Be random. Be weird. Be you.

Decided to be weird tonight. She has eggs in a nest, a heart and a little birdie on her head. She’s weird. She does not fit in. Who cares? We spend all our lives trying to fit in AND trying to stand out. How exhausting is that. Freedom comes when you can just be you. All of you.

Watercolor for the girl, magazine cut out strips as collage for the nest and her collar, gesso, acrylic paint, stencil with molding paste on the background. A marker for outline and last but not least, glitter glue on her hair❤️💕💕


It is awkward painting a self portrait…

I have never painted a self portrait. There is something vulnerable and scary about painting your image. I don’t know why… maybe it’s the intense scrutiny of your features when you are painting it? Maybe it’s the acceptance of your image? There’s probably a lot more to this which I don’t understand.

Today I decided to break that boundary. I printed a photo of me on computer paper, then transferred the image onto my altered journal book. Also added scrap paper, Dollie, other images on the page. I get very excited at this stage as it is the beginning of mixed media fun!!

I added gesso over the transferred image and then painted over it. It was the hardest face I’ve ever painted. I have to stop myself from “beautifying” my face and stay true to my face. Owning it. Accepting it.

On the other page, I painted over the transferred image of roses and transformed it into something else.

Added molding paste with stencils and doodles. And finally I added a long quote from e.h. A great reminder on how we are not defined by all the things we are not. Some excerpts that I love. “You are not your age, nor the size of the clothes you wear…” “you are all the books you read and all the words you speak”….  yes, I am all that and more. I am glad I painted my first self portrait.

Here are some close ups

Just be yourself 

I am a perfectionist trying to embrace imperfection. Blind contouring is the perfect exercise for me. It forces me to let go of perfection. My blind contouring drawing always end up looking wonky. In this case, she was drawn by looking at an amazing sculpture “Chloe” by Jalime Plensa. 

I really enjoyed playing with watercolor and collage here. So, just be yourself. The flawed, quirky and magical you❤️❤️❤️

Be kind to unkind people..

I believe different people bring out different qualities in you. Some bring out the angel, some bring out the beast. When someone is unkind to me, my defensive mechanism shoots up immediately and I fight back.., often being unkind too. I hate it when it happens. I don’t want to stoop to their level. I don’t want to be like them. This quote reminds me to be kind. And more importantly, not to be their reflection.

Watercolor painting. This time with an Asian girl in mind. Going to my roots😉 

Letting go…

Learned a new technique today call blind contouring. This is when you look at an object, draw it without looking at your paper or lift up your pen. It was an interesting experience. In the beginnings, it was stressful not being able to check and correct what I drew. But soon I just let go and have fun. 

The picture did not look like the girl I was looking at. All her features were wonky. Interestingly, after I added paint to the picture, painting and adding colors that I like with no clear objective in mind…, she began to appear.. in an abstract manner. 

Then I added some doodles to it. 

And finally scribbled a long quote about letting go, over the picture. It was hard to write over it as I loved the picture I painted. But I wanted to practice letting go. So I did. 

And I like the end result. A good reminder to relax and let go, go with the flow…

To all my mothers…Happy Mother’s Day 

When I was little, my parents had to leave Singapore for Netherlands to look for work. I was left in the care of my grandma and aunts. Because of that, I’ve always felt a certain closeness with them. And I’ve always felt loved. That said, there were many times when I resented having so many people be “in my business”.. now I realize it’s because they love me. 

In a certain sense, my grandma and aunts are like my mothers. And it just occurred to me that this is very similar to how the elephants take care of their young. The calves are cared for by the aunts, sisters and mother. 

So on this Mother’s Day, I would like to thank my grandma and aunts (some of whom have passed away) for their love. Happy Mother’s Day 💕💕💕

This was painted with watercolor and white specks created with gesso. 

Strength from within… 

I love painting female faces. And they often have the same facial expression. Determination? Strength? But also with a touch of softness. I wonder why..Maybe it reflects what I admire the most? Being soft and strong at the same time. It is not something I am good at. But I certainly aspire to it and admire women who are that. To all the strong women out there. Cheers to you! 

I believe things happen for a reason…

After my last blue journal page, it’s time for some happy colors. These colors make me smile. And I love this quote by Marilyn Monroe. “I believe that everything happens for a reason….” I have to admit, I love this page very very much❤️❤️❤️

While I did not make a video of this process, I thought I could share some pics of the process. Hope you will give it a try! 

Started with a page with acrylic paint, collage of scrap paper and image transfer. Also included a business card I picked up from a fair. Loved the stripes. I love to pick up cards, brochures etc and incorporate them in my journal. Reminds me of the place or store I visited. 

Added gesso all over to bring everything together 

And then she appeared…also added some modeling paste with butterfly stencil. 

Intensified the colors

Added doodles and journaling. And viola..

Art therapy…

I don’t usually paint when I am upset. Not sure why. Maybe because I only want to see pretty things in my art? This page was an exception. It started with a lot of dark blues and greys. Reflecting my mood and state of mind. As the day went on, my mood got lighter and better. So did the colors on this page. I added more white and light colors to the page. And as my spirits lifted, I began to doodle on the page and voila, the final page appeared. Much lighter and happier than when I first started. Art is therapy indeed..

Acrylic paint with collage and markers for doodling. Also added some texture using molding paste and stencil. Finally added some journaling to remember this page by.