Take You To The Moon / Wild Passion – Two Doodles

Towards the end of 2020, I have explored a different art direction. My interpretation of cubism, which requires precision. Hence, I have switched to papers for marker pens.

Somehow, I still miss the fine-grain heavyweight paper that I used to draw with. Sure, that consumes more ink and the paper is harsh to the marker pens. It costs more in the long run. It is harder to draw because of the ink feathers. But I prefer fine grain heavyweight paper.

Titled as “Take You To The Moon”

In a way, it is like when people tell me that I should use an acoustic guitar to play music instead of strumming using a classical guitar. It is probably ‘wrong’. But I have made it my own, going against the norm.

In another word, I create art for my own consumption. It doesn’t make sense, I know (Jason my guitarist used to remind me that songs have to be written for general consumption, just stick with the general expectation and we would be fine).

I think I am a rebel.

Take You To The Moon is my latest work that inspired me to write a song that I have recently published on YouTube. The objects I use are very recognizable when you examine my previous work. That is a deliberate effort as I intend to form my signatures on my drawings. That is to say, by looking at the drawings, one would relate to the style of an artist. The cat, the couple, the half-moon, and the thorns. The difference for this drawing is that instead of roses, I drew stars to better suit the theme.

Titled “Wild Passion”, which is the predecessor of “Take You To The Moon”

On New Year Day, I stayed up late having this urge to return to the previous paper type (as mentioned above). I wanted to draw something abstract, free form, and to inject a sense of freedom and urgency. Personally, I enjoyed drawing Wild Passion a lot. The end result may not be as refined as other drawings of mine. It was liberating. I suspect those who are into interpreting art may find Wild Passion more interesting.

And yes, Wild Passion is also the predecessor of Take You To The Moon. I may do more abstract art. Perhaps in a more controlled manner.

Home-cooked Food – A Cubism Doodle

Modern-day photography and videography capture a snippet of life. The reality in its entirety often leaves little for our imagination. Call me old school. I still prefer words and drawings. Such artwork too captures a snippet of life yet leaves much for the imagination. An alternative reality within the realm of actuality. A private interpretation of the hidden messages forever imprints onto the likeminded ones. Book clubs. Painting appreciation. Call me old school. I have my preference.

A cubism doodle titled “Home-cooked food”

Covid-19 has changed the way we live and the way we socialize. Many friends of mine now cook at home. We were used to catching up during lunch. Now, during dinner. As for me, I prefer healthy home-cooked food to outside food. I know what goes into the cooking. I know how the food is being handled.

Onto this particular drawing, I further explore the construct of cubism, or rather my interpretation of cubism. My third attempt and it took me a lot longer to draw than most of my previous ones. I love Coste di Moro – Montepulciano d’Abruzzo – an Italian red wine. And I would imagine, that bottle of wine would have been moved around. From the kitchen counter to the dining table. To various positions as it is poured onto the glasses.

I love salad these days. I think of avocado. Capsicum. Quinoa. Chicken breast. Salmon. Potato. Lettuce. Pickled onion.

An alternative reality. A parallel universe. A drawing that is no less than a photograph or a video clip.

Snails & Escargots – A Cubism Doodle

I remember Freddy. He was a fellow Hongkonger whom I have met back in my university days. It was his first year in the UK, still imbued with Hong Kong culture. While for me, I had been soaked in Western culture for two years ahead of him. Hanging out with him was an interesting experience. He reminded me of myself when I first arrived in the UK and faced a foreign culture. Though I must say, I embraced Western culture more readily than he did.

It is hard to say if I was really into Freddy. We got along well, in the sense that I was and still am an adaptable person. He was a scholar and I wasn’t (though after four years, we both graduated as first-class honor). Very smart. Those who didn’t know him may find him arrogant. I just recognized the fact that he saw this world in a very different way compared to the rest of us. We had common hobbies and interests. Or rather, I have learned to develop common hobbies and interests with new friends. That is what I do.

Titled “Escargots & Snails”

Freddy introduced me to Pink Floyd, for which I am eternally grateful. Pink Floyd has inspired my music creation journey. We would talk about Shine On You Crazy Diamond night after night and would listen to it non-stop. Pink Floyd was our thing. I would head to the gigantic Blackmores bookstore in Oxford to read their biography. I would browse the magazines at WH Smiths to read their latest news. In fact, I have attended Pink Floyd‘s live concert PLUSE in the UK. That could well be their last gig in a ‘full band’ setting.

Freddy has also introduced me to escargots. I vividly remembered the expression he gave when he described the dish … it was so delicious, so out of the world. Eyes rolled back, all white. Fingers near his mouth, breathing in deep.

Initially, I found the idea rather repulsive. I could not imagine myself eating snails, no matter how starved I am. Then, I have done some research. These are not regular snails. These are farmed snails. Very much like frogs, I guess. I ate frogs when I was in Hong Kong. Frogs taste like chicken, in case you are curious. They really do.

I cannot recall when was the first time I have eaten escargots or whom I was with. What I do recall though is that when I was in a business trip working in Paris, one of my favorite starter dishes would be escargots. Either that or the live oysters.

If I am asked to describe escargots, I would not have done that Freddy impression. What I would say is that with the melted butter, the herbs, and the unique chewy texture, escargots really go well with bread.

One French friend told me that the escargot meat doesn’t belong to the shell it comes from. The farms supply the meat without shells. And the restaurants reuse the shells. I do not know how true it is. He or she might have pulled my legs.

Fast forward to yesterday, Y had dinner. Instead of oysters, she had escargots the first time (both are my favorites). I don’t think she was thrilled. But, that has triggered all sorts of memories, Freddy and my Paris business trip. At the National Gallery of Singapore and in one of the exhibitions, there were framed photos of snails placed on top of sand and dirt on the floor. That also triggered my recent memory, when I walked back home and in my condo and especially on a rainy day, I often saw snails crossing the path. I would carefully pick them up and put them onto the grassland knowing very well that they are in fact pests. I hardly see snails in my condo these days. The management office must have done a good job of exterminating them.

An Ox – A Cubism Doodle

I have always been intrigued by Cubism artworks. I could admire them for hours in a museum. Lately, an unspeakable emotion from within has ignited my passion to venture into art forms that are different from my own, yet enabling me to apply my personal techniques. I wanted to draw an ox. This is the outcome.

Titled “Ox”

Those who know Cubism (and disclaimer here – I am still learning) would know that interpreting one is not straightforward. Each of such artwork captures a combination of the following: the movement of the objects, their different viewing angles, and the temporal aspect.

Centered to this drawing is a ox viewed sideway (see illustration below). You can also see it turns its head towards you. Or lower its head to graze the grass. Or simply move around.

The challenge of completing this drawing is that, according to Cubism (and I hope I am getting that right), I would need to shade or color the ‘cubes’ in a certain way. Since I can neither shade nor color my drawing, I have to use patterns, while preserving the unique way of how I draw. This is my first attempt. In time, I will get better.

As a side note, I am using a different type of paper more for marker drawing. It has a very smooth coating, doesn’t absorb as much ink as the papers I use previously, and more importantly, the ink doesn’t feather. It does have its cons such as using eraser would leave a very faint visible mark on the paper when viewed at a certain angle. And the ink doesn’t appear as even at certain spots. Meanwhile, I am still undecided on the type of varnish to use – gloss versus matt.

Can you now see the ox facing sideway?

Into the Souls When Reality Meets Fantasy – A Doodle

Some say that our eyes are windows to our souls. When we look into each other’s eyes long enough and when the conditions are right, perhaps it is possible to get a glimpse of what lies inside.

Titled as Doodle – Into the Souls When Reality Meets Fantasy

That very soul reaching concept forms the foundation of what I wish to articulate in this drawing. Two persons living in the same world when look into each other’s soul see something very different. The composition is very simple. Yet, I enjoyed furnishing the details as I carefully layered the different themes in building up to the concept of Into the Souls When Reality Meets Fantasy.

There are in total 7 layers including a hidden one.

In the foreground are the sea creatures followed by the ocean waves at the bottom. The third layer is the couple who are facing each other. The fourth layer is the flying creatures on top followed by the fifth layer – the moon on the left, the sun on the right, and the sunrays. The sixth layer – which also becomes harder to see and is intentional as objects closer to us reveals more details than those further – are two eyeballs that meet and slightly overlap. They are also facing each other like the couple.

To see the final and the hidden seventh layer requires a bit of imagination. It is an infinity sign if you trace the shapes of the slightly overlapped eyeballs. That is the unification of the souls, for eternity.

One final thought to share is the different types of creatures. On the left and those that belong to the boy are creatures of fantasy. Phoenixes that only exist in literature books and monstrous crabs in video games. On the right, which belongs to the girl, is what you can find in this world. Birds and crabs. Hence, what you see here is when reality and fantasy meet as the couple look into each other’s soul. That is the very contrast I wish to highlight.