For my final I really wanted to see if I could catch motion and paint an impression that I get when I see the everyday ongoings of my local environment. I was really inspired by the research that I had done for Final Year Project of the way everyone experiences culture in each constant moment as we live our lives.
I used to feel, when I was little, that Singaporeans were generally in such a rush (which could translate to being “kanchiong” and “kiasu”), and I’ve very often had negative receptions to that. But today, I kind of relish this part of Singapore as a necessary cultural process for Singaporeans. I do not see it so much as something negative but I’ve come more into terms about how it simply reflects Singapore’s rampant desire to advance and develop.
Personally not the most comfortable medium. I don’t like ink especially with a brush because it’s really quite unforgiving and ink with a brush makes my strokes unpredictable and uncontrollable. I attempted a piece before this and found myself adding too much, so I redid it and stopped where i thought was necessary with figures disappearing into the front of the queue. Also really starting to get into the subject matter of usual local Singapore scenes of people doing everyday stuff.
Continuing with the exploration of an active mundaneness from the previous assignment, I decided to draw a couple seated beside each other on the train, still, and in motion.
For this assignment, I wanted to capture a mundane moment, almost candid as if someone sneaked a picture of me while I was drinking coffee at my dining table at home. But at the same time i wanted the painting to be self aware of itself being in a picture. So, my body is kind of tensed with hands in less natural positions. The rigidness i also wanted it to be expressed in brushstrokes that are made visible that kind of visually vibrate in their spaces instead of directionally flowing from one direction of brushstroke to the other. The rigidness I also tried to express in the contrast of the rigid subject with a wispy kind of background to create some dynamic relationships so as to bring out the qualities of the different brushstroke types.
I’d like to write a little about this assignment because this was the most challenging one out of the four and it made me learn some things that I’d like to note down in point form here before I forget.
1. Time pressure affects my quality of sketching — Stress affects markings.
2. Time pressure need not affect my quality of sketching — With a good understanding of time management and being able to appreciate the little amount of time I have to sketch, I should still be able to take efforts to maintain the basic principles of proportion and perspective.
3. Drawing 30 heads of different angles of the same person is not easy both in terms of result and in accepting that I am weak in certain poses of the face — It is necessary to accept my lack of skill so that I am not rash and hasty in my mark making. I must remember that observing the object comes before my ego as an artist.
4. Accept that I am human with a limited amount of energy — Rushing for time, I drew quite a number of heads in one seating. It caused me to lose stamina, and with the loss of energy it was difficult to overcome the mental boundaries that limited my way of observing and marking down effectively what i observed. This is also why time management is necessary.