Thursday, April 10, 2008

Is Art Your Life - Or Your Livelihood?

Went to a demo on Sunday - by a serious watercolor master: Cheng Khee Chee. A real sweet, fun and funny guy, with a lot of wisdom to share and a masterful hand with the brush. He is giving a workshop here this week - which I am not taking, and I quite envy those who do, as the short lecture he gave before his demo was very inspiring. It was wonderful to listen to someone who spoke of his philosophy of painting rather than showing his technique. he spoke of the Tao of paint, of Yin and Yang - but did it in a way that was not pretentious or annoyingly vague.

Oh yes, some of the attendees gave him this "shut up and paint already!" look, but I was fascinated as I have not been in a long time. I loved his emphasis on the emotional contact with the subject and painting what your heart desires, and thoroughly enjoyed his message that although we do need our right brain to create, the left brain also plays a very important part. After meeting so many artists who seem to have given up on their left brain, well... 'nough said.

You can read more about his ideas here.

Anyway - while Cheng Khee Chee was talking, I kept snapping photos of him, as he has a great expressive face. Once I was done capturing him in every possible pose, I let go of the camera in favor of a quick skecth of the master (top left), then chose my next victim: this guy in the audience who was kept falling asleep... I guess Sunday afternoon is not exactly the time when artists are at the peak of their wakefulness. It was fun sketching him, even if I had to change the position of his eyelids once or twice...

Oh yes, I do have some real paintings to show, but I've been way too preoccupied and stressed about with our upcoming vacation (that got very close to being cancelled), so more on those when I get back.

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