“Stillness Speaks” 42x30cm, 300gm hp/wc paper. FC poly cps.
This idea came by when I was out of inspirations. I have taken quite a number of pretty decent reference photos before this but as usual, after a few days, those pictures that I took didn’t appeal to me.
I was bumped out of ideas. I was like a zombie, mopping around the house like a lifeless soul. So I told myself, just relax, take a break, watch stupid movies on TV, then perhaps something may come up.
One fine day (after almost 1 week in zombie mode), while doing my routine house chores, I saw this set up on one of my tiny balcony (see ref. picture) that an idea suddenly came about. The whole set up gave me a sense of calmness. I started to re-arrange the rocks, using my mobile phone, tried to capture the best angle of the subjects. And that’s how I came to paint this.
In order to make it more pronounce (the colours), I dramatised the values when I paint. Reference pictures are only used as a guide (to me). I don’t really need a super sharp or extremely clear shots. The crucial part of reference photos are the compositions and lighting. The rest of the painting, I will usually paint it using my own intuition. And while doing the sketch, I will also think of a title. This came about quite late and quite difficult. I wanted to give a title that matches the feel of this painting.
Everything about this picture is hard, cold, still but because of the greens and the terracotta pot, it gave off sense of freshness, calmness, a stillness with a relaxing sense, very ‘zen’ like. At first glance, everything about this is so rigid, hard. But as you look longer, you’ll see so many things going on there, the textures, the coolness of the rocks and the warmth of the terracotta pot, the grains of the timber and the softness of the leaves. Well, enough said, I can go on and on..
It was a surprised that the rocks are actually pretty easy and fun to paint. Not as complicated as it looked. As I was doing them, I realised that I love painting rocks, the textures and colours are very interesting (to me) and I have decided that I will be doing a series of rocks/pebbles next, in a larger scale.