All Things Must Pass

19 December 2023

Blog post

Before I begin working on this piece, I spent almost a week trying to visualise how it would look like on paper. Even though I have the photo as reference, I still have to work on how I am going around it to express my thoughts onto paper. What is the focal point? What do I want the viewer to see or feel?

All that takes a lot of planning and mental visualising. It is the most important part of the whole process and much more challenging that working on the artwork itself. To convey ’emotions’ in an art piece is not easy. I need to clear my mindset of being a perfectionist for details and let my innermost emotions lead my hand. An intuitive understanding of visually expressing my thoughts and feelings.

Many times I was bothered about the trees or the foliage which I think don’t look real enough. Erasing and re-drawing them over and over again. I had to keep telling myself not to get carried away focusing on the details and to look at the whole picture. The struggle is real and that is why it took me too long to complete this. 6 weeks on such a small piece. But it was worth taking the time.

So what is the story behind this?

I took the reference photo a couple of years back. Went for a stroll at our local botanical garden and it was by chance I came across the scene. The lone bench, the huge trees and thick foliage behind it just somehow got me rooted on the spot. What I noticed was how profoundly tiny and empty the bench was.

The first thought that came to mind was a feeling of wonderment with nature. How insignificant we are compared to those centuries old trees. They have seen the coming and going of humans for thousands of years.

And then, there is the bench. The focal point. Tiny compared to the trees. So still and so empty, that feeling of loss.

Whatever the interpretation is all depends on how one perceives the whole piece. Everyone goes through life differently.

Coming up with the right title was a real task. I was looking for the right phrase that can well described what I am trying to convey. Something not too sad or melancholy because within all that, there is also hope.

Then, I found this “All things must pass“. The title from a song written by George Harrison, one of the members of The Beatles (for those who don’t know). It carries a strong message about the impermanence of life and the inevitability of change.

With that, here is the lyrics to the song.

Sunrise doesn’t last all morning
A cloudburst doesn’t last all day
Seems my love is up
And has left you with no warning
It’s not always gonna be this grey

All things must pass
All things must pass away

Sunset doesn’t last all evening
A mind can blow those clouds away
After all this my love is up
And must be leaving
But it’s not always going
To be this grey

All things must pass
All things must pass away

All things must pass
None of life’s strings can last
So I must be on my way
And face another day

Now the darkness only stays at night time
In the morning it will fade away
Daylight is good
At arriving at the right time
But it’s not always going
To be this grey

All things must pass
All things must pass away
All things must pass
All things must pass away

Songwriters: George Harrison

…………The lyrics say it all. A perfect title.

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