Throwback Thursday: Old Paintings + WIP

While tidying up some stuff on my very messy computer, I found two old paintings of mine. They’re really old, probably done for an art assignment when I was 13 or so. The assignment required us to do 9 4×4 squares of art, each with a theme/subject to keep to. I liked these two the most and took pictures of them with my ancient Nokia handphone before misplacing them somewhere in my cupboard.

I sometimes wonder how differently my art work would have turned out if I had gone to art college instead of studying English Literature and other academic subjects. Then again, wondering about hypotheticals doesn’t do much in the way of improvement. Did I ever mention how much anxiety I had just picking up the brush again? When I was younger, I painted because it was fun. I told my mom I wanted to be an artist. When I grew older and was swamped with school work I had little time to devote to art. It became a source of anxiety for me because I kept dwelling upon the missed chances, the many years in which I could have improved my skills but didn’t and worst of all, how good other people already were. Even when I had time I would resist doing art. I felt paralysed.

Things changed recently. I went through a period of anxiety about my health and other things. It was one of the worst times of my life but also became, in retrospect, one of the most artistically productive times too. I turned back to doing art as a form of solace and therapy. I drew things on my iPhone and took photos. I starting writing and painting again.

Moons WIP 2

I’m in the midst of painting this. It’s still far from finished and part of the reason is because I’ve also been doing other things, like writing fiction/poetry and composing music. This journey has been nothing short of amazing and perhaps, just perhaps, without all the adversity and uncertainty, I wouldn’t have been prompted to kickstart my creative processes again. I thank God for seeing me through everything and for inspiring me with love and light – and hope, always.

One thing I know now: creating things is what I need to do in life. And I will keep on doing these things until I’m no longer here.

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Favourite Books

Recently, I was asked the most interesting question (or series of questions) by a publishing firm that was considering my job application. The question was: what are your five favourite books, and why? It was hard enough coming up with a list of only five books; it was even worse trying to explain why I liked them in a reasonable amount of words. I’ve always loved these books and have variously mentioned them to friends. I also go on and on about them if anyone will listen. What I hadn’t done prior to my application is come up with a concise paragraph of what makes each of them so unique and lovable. Who knew that a job app could benefit me in this way? If anyone asks me the same question, I can simply refer them to this post and they’ll understand how I feel about these books.

I hope this list inspires someone (anyone!) to read these books – that would be really great. Also, if anyone has already read them and has something to say/discuss about them, let’s talk in the comments! I would love to hear from fellow literature lovers.

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Room

She entered the room alone. It was dark and very cluttered. Somehow it didn’t feel like her room even though she knew exactly where everything was. Maybe things look different in the dark, she thought. She fumbled for the light switch and her hand found nothing. It was strange to be a stranger in her own room. She shook her head and frowned. There was probably something blocking the switch. In any case, the room wasn’t very long and she knew her way through it in the day. Walking to the other end wouldn’t take very long.

She began to make her way through the room. The things on the floor suddenly seemed much larger than she remembered. Her hip brushed the edge of a cabinet, and she felt her apple-green merino sweater fray slightly. Her hand swept a few ornaments off a shelf and they tinkled as they fell. She thought she saw a cloud of shiny dust floating to the floor but she couldn’t be sure. It was still too dark. A few steps later, her eyes became more used to the gloom. She strained them a bit and saw something in the shape of a cello far ahead, near the door. That’s funny, I don’t remember owning a cello. She paused and took a few steps forward. Now it looked more like a large floor lamp. She didn’t have floor lamps; never liked them because they collided with her feet all the time. The fuzzy shape moved. As her eyes focused she realised that it was really a tall beast. Before she could scream or run, the beast changed shape again. Now it was a short, squat creature. Now it was furry and wide. Now it was tall again.

This must be some kind of dream. This must be some kind of dream. Her mind was running wild just thinking about the creature. She blinked, and a long time later, her lips formed words that sounded tinny and distant.

“What are you?”

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Best of my iPhoneography II

Following my previous iPhoneography post, here’s part two. These pictures have been manipulated (and not just filtered) to create a slightly more surreal effect. I mostly use PicsArt, but have also used other apps.  Do leave a comment – I’ll be happy to answer any questions about using iPhone to do photo manipulations. Oh and, click the photos to enlarge!

And here are my photo “series”:

An Egg Dreams

 

Disappearance

 

Unpeopled

Best of my iPhoneography I

It’s no secret that I’m addicted to taking pictures with my iPhone. My poor Fujifilm X10 has been languishing in a corner because I usually prefer to carry around the more lightweight iPhone for pictures. A while back, my friend Cheryl at CherylKeit.com wrote a good post discussing the pros and cons of iPhoneography vs. camera photography. I am loathe to pick one over the other, but in terms of post-processing options, the iPhone wins because of the user-friendliness of its apps. I love digital manipulation but am terrible at Photoshop (admittedly because I haven’t put in a whole lot of effort), so iPhone apps are a godsend to me.

That said, here’s part one of my iPhoneography gallery; part two will showcase my iPhone digital manipulations and photo series. All these photos were posted on my Instagram account (linked to my Tumblr). Most of the pictures have gone through (rigorous) filtering. Enjoy!