Saturday, December 15, 2007

Stormy Skies

I use a limited palette of burnt sienna, vermillion and ultramarine deep to create this atmospheric piece of stormy skies just after the rain. The dark clouds are just about to disperse - or are they? Caught in the eye of the storm is a little red dinghy.


This is a picture fashioned in the style of David Bellamy. Bellamy is one of the foremost artists to check out when doing anything atmospheric. His paintingPublish Posts of mountains are exquisite. The colours are simply superb.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Back Alley

This is a picture of a back alley in Malacca. My 12 year old student Zhen painted this scene, based on a photograph we took on a hot Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pantai Remis Late Morning

This is a painting of a coastal village on the west coast of the Peninsula Malaysia. It is a fishing enclave which has lost its prominence due to diminishing resources in the 80s. Today, it is more of a tourist district. The huts you see are actually pergolas of traders selling a variety of souvenirs and knick knacks. This was painted on a weekday where the crowd is sparse.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Do you know the artist who drew this?

Reader KK sent me these three watercolour pieces. They are done in Malacca if I am not mistaken. If anyone has seen similar works, please get in touch with me. I would like to find out more about this watercolourist.

According to KK, the name of the artist is Arthur PY Ting. Could it be Arthur Teng? I am just guessing. The latter is the renowned photographer. I don't know if he did any painting. For what it's worth, it could be a Malacca artist by similar name. Let me know if you know the artist. Thank you.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Long and short of portraits in watercolours

Master watercolourist Long Thien Shih was spotted drawing the portrait of the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the recently concluded Asean Bazaar at the Conlay Handicraft Centre in Kuala Lumpur recently.

Portraiture is considered one of the most challenging in the aqua medium but in the hands of someone as skilled as Long, the execution appeared like a breezy cruise and corrections were similarly easy as 1-2-3. The product, as you can see, is simply marvellous.

(If you are interested in portraits, you may reach Long at 019-2453049)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Maamor Jantan's current work

These are Maamor Jantan's works done in watercolour. One features a fisherman returning from sea while the other features boys playing electric sparklers during a festive season.

These two works will be among those on display at the Asean Art Bazaar which starts at the Conlay Handicraft Centre. Maamor, Long Thien Shih, Rafie Abdul Rahman, Sani Mat Dom, and a few others will be having an arts demonstration.

The bazaar features art and craft from ASEAN. Check it out if you are in town.

(To purchase Maamor's work, get in touch with 012-601-7808 (Alice Lee)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Khor Ean Ghee's Boats

I met Mr Khor Ean Ghee, formerly Malaysian, now residing in Singapore at the 1st International Art Expo Malaysia held at the Matrade Exhibition and Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur recently.

Khor, in his 60s, and several other Singaporean artists were at the show, which is being held from Nov 3-7. Khor specialises in watercolour and his speciality are boats. I was attracted to Khor's works because it was reminiscent of maestro Ong Kim Seng's works, especially the light and shade features of the former.

I reproduced here some of his works for you to enjoy.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Red Mountain

This is an imaginary piece painted by a 12-year-old pupil of mine, Zhen. It is a scene of a mountain, painted very loosely with varying strokes and a good mix of warm and cool colours. The paper is a 300gm Chinese paper with heavy tooth. The paper has a slightly yellow tint because I have not used them for quite some time. As it turns out, the texture of the paper and the paint pigments complement each other really well. Done by a 12-year-old, this is a good piece. What do you think?

Monday, October 22, 2007

10-minute painting

This is a sketch of the Putrajaya bridge near the Wetlands lake. I did it in a very loose style, under 10 minutes. What I intended was to capture the form of the bridge. The foliage you see are actually quite a distance away. However, because of the heavy colours used, they appear up front - as if they are ornamental trees planted on the bridge itself. The coloured structures are the (at right) Putrajaya Mosque.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Putrajaya National Watercolour Competition 2007

Take note please if you are interested. The first prize is RM10,000, RM8,000 for the second and RM6,000 for the third. There are 10 Merit prizes offering RM1,000 and 10 consolation offering RM500.

Online entry forms are available here

This is the second organised by the Putrajaya Corporation and the Malaysian Watercolour Organisation. Last year, there was no top prize winner and two artists tied for the second place. Let's hope this year we will see a true winner and higher standards of selection.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Lone angler

Did you see the chap in the blue covered boat? Spotted him at one of my favourite fishing grounds near an estuary. Scenery like this are quite rare as development eats up the countryside. Still, moments like this captured either on film or on paper, bring back fond memories.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Sunday in Malacca

This is a painting of a shop in Malacca on a Sunday. Like most businesses, this one is also closed on Sunday. The lanterns you see have been there since the Chinese Lunar New Year early this year and have not been taken down yet. Gives this place a Chinatown-like feel.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Meet batik artist GM Choo

I stumbled upon Mr GM Choo from Johor at the Batik Craft Exhibition and Sale at the Conlay Crafts centre recently. Sale was slow, so Choo availed himself to painting some miniatures using batik colours, in the style of watercolour painting, on paper.

Here I feature Choo at work and one of the scenes he painted. This is of a kampung scene, reminiscent of those done by the pioneer artists such as AB Ibrahim and Yong Mun Sen.

Choo says that he does mostly acrylics and oil although I only saw his batik work on display for sale there.

His watercolour miniatures are also interesting and the slightly larger than postcard sized pieces painted that day were going for RM60 a piece, quite a bargain.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Malacca Watercolour Exhibition

Cheong Lam San's Malacca - 83cm x61cm - RM2,000

I was in Malacca recently for a holiday and was pleasantly surprised by the exhibition on Malacca by various artists, featuring work both in oil, watercolour and Chinese paintings.

This exhibition, held at the Bastion House, which is beside the Formosa, was held to commemorate the 50th Merdeka. The exhibition was supposed to end on Aug 18 but was extended for obvious reasons.

There were quite a number of interesting watercolour works, participated by various artists - both who were born in Malacca as well as those from other states. What interested me most were the watercolour works, priced from RM300 to over RM1,000. Some were quite good, others so-so.

Ong Keng Hong's Trishaw Peddler (78cm x 60cm ) - RM1,000

A chat with the person put in charge of the show revealed a sad response. There were some buyers. However, I did not see the number red spots - an indication that a painting has been reserved or purchased. What happened? I asked the chap. I was told that although there were lots of visitors, most of them were only browsers - interested to look, but not to purchase.

What could be wrong? Some of the watercolour works are a bargain - going from as low as RM300. Of course, the oils are also not cheap. Some went for RM6,000 and some were really good, although quite a few were seemingly ambitious in the pricing. Perhaps the market in Malacca is not ready. I don't know. Maybe purchasing power for art is low? Who knows.

Faizal Zainal's Evening Light in Umbai (15 x 22 inches) - RM1,750

Sunday, August 19, 2007


This is my second piece on oil and probably my last. I am not painting oils any more. Not that it is not a good medium, I just find it pretty daunting trying to come up with a piece - although I must admit oil is much easier to control and any mistakes can be easily painted over.

In terms of technique, if you have a good eye for detail, I think you can paint well in oil. Almost any texture can be emulated using oil, and any colour-shade can be put on canvas, if only you understand colour mixing well.

This was inspired from memory of a seaside somewhere in the East Coast. Hope I have done this piece justice.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Khoo Cheang Jin's solo

Nile River (watercolour 56x76cm 2006)

IF you are a fan of artist Khoo Cheang Jin, you might want to know that he is having a solo exhibition at the NN Gallery in Ampang.

The solo exhibition by this Penang born artist cum architect, entitled 'Spaces: Here and Now' will be held from Aug 4 till 25.

As usual, you will be treated by Khoo's depiction of indigenous buildings, marketplaces and other places of historical charm which resulted from his journey to Egypt, China and his homestate Penang. Apart from Khoo's watercolours, there will also be some ink sketches in this two year collection.
Khoo is a member of the Malaysian Watercolour Organization and the Penang Watercolour Society.

Yellow Carpet, Angkor (watercolour 56x76cm 2007)

NN gallery is located at:
53A & 56 Jalan Sulaiman 1, Taman Ampang Hilir, Ampang
Tel: 03-4270-6588

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Batik Watercolour Painting?

If have done batik, chances are that you would intend it to be the traditional form - as a fabric for an attire or accessories such as scarves. This piece, believe it or not, is batik being promoted as a painting. To be exact, it is a semi abstract piece showing a traditional house. I spotted it during a visit to a craft bazaar.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

National Art Gallery - To reopen on July 30

Yes, finally, after close to 10 months being closed, the National Art Gallery will be reopened this month.

This is a long-awaited moment, especially for artists, after the place was closed for massive renovations - one of which was due to termite attacks on the floorboards and leaky roofing. I still recall the last day of the Putrajaya Landscape Watercolour exhibition. One end of the main gallery was leaky and water was dripping from the ceiling and watercolour paintings were several feet away from it. Hopefully when it reopens, the saga of the leaky roofs will end there - after having caused so much embarrassment to the ministries involved until one minister had to blame the weather for all the leaks.

This is, if I am not mistaken, the second massive facelift for the gallery after it moved from opposite the Railway Station. This new site is a much more conducive to a gallery of national repute. Surrounding the gallery are the sprawling Lake Titiwangsa, the majestic National Theatre, the National Library and just several kilometres away from KLCC. It is also well serviced by a bus route and the compound is well-shaded.

I don't know if the ministry in charge will bring back the monthly Craft Mart or Laman Seni which had been quite successful since its introduction about two years ago until the gallery was closed end last year. This was shifted to Putrajaya, near Souq, an impractical move that has now reduced the number of artists participating to just a handful. This is understood since Putrajaya is not exactly within the tourist belt and what are we promoting the mart to if not foreign and domestic tourists, as well as weekenders who can arrive at the venue within 30 minutes' journey.

The grounds around the gallery is stil under-utilised and is perfect for weeken art events. I remember the time when the gallery just moved from the Majestic Hotel (its former home) opposite Railway Station. The crowd to the gallery was sparse and remained so several years until the managers introduced the once-a-monthly Laman Seni. The gallery was then under the able leadership of Wairah Marzuki, if I am not mistaken.

The event became quite a hit with the people, especially locals, but suffered because there was a visible lack of focus. Later it became more like a day pasar malam until it was scrapped for the renovation work.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that with the renovation work complete and the gallery restored to his former glory, efforts would be made to draw art lovers to it - this being not only confined to craft but also visual art such as acrylic, oil and watercolour paintings. For without interesting and related activities, you will have an ivory tower that draw no visitor.

Monday, July 23, 2007

My Work In Oil - Home Coming

Done! This is my first work in oil as guided by local oil painter Sabri Salleh. I had a bad time trying my hand on this piece 16"x20" of a water taxi crossing the river in Kuching. Most of my problems came from trying to understand the various methods of using oil and trying out the mixes of solvents (linseed and turpentine).

The colours used are W&N paints - I bought the basic set because I really don't know if I want to paint in oil again or just stick to watercolours, which, although is a tough medium to master, is at least less cumbersome to work with and faster.

ps: No, this piece is not for sale.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Rafie Abdul Rahman's Rare Work

This is watercolourist Rafie Abdul Rahman's rare work on the Siti Khadijah market in Kota Bahru. It measures 26 inches by 39 inches, oil on canvas. If you are interested, call him. The price? RM5,000. Interested? Write to me. Genuine buyers only. I will pass on your info to him.

This is a close-up view of the work:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Drawing Landscape in Pencil

This book's title is self explanatory. But the fact that it was a reprint of the original by Frank Rines made it special. I don;t know why anyone would want to reprint a book published twenty over years ago is quite mind boggling unless it is a very good book. And I found out that it indeed is.

Landscape Drawing in Pencil by Frank Rines is a must read if you want to find out how the old masters do it. The book starts off with the types of pencils to use and how you should handle each. Rines even teaches you how to sharpen the pencils and what strokes to use (see below) to create what texture that possibly best represents your subject matter.

From there on, there are pages and pages of drawings the artist did and you will learn from keen observation how he handle landscape - from trees to water, and quite a number of marine drawings as well.

If you are a beginning artist, I think you will need to draw well before you can even paint well. Well, this is the book you should check out.

Landscape Drawing in Pencil (Dover Books on Art Instruction) is available from Amazon.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Art Galleries Listing

Galleries within KL City

Aoyama Sri Hartamas Gallery
16, Jalan Sri Hartamas 8, KL
Tel: 03-6201 6618/Fax: 03-6201 6943

Art Folio Gallery
T116, 3rd Floor, City Square, Jalan Tun Razak, KL
Tel: 03-2162 3339

(The) Art Gallery, KL
KL College of Art,, Level 4, No.1, Lorong Medan Tuanku, KL
Tel: 03-2694 3486/Fax: 03-2693 1037

Art House Gallery
Lot 2.39-2.42, 2nd Floor, Wisma Cosway, Jalan Raja Chulan, KL
Tel: 03-2148 2283/Fax: 03-2142 4177

Art Loft Gallery
4th Floor, Starhill Gallery, No.181, Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL

Art Salon
4, Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru, KL
Tel: 03-2282 2601/Fax: 03-2282 1878

Art Space Gallery
S162, 2nd Floor, City Square, 182 Jalan Tun Razak, KL
Tel: 03- 2161 7128/Fax: 03- 2161 7128

ARTalk Gallery
22-1 & 22-2, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, KL
Tel: 03-2282 8633/8863/Fax: 03-2282 9633

Artcase Galleries (City Square)
F128, First Floor, City Square, Jalan Tun Razak, KL
Tel: 03-2163 5160/Fax: 03-2163 5160

Artique Fine Art
Lot E-01-03, Ground Floor, Block E, Plaza Mont' Kiara, KL
Tel: 03-6201 9809

Artist 3 Gallery
H-O-12, Block H, Plaza Damas, 60, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, KL
Tel: 03-6201 7663

Artseni Gallery
181, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Muse floor (4th floor), Starhill Gallery, KL
Tel: 03-2144 0782/Fax: 03-2144 0782

Central Academy of Art Gallery
168A-D, Batu 3 1/2, Jalan Klang Lama, KL
Tel: 03-7980 6155/Fax: 03-7981 0607

Darling Muse Art Gallery
142 Jalan Bukit Pantai, KL
Tel: 03-2284 7441

Elle Six
73-1, Mezzanine Floor, Jalan Setiabakti, Damansara Heights, KL
Tel: 03-2093 5925/Fax: 03-2093 5926

Elm Quay Fine Arts
G4, Taman Tunku Apartments, off Langgak Tunku, Kenny Hills, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 019-280 9985

Evelyn Dillon's Studio
1, Jalan Taman Duta, KL
Tel: 03-2095 9907/Fax: 03-2092 5022

Florence Art House
Lot 2.61, 2nd Floor, Wisma Cosway, Jalan Raja Chulan, KL
Tel: 03-2148 2283/Fax: 03-2142 4177

Galeri Citra
W-M-2, Mezzanine Floor, West Wing, Rohas Perkasa, 8, Jalan Perak,
Tel: 03-2161 6066/Fax: 03-2161 6011

Galeri Dataran Maybank
MaybanLife Tower, Dataran Maybank, 1, Jalan Maarof, Bangsar, KL
Tel: 03-2297 1990/Fax: 03-2297 2828

Lot 341-343, Level 3 Suria KLCC, PETRONAS Twin Towers, KL City Centre, KL
Tel: 03-2331 7770 / 7773
Fax: 03-2331 7170

Galeri Seni Maya
12, 1st Floor, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, KL
Tel: +03-2282-2069/Fax: +03-2282-2069

Galeri Tangsi
PAM Centre, 4-6 Jalan Tangsi, KL
Tel: 03-2691 0805/13/Fax: 03-2691 0805

Mezzanine Floor (above EON Bank), UOA Centre, Jalan Pinang, KL
Tel: 016-380 5999

Gallerie TAKSU
17, Jalan Pawang, Bukit Keramat, KL
Tel: 03-4251 4396/Fax: 03-4251 4331

Gallery @ Starhill, The
4th Floor, Starhill Centre, 181, Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL
Tel: 03-21433323

Gemarimba Gallery
B-8, Taman Tunku Apartments, Taman Tunku, Bukit Tunku, KL
Tel: 03- 6201 3505/Fax: 03- 6201 3505

Heng Artland
FF8-9 Star Hill Gallery, Jalan Bukit Bintang
Tel: 03-2141 6898
Fax: 2141 5898

Islamic Arts Museum
Jalan Lembah Perdana, KL
Tel: 03-2274 2020/Fax: 03-2274 0529

Izzu Gallery
11B Jalan Mentakab, Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, KL
Tel: 03-4025 1060

Mun Sen Art Gallery
10-1 & 12-1, Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru, KL
Tel: 03-2282 8321/Fax: 03-2282 8321

National Art Gallery (Balai Seni Lukis Negara)
2, Jalan Temerloh, Off Jalan Tun Razak, KL
Tel: 03-4025 4990/Fax: 03-4025 4987

Nikko Galleria
1st Floor, Nikko Hotel, Jalan Ampang, KL
Tel: 03-261 1111

Pelita Hati
No 22, Jalan Abdullah, Off Jalan Bangsar, KL
Tel: 03-2284 8380/Fax: 03-2284 8380

Picture This & That

183, Jalan Ampang, KL
Tel: 03-2145 2430/Fax: 03-2145 2479

Pucuk Rebung, Gallery-Museum, Lot 302-A, Level 3, Ampang Mall, Suria KLCC
Tel: 03-382 0769, 382 1109/Fax: 03-382 1108

Sandra Knuyt Art Gallery
Level 1, Shangri-La Hotel, 11 Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250, KL
Tel: 03-2032 4073

Sandra Knuyt Studio
35, Jalan Wangsa 5, Bukit Antarabangsa, Ampang, KL
Tel: 03-4103 3996/Fax: 03-4103 2544

Seksan Design
No. 67 Jalan Tempinis 1, Lucky Garden, Bangsar, KL
Tel: 03-22824611/Fax: 03-22820366

Benteng, River Walk, 20, Jalan Medan Pasar, KL
Tel: 019-351 1975

TINTA Gallery

8, Lengkok Abdullah, Bangsar Baru, KL
Tel: 03-2283 4008

TJ Fine Art
D.08G Plaza Damas, Jln Sri Hartamas 1, KL
Tel: 03-6201 4718

TMS Art Gallery
No.10 Jalan Wangsa Budi 6A, Wangsa Melawati, KL
Tel: 012-257 9775 (Emilia)/Fax: +03-4142 8154

Tomlinson Collection Bangsar Gallery
30, Jalan Telawi Lima, Bangsar Baru, KL
Tel: 03-2283 2196/Fax: 03-2283 2181

Townhouse Gallery
19A, Jalan Medang Tanduk, Bukit Bandaraya, Bangsar, KL
Tel: 03-2094 3381

Valentine Willie Fine Art
1st Floor, 17, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, KL
Tel: 03-2284 2348/Fax: 03-2282 5190

Yan Fine Art Gallery
Lot T137, 3rd Floor, City Square Centre, Jalan Tun Razak, KL
Tel: 03- 2161 9462

Outside KL City

Artcase Galleries (Bukit Antarabangsa)
8, Jalan Kelab Ukay 2, Bukit Antarabangsa, Ampang, Selangor
Tel: 03-4107 7329/Fax: 03-4107 7329

Galeri Shah Alam
Laman Budaya, Persiaran Tasik Barat, Shah Alam, Selangor
Tel: 03-5510 5344 / 6045/Fax: 03-5510 2081

NN Gallery
53A & 56, Jalan Sulaiman 1, Taman Ampang Hilir, Ampang, Selangor
Tel: 03-4270 6588/Fax: 03-4270 3357

Private Gallery, The
Section 16, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: 03-7958-2175

Reka Art Space
GL29, Block C, Kelana Square, 17 Jalan SS7/26, Kelana Jaya, Selangor
Tel: 03-7880 5982/Fax: 03-7875 8006

Rimbun Dahan
Kilometer 27, Jalan Kuang, 48050, Kuang, Selangor
Tel: 03-6038 3690

Sandra Knuyt Art Gallery
Lobby Level, Hilton Hotel PJ, No. 2 Jalan Barat, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: 03-7960 7213

Shian's Art & Sculpture,
Gallery 1 / Shop, G42-1, Ground Floor, The Summit USJ 1, Persiaran Kewajipan USJ 1, Subang UEP, Selangor
Tel: 03-8023 4669

Silver Gelatin
34-B, Jalan SS2/67, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: 03-7877 1477

XOAS Gallery
Address:76G Jln University, Sect 13, Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7955-0601/Fax: 03-7958-3601

If you wish to list your gallery here, or submit art show listings, write to me.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Going Home

This is a sketch of what eventually became a piece in oil which I painted recently. It depicts the scene at the Sarawak river during sunset. The boat you see is the Sarawak water taxi, shaped like a floating hut and has a curved roof.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Low Tide at Port Dickson

This is my depiction of low tide at Port Dickson, Malaysia. This section of the esplanade is at the side of town. Some harbour hands were cleaning up this dinghy when I arrived and I did the sketch when they left the place. Colour fisnishing was done at my studio.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Art Friend is moving!

If you have been frequenting Art Friend (art shop) in UE3, you might like to know that it is moving out. Last day there is Aug 15. There on, it will be at the Gardens, near MidValley Megamall. Business at UE3 had be slow, I was told. If you need art materials, don't go to UE3 after Aug 15.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Teh Siew Joo - My Secret Garden

Flowers in Bloom Series 3, Watercolour

Acclaimed Malaysian watercolourist Teh Siew Joo is exhibition 50 of his works at the NN Gallery in Jalan Ampang till end of June. One of Malaysia’s pioneer watercolourist and floral painter, Teh's works have been collected widely. In this show, treat your senses to his orchids, hibiscus, roses and a number of local flora.

NN Gallery is located at
53A & 56 Jalan Sulaiman 1,
Taman Ampang Hilir.
Opening hours:9am-6m Mon-Sat; Closed Sun & Public Holiday

For directions, call: 03-4270 6588

Friday, June 15, 2007


I have not tried this subject yet and this is my first. It was taken from a picture taken for me by a friend who was in Nepal. You see an isolated village in the middle ground, flanked by snowcapped mountains.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


This is my latest piece, using burnt sienna, french ultramarine and vandyke brown. The rain clouds are done wet on wet.

Friday, June 08, 2007

UnderThe Palm Trees

Just completed this piece. Titled it "Under The Palm Trees". I have always enjoyed afternoons under the palm trees. It's cooling and on windy days, the rustle of the palm leaves and swaying fronds are a delight to watch.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Colour Wheel - An Indispensible Tool

I was looking for this for quite close to a year having read about it in the foreign painting magazine. Found it recently at one of the local art stores. This one has the different colour combination as well as a tonal value chart. What you do is turn the wheel around for the colour of choice and it will show you presets of what colours to mix to get it. Real useful when on site and wondering what shade a particular colour is. The tonal chart is also extremely useful. Held at eye-level, it's all you need to capture the nuances of light and shade in different colours.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

One week to promote Malaysia at Covent Garden. Anyone promoting art?

This year, I was made to understand, Malaysia will be having its biggest Malaysia Week promotion ever at the Covent Garden in London.

According to Bernama (see here), Britons (and tourists) visiting the event, which will be held from June 5, will be treated to a kaleidoscope of attractions.

'Malaysia Week' Promises Britons More M'sian Flavours

KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 (Bernama) -- Visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists from 66 countries annually, London's Covent Garden Market is definitely the most apt to once again become the stage for Malaysia Week to be held for six days from June 5.

Based on last year's success, the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry is bringing a bigger group with 127 delegates to showcase the uniqueness of Malaysian flavours to Britons and foreign visitors to the one of the most visited destinations in London.

According to the report, Ministry of Culture Art and Tourism secretary-general Datuk Zakiah Ahmad as saying that apart from the usual fashion and cultural shows, visitors would also have the opportunity to participate in daily interactive sessions.

"We are also bringing along a group of young dancers from Tunas Budaya Pahang to perform as the Britons love children's performances. From our past experience, each time young dancers came on stage the crowds would fill up the space to the brink," she said.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to see for themselves batik hand-painting, songket-weaving and wood-carving, among others.

As an art lover, I do hope some space is reserved to showcase Malaysian work of art. This is because art - specifically painting: oil, watercolour, acrylic, etc. - is an unofficial medium to record the history of a country's progress. It is a visual record of what the country has gone through, right from the day it was founded to its current state. This is important because this year Malaysia celebrates its golden Merdeka anniversary. What we have gone through the past 50 years have been recorded in both photography and other visual media. But nothing is more provocative than in a piece of art.

In painting, the visual record is more than just a snap of the camera's shutter that freezes the event unfolding before the photographer's eyes. When as artist paints the event of his day, he records both visually and through his personal experience and thoughts of that moment.

Just look at the works of old and you will see what I mean. Check out the works of Yong Mun Sen or Abdullah Ariff.

Who can forget Yong's tin dredge, rubber tappers or fishermen returning from sea?

And who can forget Abdullah's famous depiction of the open cast mine and miners working at the palong? Or his work of children swimming in irrigation canals? These are our heritage.

I hope this aspect of Malaysia is showcased during the week-long event.

Abdullah Ariff's Bumi Bahagia (Good Earth) - 1970

Yong Mun Sen's Pagi Hari (Dawn) - 1970

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Watercolour Artists Database Project

I intend to start a database for Malaysian watercolourists in the hope of promoting their work as well as gathering more information about their activities. Currently, I already have compiled over 50 artists whose pictures and works came from various sources. If you are a watercolourist, amateur or professional, and would like to be in this database, please write to me at

The function of this database is:

a) Promote Malaysian Watercolourists/Artists
b) Promote their Art Work
c) Allow galleries worldwide seeking their work to contact them.

To find out more or be included in this project, send me your CV and a photo of yourself. If you have a current work, include that too. Make your digital files in jpg format, about 400px size. If you already have a website, include that URL too.

Thank you.


Sunday, May 27, 2007

New Work by Maamor Jantan

Below are two recently completed work by artist Maamor Jantan - on in watercolour and another in oil. Both are for sale.

Pesona Bali 07 - Watercolour (2007, 75x53cm) Value: RM3,300

The Jazz - Oil on Canvas (2007, 81x63cm) Value: RM3,500 -
EDITOR'S NOTE: This painting has been SOLD

To Pura - Oil on Canvas (1997, 91x75cm) Value: RM5,200

To purchase, write to me or call his agent (012-601-7808 Alice Lee)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sketching with Bruynzeel Pencils - Seaside scene

This is the scene I promised earlier - made using the Bruynzeel Pencils. Three grades were used, 2B, 4B and 8B for their respective ascending tonal values. Included is a digital picture of the scene (below).