, but for $5 you can get a very appetizing meal. One of the things I am always tickled about is how universal certain things are, like pantomime. Or giant banners with a duck on them.

In other news, I've been working hard on this blog and the website. I worked on a new layout and banner across the top of the blog, and the website is now being updated with all the current artwork for sale. Not as fun as painting, but definitely necessary!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 63

This shophouse is in an area right next to Chinatown known as Duxton Hill. After dark there are all kinds of wonderful neon lights that cast lots of fun, crazy light and shadows on the shophouses. 

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 68

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 68"
6x6 Oil on Panel
Click Here to purchase
This is a little scene of several shophouses together in Chinatown. The is one of the main drags going through the area. I just love how different the architecture and facades are on all of them, but they still seem to coordinate color wise!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 62

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 62
6"x6" Oil on Canvas
Click Here to Purchase

Life in the tropics... I've now had three good painting days this week (today is going to be included), and I have gotten so much done. I love it! I spent a good portion of this summer really looking at my artwork, and the business end of it, and what direction will be best for my artwork and myself. Do I want to go play in the "big leagues?" Do I want to just paint for myself and have my husband be the breadwinner? Do I want to just be a hobbyist and go to lunches and volunteer here and paint when I feel like it? 

This has been quite an evolution in both my art and myself. We live here in Asia, and we could wind up having to move somewhere else on very short notice. Luckily, these circumstances have made it so that we do not depend on my income from art, and I am more or less allowed to pursue it at my leisure.  But at the same time, if we lived back in the US, our situation would most likely be more rooted and stable, allowing me to better establish myself as an artist. I could sell online (right now shipping costs basically negate any profit I could have). Galleries are much easier to approach if you are local, etc.

Pursuing your passion at your leisure may seem wonderful as well, but then you are treated as a hobbyist. I don't want to be treated as a hobbyist. I want this to be my job, my livelihood. Getting into major galleries in the US and breaking into the NYC or San Francisco art scenes doesn't really concern me, but I do want people whom I meet and see my work to take me seriously. So, long story short, I've decided to step up my game and focus on the local market here in Singapore. I think that as I get better as an artist here, and continue to grow and define myself, things will eventually happen in the US as well. I've been too scattered as of late.

The local art market in Singapore (and the rest of Asia) is completely different from America. The biggest difference is that most Asians don't buy art because they like it. They buy it like they would buy a piece of real estate - for potential investment growth. Disturbing. So, because of this, the gallery system is a little strange, and I think I'll be avoiding it. So the next step will be self-promotion here in Singapore. Art fairs, art (like tupperware) parties, all kinds of fun things. I know that expats respond best to my art, so I'm going to go where they are and find them. 

I also am stepping up my game with the quality of my art. I learned so much this summer from Karin Jurick, and I don't think it is best to post a blog post just to post. If I produce a wipe-off one day, then there just won't be a post that day. I think it is much better to have a consistent body of excellent work than some mediocre work in there. So, I apologize to my mother if now through Shophouse #79 I skip a couple. Those were some that now I would have gone back and wiped off.

It will definitely be a new adventure, but one I think is worth pursuing. We could move anywhere, at any time, and I think by focusing on my experience abroad that I can be the truest to both myself and my art. One of the most terrifying realizations I had after I graduated from college was that the only thing that was getting in between myself and my happiness and dreams was... myself. Time to check that ego at the door and roll up the sleeves and get to work.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 61

"Singapore Heritage Shophouse Series No. 61"
6x6 Oil on Canvas
Click Here to Purchase
Wow, I have a lot going through my mind right now. I just heard about Carol Marine losing her house to the wildfires in Texas. My heart goes out to them. They literally got out just before the fire hit their subdivision. I've seen a lot of loss with hurricanes, but with those you have some time to prepare, time to make a choice. You can decide what to bring with you, you can decide to stay or go. With something as fast as a forest fire, you just have enough time to get out. My heart goes out to her and her family. They have done so much for the daily painting movement, given back an incredible amount.
Related Posts with Thumbnails