Time in Reflection

4 May 2017

Blog post

This is my interpretation of life when one is in the autumn of their lives and our physical body starts to degenerate. At this stage of time, do we give up and let our mind and body just rot away or choose to live life to the fullest?

For me, it is time to reflect and develop a depths of our being, to step up to the life ahead.

“Miracles occur when human beings step up to the life they’ve got right there, in the muck and the mire, and discover they’re far more creative and capable than they ever dreamed they were. Miracles occur when we learn to blossom right in the middle of what we told ourselves we could never survive or get beyond. Miracles happen when we discover that we are far more than who we ever thought we were or what we were taught to be. Miracles occur when we have the courage to choose, not from fear or from the past, but from our deepest and highest self.”  –  excerpt from Gifts of the Autumn Years By Dr. Judith Rich http://www.huffingtonpost


This is the 3rd piece of my “Time’ series. With this piece,  I played with reflection. The bright yet gloomy colours combinations gave a sense of melancholy. Perhaps not a very happy looking piece of art but it is the truth, it is reality.

Technique wise, it was quite tricky, especially when the position of the subject is not centred. The cropped, off-centred composition of the subject was to give it a ‘dramatised’ effect, I want it to tell a story.



I begin my painting by first doing the line work with the lightest graphite pencil, using the grid method to enlarged the subject. I am not worried about accuracy or want it to look every inch like the reference photo that I took.  I know by playing with the nuance and values of the colours, I will achieve the look and feel that I want.

I had some difficulties doing the circular shapes of the gears and as you can see in the photo, I used the plastic measuring spoons to get the rough shapes. Not exactly a perfect round but good enough. Because of the angle of the subject, the gears in the painting are not a perfect round.





To achieve the richness and depth of the colours, there are a lot of mixing and blending of colours going on. Not so much of details on this one, more on playing with the values and nuances.

Overall, I am pretty satisfied with the outcome of this piece.  Many asked why I chose to paint this, clock mechanism. To tell you the truth, I was always fascinated by tiny mechanical parts, the wheels, gears, motors, dial etc, from a very young age. It fascinates me very much, how every part has a connection to each other and one part is not working, it will disrupt the whole system. This closely resembles the organs in our body. (Oh, it is getting weird now, I shall stop here.)

By the way, I have submitted this piece for the 25th Annual Colored Pencil Society Of America International Exhibition 2017 and was pleasantly surprised that it got selected. There were about 500+ entries and only 120 pieces were juried in. The exhibition will be held in The Mansion at Strathmore in North Bethesda, Maryland, Washington D.C. USA from June 10–August 6, 2017.

This is my fourth consecutive acceptance to this annual event and I am truly blessed.


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