Time was, is, will be?

29 December 2016

Blog post

What is time? Does it even exist? Have you ever wonder?

When we think of time we tend to think of the ways in which we measure the passing of time, such as a clock or watch, or perhaps a measured interval of time such as an hour or minute, but not of time itself. So what is time? Exactly what is it that we are measuring? -www.thekeyboard.org.uk

To me, TIME is a big mystery. Since the day we were born, our life is measured and controlled by time. Everything we do now, past and future are all based on time. Is it a good or bad thing?

Deep huh? Maybe I think too much. But sometimes, I can’t help it. I imagined life without worrying about time. No deadlines, no getting pissed by people who are always late to an appointment. The dread of waking up to the shrill of the alarm and many many more.

But well, think and wonder all I want, life have to go on and I am getting older by the hour. Like it or not.

I always get ideas/inspirations out of the blue, when I least expected. This happened when I was winding down for the day, having coffee and watching some movie at home and this vision of an old rusty alarm clock just appeared. Guess my brain is always working without me realising it.

It took me 3 weeks to finally found it, in a local flee market. It was actually a junk someone threw away. Nothing was working at all. There was no hour and minute hands. Everything was so rusted and my hands were covered with rust, it was that bad.

I was very desperate, I have been searching for it for almost a month and when I saw that, I was over the moon. I guess the seller knew it, I believed he saw the glow of happiness on my face, LOL!











Needless to say, I did not bargain very hard. I paid way over the deserved price where no one will actually pay anything for it. But then again, I need it, desperately. In fact, I love that it was without the hour and minute hands, it gave me an even better idea.



I made a makeshift photo box and played with the lightings, the photos came out perfect, just as I want it. I have also dismantled the whole clock to capture the mechanism inside for future references.

The sad thing was after I have dismantled the clock, there was no way for me to fix it back because I practically had to pry open the clock and the cover was bend out of shape. Almost threw it away but something stopped me and I decided to keep it, just in case if I need it in the future.

When I realised that the clock was without the hour and minute hands, I thought it was perfect! Why? Without it there is no time to tell and I knew that it will make a ‘deep’ painting. Pair with a good title, this will work.

The size of this piece is at 22 x 15 inches (55 x 38 cm). Done on a 300gsm hot pressed Arches Aquarelle watercolour paper. Using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils.


I started out differently from my usual style. This time, I focused on the background rather than the subject. I want to portray a darker mood by keeping the background very dark.




There are several tones of black here. Not just plain black or else the whole painting will appear very flat out. Colours such as blue, green, deep red, were applied as a base and only then, I applied several layers of pure black.

This time, I did not pay very close attention working on the details. I want the numbers and ‘design’ of the clock face to appear imperfect, to show the effect of age.





As we get older, physically, nothing works like before, wrinkles, grey hair, weakening eyesights, sicknesses and many more. Mentally, I bet many of us still feels like we are in our heydays. We remember things, events as though it was yesterday. But then,  when we look into our own reflection, we realised and wonder, where did the time go? What will happen to me tomorrow? Sounds familiar?

Contentment, happiness, fulfillments, regrets, anger, sadness ….. all these are within our grasp. Like the saying “Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.” Nothing to do with time, time is just a word.


  • PJ Bennett

    January 2, 2017 at 07:29

    Such a lovely post! I, too, am fascinated by time; particularly since it is only humans, who actually try to measure it – whether with a clock, calendar, an hourglass, etc. There is a delightful novel by Alan Lightman, that you might enjoy reading….. if you ever take a break from your creation of spectacular color pencil drawings/paintings.

    And, they truly are spectacular! I am grateful for Ann Kullberg posting a feature on you – otherwise, I don’t know if I would have ever found your website.

    Happy New Year to you! May 2017 bring you good health, happiness and prosperity!

    1. Sharon SS Kow

      January 3, 2017 at 10:07

      Thank you so much PJ for your kind comment and feedback. I am truly humbled by your words. I will definitely look out for the novel as I am working on a series of clock mechanism.

      Happy New Year to you too.

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