Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Bahari Family Album of 1990s

Tim Mosquida or better known as the 'Chief' among H&H Ship Services employees, in downtown San Francisco was my mentor at work. He was an honorary member of the Navajo Tribal Council for the Navajo Nation of New Mexico
and Arizona areas.
These moments in the life of the Baharis were taken while we were lving on 2nd. Ave and Balboa in the Richmond District of San Francisco. My late wife nancy was teaching at the downtown UC Berkeley Campus on Market Street. and my son had just graduated from the Berlin American High School in Berlin, Germany.

Nazri was also the Batallion Commander of the ROTC for his troup at the high school and I attended the Gradutation Ceremony in Berlin and watched my son handed over his command to his succerssor.
The chubby looking little guy who is my was and is still my pride and joy along with them, all four of them today, is my son Karim. Raising him from ababy had helped with my own healing processes from that of an angry and incorriggible and uncaring character to a half way decent father and husband. I thank God for his infinite Mercy in saving me through my son.

My daughter Marissa Estelle, was a fiesty young girl from day one who kept me and my wife on our toes for she was always up to something the moment our backs was turned. Marissa being the only girl in the family took over the seat of affection from all her brothers and is loved by all of them especially Karim who bosses her around.

There was a time in my life when i said the hell with family life and lived like a Bohemian never caring about others beyond just casual. I was a drunk and on the verge of joining the drug addictition line, but while living at the Zen Buddhist monastry at Green Gulch my life was changed not immediately but through a long process of seeing and being enlightened to the so called challenges of 'Life'. I took the Bull by the Horns and did my best to make my married life with children yet another creative adventure. I succeeded some and failed at others but all in all I am a proud father to all my four children, Nazri, Timo, Karim and Marissa Bahari.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Recent Charcoals

Sketching with charcoal pencils on Newsprint paper is my favourite way to go when one is beginning to learn how to let loose. Charcoal is the most basic of all mediums and has that primordial feeling about it. It is soft and easy to handle especially in creating shades from your sketches.
By rubbing with the tip of your finger or your thumd at areas where you want some shadows you can create wonders with charcoal. Always realize the direction of your smearing or rubbinf such that the darker areas reamins where you want them to be.

These are mostly five minutes copies of readily available pictuures like these particularl ones were from works by Harley Brown an American master of pastels from the South West state of New Mexico. I am very taken by his works and his laid back philosophy on Art.

The more you practice using charcoal pencils the more fluid you will find your strokes when sketching as it is not the most expenxive material out there charcoal pencils or blocks or sticks is a great medium for those who do not mind getting their fingers dirty.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Daughter A lawyer?

Marissa did quite good with her SPM results with an A+ in English and an A in Bahasa malaysia and an A in maths. She got all the three core subjects squared away fortunately and now where to go from her. After choosing and that from Fashion Design to Linguistics she has now settled to becoming a lawyer something she had wanted to do in the past but with my disapproval. I told her that if she was going to make it as a llawyer she'd have to be a bad one as the good ones end up not making good money! Dont know where i got the idea from but at that time I thought being a lawyer was a bit not in her character.
Her uncle Zakaria howeer had talked to her about it while he came to fethc her and her brother from our accidient site to send the two back to Penang via bus. He tried to convince her that she should become a lawyer as he once was. Now i am beginning to agree with them as i can see it her character as having the Bahari Nastiness when needed to be, we call it the Bahari scowl, the dirty mean look that either scare people or piss them off. Its the look that is like a volcano is about to erupt from within and this is something that a good lawyer aught to have in a fight.
My daughter when little was spunky and never afraid to get herself into trouble but she has the ability to keep it inside and seldom explodes in her emotions but when she does heavens help her source of problem.
Ya.. maybe a lawyer may not be such a bad idea and the country can use one more good lawyer to replace my idol Karpal Singh when he retires. I wonder what my friend LeeKhai has to say about it.

Sketching is the begining of all artistic endeavour just after doodling. As doodling is just runnig your pen or pencil over paper making tracks randomly, it cannot be considered sketching as yet untill you decide to put some thoughts into your tracking. Once a thought or an idea has entered your doodling is not more doodling it is creating, it has taken the step towards sketching.

I have emphasized numerous times in my writing in the past that the act of sketchig is one of the strongest form of meditation there is in practice, its just that most who sketch are not aware of it and thats even better.
Sketching makes you or force you to stop and smell the roses or the stench in the gutter beside where you sit to capture the 'Twin Toweres', (which i have never doen yet ironically, living here in Malaysia).

When you have the confidence to sit in the public anywhere and do a sketch heedless of all that is happening around you, you got the attention of your environment as it got you. You become a part of it as it becomes a part of you, the heat the noise the ugliness the unique and the mundane, they all are your expression, your creation, your sketch. You do not miss s crew out of place nor a whisper of how bad sketch is, nor do you miss the sense of being that most of common man has seem to loose while walking in the street or sitting in the mosques, thats what makes you an artist.

In sketching you capture the world in all its beauty and randomness, its commonality and chaos much more so than taking a picture with a Minolta or a Cannon. Your mind explores each and every millimeter of your subject in one glance and it is captured in your subconcious negative mind and the rest is redering the postive image through your hands and pens, and pencils and erasers (never like them) on to the pages of your journals/sketchbooks. What is so hard about that?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Random Sketches 1990

When using colour pencils sketching it is best not to do too large a sketch. Sketch with the pencils and not 'color' your sketches., thats my style offcourse. Sometimes the ragged strokes makes for more vibrant or raw texture rather than the unintresting smooth - out texture of a well laid out coloring technique.

Then again the use of jagged or random lines can also be deemed as uncertainty or unsure of one's technique or better yet the lack of confidence. However each and every sketches that i have done rarely takes more the ten minutes, five minutes is considered average as i have a poor sense of patience and am prone to lets get it down as fast as we can.

Subject matter, as you can see so far in all my works, there is no subject matter as anything and everything matters as far as my sketching is concern. I try to make for intresting subjects through jotting down my thoughts as i am sketching or i combine various elements to create a story just so the viewer is gets a kick out of it rather than just see how well executed a sketch is.

It dont take much materials for one to carry around when out sketching and these are relatively so small that hardly anyone notices that you have them on you. Except for the sketch pad, the rest is hidden away safe in your pockets and thus there is no excuse for you not to have them around when needed.

A tree on a rainy day.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sketching Weeds...

Nature has an inexhaustable images for you to sketch and with simple lines and minimal amount of coloring you can soemtimes produce the most subtle yet aesthetically pleasing works.

What is attractive about such simple sketches of often seen as insignificant scenes is the fact that it evokes to the mind what is in nature and its surrounding which varies with every location and environment.

I enjoy sketching weeds as it gives me the sense of freedom to create without inhibitions by the need to be correct or neat and tidy.

In my years of sketching i must have dones hundreds if not thousands of sketches of weeds and everytime i get a block in my creative flow i would resort to sketching weeds.

Dellusions are like weeds said the Buddha, the more you try to get rid of them the more they grow and the only way to get rid of them permanently is to pull them out by the roots. The Buddha also said that there are two kinds of Karma those that are the everyday Karma which can be removed without too much problem and those that are deep rooted. Deep rooted Karmas are those that originated from beginingless time even before we were conceived and thus are way, way! deep down there in our subconcious mind, most we are not even aware of. This in some belief system has to do with the evolution of the soul through the spirit and the physical existances, that is if we believe in incarnation like the Buddhist do.

Then there are the ordinary things in life, like the junk yard where, an eyesore to some but a boon to those who have the eye for the supramundane and render them into aesthetic beauty. Most artist are in tune with the environment in this aspect where they cannot see or tolerate the desecration of the environment by pollution or sheer human carelessness

Saturday, March 06, 2010

San Francisco - 1987

When i first arrived in San Francisco all i had to my nqame was a bagpack on my back and a potfolio filled with prints that i had done at the University of Wiscdonsin Green Bay's printmaking studio. The only contact i had was to meet the newly ordained Zen priest by the name of Junpo Kelly. He is the son of my close friend and fellow printmaker in Green Bay Mrs. Rosella kelly.
What happened after i exited the San Francisco Airport Terminal and ten years later was history.

The longest job I held in San Francisco was with H&H Ship and Environmental Services and the Yard was located on the water front of the bay Area at China Basin on Third Street. I dont think it is there anymore as last i heard they were planning on building a Football Stadium there.
I without doubt like everyone else who had been to the bay Area fell in love with the City for all the various reasons. For me it was the people, i found living among San Franciscans for ten odd years from a penniless, homeless bum to a guy driving a Porch across the Golden Gate Bridge just about every weekend was the epitome of the life in the 'Gay Bay'.

The Golden Gate Park was to me and my children a refuge where we spent every hour we could touring its six miles length of all sorts of fun places including its museums and playgrounds. The park was an source of inspiration for me whether playing my flute or sketching and painting, feeding the ducks or just sitting in meditation.

Some of the most unique sights one can find in a City can be found all over the San Francisco cityscape and getting places from one end of the city to another is a cinch as the public transport system in my view is about one of the best anywhere.

So, "if you're going to San francisco,
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair,
If you're going to San Francisco,
You gonna meet some gentle people there..."