Friday, August 28, 2009

Looking at what is Art

This piece of electronically produced print was originally done from a woodblock print that i did while living in Japan. Later in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia it was reproduced by my friend Fazli Mubin with the center added with the word Allah and a verse from the Quran encircling it. It would make a great poster for an Islamic decor if blown up large reveling more clearly the text in the center.

The drawings of the bugs were done with Japanese Ink on French Croquis paper also done while i was living in Sendai, Japan. The bugs were done as part of entertaining my children in naming them in Japanese and the japanese characters were written by my very close family friend Mrs Emi Yanagisawa who was a great art supporter when I was there.
These drawings are now thw property of the Penang Art Gallery purchased after my Solo Exhibition there entitled ,"Penang, Heart and Soul'.

The mural on the wall was done with acrylic and I used air brush in some spots for good effects. My son itroduced me to the use of air brush and after struggling to get the thing to work right I got the hang of it. This apinting is on my son's living room wall in hyis apartment at the Manafel Towers, Budai. The three potted bonsai plants is the latest addition tot he painting.

I did this mural after completing the one for my son and this mural is also in one of the living rooms at the Manafel Towers apartments. It is a reproducton of the Kanagawa Wave by Katsushika Hokusai but with a surfer in it instead of fishing boats like it was originally painted.

Chad, pointing out the surfer and being employed as a model to show the size of the actual painting.

Camels taking a stroll in the Dubai desert a picture taken by my son Timo, it is a great picture where camels are concern. It reminds me of having a great time with my son taking a Dune Bashing trip.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Lost Humanity

I have to drive my son to the Thai Border and get his passport stamped again to validate it for the next three months. When I tried to get him to go with me this morning he mumble in bed that he is not feeling well. I sat by the the bed for a while cursing him in my heart feeling the anger that has been gnawing inside me hvaing to deal with his visas problem, his laid back often times lazy and spineless attitude when it comes to doing something I ask of him like clean the room or pick up after himself after he eats or put his dirty cloaths in the proper place. Shit this is an eighteen year old about to become a man shit head! His new girlfriend calls at odds hours of the day and they make love on the phone leaving text countless text messages on my phone for my reading benifit, how dumb can you get.

But I kept my mouth shut, bit my tongue and left the house to see if I could do a paint job that one of my cousins expected me to do for the renovation of his house (I am the guy not doing anything and have plenty of time on my hand, why not, might even get paid for it)). The place was not ready for painting so I left for the Museum, my hideout, my cave, my mountain of refuge. I spent the morning sketching alot of garbage and most of the time thinking my life out, mostly how I fucked up so bad. I started this blog after an attempt at writing my son the pilot for some finanacial help but could not do it so i deleted the whole email and decided to let it all out this that is causing me the migraine, the pain and anger that is about to explode from within and cause some damage in one form or another.

In the past few days I have been carrying the sadness and bitterness of loosing a good friend who was victimized by the very person he fell in love with and place his full trust in and now has to flee back to where he came from for fear of his life if not sheer harassment. Last week I drove my Iranian friend all the way to Ipoh and dropped him off at the bus terminal there where he caught a bus to KLIA. Earlier that same midnight we were having some food at a restaurant when he got a call from Germany informing him the he was being searched for by the Police, for being an international terrorist, a very dangerous man and so on by his newly married so called wife. This young lady, a Malaysian lawyer highly educated has evidently called all his friends and informed them of this, the he was a fugitive of the law in malaysia. This close friend of his fearful for his well being decided that he should return to Germany. After further duscussions and seeing that he was in distress I decided to take him out of the city to the next closest town where he is not easily recognized and can get a transport to KL. We drove 160 Km. to Ipoh the same night and arrived there in the morning where I managed to put him on board a bus bound for KLIA direct. His friend had booked him a flight to Germany on Sunday-Monday night and so he had a little waiting to do. But he was relieved that he was able to get out of the country and deal with his problems from where he has better control over matters than being here.

His personal story is a very sad and tragic one, it stinks to the core of someone being taken for a ride by someone else who holds sway in terms of the law and the circumstances over you. Its another case of human abuse and exploitation of of the worse kind I will not dwell too deep into his personal issues eventhough he had authorised me to write as I see fit of what had transpired. Suffice to say I am tired too of the crap that people lay on me including those who are closest to me. I was not too worried with the police as much as with what can happen to him on a lonely street in the middle of the night walking as he always does, home.

They say the fasting month brings out the best and worst in you and I agree and for me it seems the worst has always outweighed the good. If it is not for the sake of my children for whom I am still responsible I would have become the demon that is within me. I would not be sitting here writing this pile of garbage or begging my sons for some small change to help keep their other two sibblings afloat or avoid my shame of having to kiss my cousins ass to make some money in order to find my way to the Thai border and have my son's passport stamped. Needless to say I hate what I have become and my long term so called vision or seeking trip is nothing but a sham in the effort to avoid assuming my resposibilities as a man. Only the AlMighty knows how sick and tired I am of this life, the banal, hypocracy and the extent to which one man or woman can screw another up without a shred of love or compassion or even concience and it is happening everywhere more so by the day.
At the end of the day its the Artist that gets fucked!

So I say to all my children, I am sorry for not being able to fulfill your desires in short be the perfect father and dont ever fall into the same trap as your father did, at least learn from his ignorance and avoid making them. If I am declared MIA, take care of yourselves, I have done my best to bring you up and now you have to learn to grow up on your own like I did most of my life.

I Love all of you, but thats about all I can afford right now. I have tried my damndest to share my self with you but much good it has done. If you have not understood what sharing and giving is all about you have learned nothing. If you have learned nothing about the women in your lives than I fear for you and your future and i have failed despite everything I tried to spell out for you. This blog I realize is another worthless effort, a waste of alot of time and energy which could have been spent slogging like all good men does making a living.

So my children, all of you think and think hard and reflect upon what i have shared with you before it is too late. I made numerous errors in my life and I made them for a reason, to learn, to know the truth, to find the answers for my own sanity about this so called life and living. I may not have all the answers but I learned some and these I hope you can learn from too.
Lastly, Life is a Bitch, dont marry one!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Fasting Month begins

The month of Ramadan began yesterday and life for us has taken a slight change in keeping with the daily needs of the fasting month. I have made a silent vow to myself to give my best in completing the month long fast from sunrise to sunset observing every precepts that goes with it.
The Rama is time to suffer among other things, migraine headaches which acts like a ton obricks lays on the back of your skull causing your eyes to pop out. It is time to also feel real sleepy ike you cannot type two sentences without taking a nap. Ideas comes slower than usual and mostly none whatsoever.

Food ironically is in abundance during this month and they come in all sorts as eceryone and anyone who can cook, sells. I enjoy the 'Pasar Ramadan' gawking at all the varieties of dishes, and drinks and not being able to sample any. Walking around the bazar can be a real test to one's Nafs 'or desires as all sorts of temptations are presented especially those in the form of the opposite sex, fasting or not they are all around you what can you do?

The hardest thing about the fasting month is spending the last few hours if not minutes before the breaking of the fast in the evening.Sleep is the best escape but not enncouraged and watching movies can whisk the time away but well not really the ting to do if one is to feel the pangs of hunger and deprivation which is the fundamentle purpose of fasting.

Loading my blog is somethig I can deal with while experiencing the bad migraine and fighting from falling asleep. I am loading as many of my sketches as possible before I get tired of it and give up and thus stand to loose alot of good sketches over time through misplacing and carelessness. Here I save these works hopefully forever and it can be enjoyed by those who has taste for the simple things in life, a good sketch.
These Chinese are having their lunch at the local rice shop and these riceshops are slowly disappearing being replaced by your restautrants with proper table and chairs.

Clog Makers are a rarity as clogs are becoming obsolete as foot wear. Clogs originated from China and found their way to the feet of South East Asians and has eveolved through many materials and design where the strap is concern. But who gives a hoot about clogs these days when Nike and Rebok is the thing of today. The days of the clogmaker are numbered but the art still is a thing to admire.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Sketching lesson

My father was a goldsmith in the traditional Sri Lankan way where the mould for casting the jewelries like rings and settings was made from cuttle fish bones. Fortunately enough while we were living in the East Coast State of Terengganu these bones can be found washed up along the beach of the South China Sea.
The advantage of being able to sketch is that one can sketch or draw just about anything and everything under the sun. Any form of stimuli can trigger in your mind a scene, a character, a design or and idea to sketch and draw... the subjects are limitless to draw from unless one is absolutely aesthetically blind.

The ordinary man doing what he ordinaryly does everyday in and out is a professional and he is a great artist in a sense that he does not think or philosophise his creations. He creates to perfection whatever that he creates over time and repititions but he adds to whatever he does intuitively as he progresses till the obeject of his creation becomes 'His'. His Style, His Form. Failing this, he is simply a craftsman no different from a good cabinet maker.

When I sketch a character especially one that depicts an ethnic character I feel the character I am the Nigerian that I am drawing and my being him is derived from the Nigerians i have met in my life, the movies i have watched of these people, the smell when I am close to them and their mentality.

Sketching a group of people whether from life or from a picture is challenging as it is vital that you capture the mood of the group, like what is going on? Are they relaxed just plain hanging out or are they bored and tired of waiting, are they angry and about to burst into violence or are they in fear of something about to happen. These feelings must be evoked when the sketch is viewed by an audience. The viewer must feel the same if not more so of what the sketch meant to portray.

I took this picture from an old black and whit photograph and why not? This kind of scenes can never be found anymore and they are as precious as they come. These old black and white photos are one of the best sources of informations for anyone studying to sketch or draw, light and darkness the contrast and the transitions. But the character itself is awesome, this elderly gentleman simple as he looks, in my culture or the one one I grew up with commands respect.

Then there the imaginary, the cartoon character the carricature, the alter-ego of the artist, the guy who gets away with saying shit and often gets shit upon. Sketching these guys will have to come from an inner search and evolution for they represent your feelings and perceptions your impulses and conciousness, things that you cannot express otherwise without a character or a puppet. I try not to be confrontational, insulting or provocative in what I do that it hurts others in any way, there is more than enough of that in life today.

This is a sketch on the way to becoming a drawing as the work is taking form and the lines are getting lesser. Sketching when overworked becomes a drawing no more a sketch and a drawing when overworked becomes a painting no more a drawing. Just a simple Bahari approach to the Art of Sketching. In today's electronic technological age a simple sketch on a piece of paper still is worth persuing even if it is just to fill up empty spaces and time... it comes from the heart not from the manipulation of techno-gadgets.

Retirement Do and Don'ts

There those who are left with time on their hands and nothing else when they retire and there are those whose time is fully occupied even when they retire like raising the grand children.

Some find comfort is developing their hobbies into an artistic venture while at the same time placing bets on the side to keep life more challenging.

Fishing has always been a choice for those who cannot stay put at home and face the wife and grandkids.

The internet is a boon for those who love to explore and expand their conciousness, the abundance of choices and information on the Net is a great boon for creative people.

Blogging has become a venue of self expression for almost everyone who had something to write about and a great form of self justification for a time well spent.

Other options may be in the form of furthering one's education like getting that Master Degree or a Phd. This is good for those who has the intellectual drive and it helps to keep the mind from petrifying.

However in this paranoia life and times that we all live in blogging can be hazzardous to one's health especially if the government does not appreciate our talents or what we have to say.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sketches of Life

All these sketches that I am sharing with you was done sometime in 2005-06 while I was working at the Jerejak Resort and SPA as the Ferry Terminal Supervisor. The sketches were done on the back of discarded brochures for the Buffet Ramadan of 2005.

I sketched almost anything and everything that I could lay my eyes on and most were done while I was working and had time on my hand.

I mostly used pen and ink and sometimes washes/smears to add to the forms and highlights. I hardly ever use a pencil to draw perhaps simply because I am too lazy or too much in a hurry or theres the challenge in using ink where you cannot erase the mistake made.

Black on white has always been my choice of colors when I sketch and I can still remember my mentor the late Mr. Bill Prevetti said to me never sketch with any other color than black after hecaught me using a blue ball point pen to sketch.

The original sketches are now the property of The MUseum Gallery Tuanku Fauziah/ USM, sold for RM2000 after they were put on exhibition entitled, The Sketches of Life. Not bad for using recycled papers.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Looking Back in Time

As Careers went my all time favorite job was working as a Yard Supervisor in charge of the Underground Fuel Tank Dispossal Faciilty at H&H Ship Services and Environmental Services on China Basin in Downtown San Francisco's water front.

My crew, Tank Muckers, Shawn, Carlos and Oddell posing behind the Vacuum Truck Fondly known as 'Moosey'.

'Too Tall ' Jones, Tank Cutter being watched over by the rest of the Crew.

My highest and lowest points in life had always involved woment, 'You cant' live with them, you can't live without them'.

What i love doing most is travelling and where would I like to travel next? India!!

I study people, their lives their appearences and how they affect me.

I love the rural life much more than the urban life.

My favorite place on this Planet is Kyoto, Japan

I am a Dragon Master.