to make or become better, more bearable, or more satisfactory; improve:
I took this photo quite a while back when I was in Taiwan earlier this year for an exhibition. It was at a very old government quarters’ compound which has been turned into an art and cultural park.
Some of the still intact old quarters were turned into tea house, art gallery, modern cafes where most of the structures were still kept in their original condition. all those did not interest me. Instead, I went wondering on my own around the park, armed with my camera, begin looking for inspirations.
As I walk around the compound, I saw this imposing huge tree and it stopped me at my track. It was so majestic and I was in awe.
I went around studying it closely. The more I scrutinise it, the more I begin to see the story behind it. I knew I have to paint this, one day…
After any trip, as I was sorting out all the photos, I took a real close look at this particular photo, many many times, and it still took my breath away. BUT, the thoughts of working on the tangled roots and dried leaves really intimidated me. So I decided to just put it aside until the one day when I am really ready.
Then, in August, I received an invitation to participate in an art biennale which which will be held next year in March. The theme of the exhibition is “Environment & Culture” and with that, I knew just which subject to start working with.
And so the challenge begun. ….
This was going to be a much bigger piece compared to my usual sizes of work, at the size of 36×36 inches! But after much thoughts and studies of the subject, I knew that it will be a feat to work that huge. The details itself will kill me slowly and I decided to keep it at 20×26 inches, the safer size. Bear in mind that I have a deadline to meet now.
In order to work faster, I used the watercolour pencil (Albercht Durer) to lay the shadowed areas as underpainting. It works well like a primer so that I have less layering to work on with the dry colour pencils.
I worked on it diligently for up to 7 weeks and 5 days. However fast I want to complete it, I just could not rush it. Too many details to work on and I really want this piece to ‘speak’ out.
It took a lot of patience, steady eyes and fingers to work this out. I have to pay attention to not only the details but also the overall message of it. What do I want the viewers to see? Can they ‘see’ what I see? To emphasise the story, I have to come up with a fitting title.
What I am trying to convey is the resilience of mother nature. Nature’s ability to heal itself after abuses and disasters. For every brick, steel and concrete laid blatantly in total disregards of mother nature, nature WILL fight back. Mother nature, most giving when we are grateful, most unforgiving when we forsake her.