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).

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Derwent Charcoal Pencils

These are interesting tools for sketchers. I said yesterday that the Bruynzeel sketch pencils are a boon to have and they indeed are.

But for those who solely concentrate on sketching, particularly portraits and other mono-works, these are interesting too. They have been here for a long time, Derwent's.

I bought three for outdoor charcoal sketching - light, medium and dark. These three tones are suited for distant, middle ground and forground sketching. They are fat and quite easy to hold. Only problem is to shave them once the charcoal runs blunt. I prefer to use pen-knives and shave them into a wedge, gives the tips some consistency.

I will also sketch using these and will show you the work soon.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Bruynzeel Sketch Pencils - New Kids On The Block

I was browsing at the art store for sketching pencils when I was introduced to this at Nanyang (Kuala Lumpur). According to the proprietor, the pencils (from Holland) have just been introduced to the Malaysian market.

What makes them good is that, I was told, there are no air bubbles in the lead which gives you a consistent tone. That means when you are sketching, the lead doesn't break off in bits and pieces to give you a consistent shade - something sketchers value very much.

These pencils come in various hardness. I purchased 2B, 4B and 8B which sort of cover all the needs for sketchwork. The 2B for distant (low tonal value), 4B for mid-tones and the 8B for the high tones. I have tried them and I believe they are what the art shop chap said they were.

I hope to post some of my sketches here in the next few days.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Please bring back Laman Seni

It has been sometime (close to a year or more?) that the Laman Seni has been discontinued, you know, the monthly event at the National Art Gallery car park?. I remember getting quite excited about it when it was first launched. Artists who have been trying hard to make a living finally had a place to showcase and sell their work. It was also an opportunity for artlovers to meet them and talk art in a less formal atmosphere.

But the thing that excited me most was that the event would bring some life to the National Art Gallery - whose sparse crowd, I believe was confined to school tour groups and handful of tourists. In fact, I think the days when the Laman Seni was held, the gallery had seen more visitors that it ever did after it shifted from opposite the KL Railway Station to now at Lake Titiwangsa.

In those days, when it occupied the building opposite the Railway Station, the gallery was in the tourist belt and within walking distance of the main transport hub. But when it shifted to Jalan Tun Razak, it was well out of the way - until in recent years when a bus service plied the area.

So, when Laman Seni at National Art Gallery was stopped (according to rumours, it was to allow renovation work on the gallery premises), I was keeping my fingers crossed that it would be brought back - fast. Little announcement was made at that time, and regulars who had gone to the monthly event were caught by surprise the first few months. So did a number of tourists who had gone there to check it out.

Now, I think the renovations to the gallery are almost completed. Will the Laman Seni be brought back? I really don't want to speculate. But I did wonder why the organisers decided to pull it out because of renovation work to the gallery.

Couldn't it be moved to the Istana Budaya grounds next door just to sustain the crowd interest?

To my mind, Laman Seni was something that the National Art Gallery had done right in many, many years in the promotion of art. Thr crowd were coming to the National Art Gallery too because of it.

Perhaps the organisers thought the monthly art mart had turned into somewhat of a rojak. Who can blame them, especially at the last few installments?

Amidst the cacophony of loud music, you see everything under the sun - from trinkets to secondhand books - being offered. It had the trimmings of a successful flea mart, but certainly not the making of a good arts market. But then, what can be expected if all and sundry were allowed to set up stalls?

But the lack of foresight could have led to the wisdom of hindsight by reorganising the event - by restricting participation to true artists and craftspersons. Keep out the traders plying anything that masquerades as works of art such as trinkets, Barbie doll wardrobes, fake eyelashes, and such. Send them to the flea marts, the pasar malam or the midnight bazaars.

Of course, you need not restrict the art mart to painters alone. Get the traditional craftsmen in too, such as the makers of capal, songkok, labu sayong, or even lion heads and charpoi, if you wish.

Don't just allow them to sell their goods but also get them to show how each is made. These are dying crafts few of us know about. Seeing these craftsmen at work, along with painters and other artisans is an experience of much value and what better place there is to showcase their work than at a regular, easily accessible arts mart?

In Laman Seni we have something that is gaining popularity. It can help to promote Malaysian art, artists and craftsmen. I hope someone will bring it back.

CAPAL - Traditional sandals being sold at the last Laman Seni. A craftsman making it would be more interesting, don't you think?

Works of art these trinkets, but please leave them to the pasar malam or flea market-lah.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Maamor Jantan's Painting Workshop

Malaysian watercolourist Maamor Jantan will be organising a watercolour painting workshop for adults at the Artists Colony, Malaysian Crafts Complex at Jalan Conlay, Kuala Lumpur. Anyone can join this class but you will have to bring your own drawing paper, watercolour and other equipment.

This class is suitable for beginners as well as the experienced who wants to pick up watercolour again.

For details, email me here
Classes will be held outdoors at the Galeri Teratai.

BELOW: Two of Maamor's unique works.