Saturday, August 29, 2009

My New Paintings

Immediately after considering the first painting done and having it delivered by courier to Zendra in USJ, I started on several new projects. With encouragement from friends especially my mentor Cikgu Mazeri Othman @ Deen, I felt the urge to hone my skill further by attempting to do a portriat of my grand daughter Balkis and also of a landscape of a traditional Chinese wooden house located not far from my own home. It was indeed an ambitious attempt and I could feel the folly of doing a portrait and lanscape using oil which I have never tried before.
Thus far this is what I have produced which of course is far from being successful. Well I will keep on doing it till I get the feel that they were done. Then only will I stop doing it. Whatever the outcome, my daughter Azini has agreed to keep the portrait of her daughter and my friend Zack from Seremban has declared his intention to have the painting of Rumah Tepi Sungai without even seeing the sketch. Some people just have the confidence in a new artist like Pak Zawi.
These are the the product thus far.


Rumah Tepi Sungai

After finding that I could not complete the above two paintings, I started on painting more still life based on the heliconias. I called the first one Heliconia 2 and the second one Heliconia 3. My wife has decided that she wants Heliconia 2 to keep in the house. At last she has found the confidence to hang my painting on the walls of the house.
Heliconia 3 will be up for sale to finance the purchase of new canvass and oils for new projects. Hey Pak Zawi survives on a small pension and has just enough to live by. There is not much room to splurge on such things though it is now considered as my passionate hobby. Thanks to zendra who has parted with her fortune to buy my first painting of Heliconia. When I saw the other paintings in her gallery which she bought from Bali, Pak Zawi immdediately offered to replace the painting with Heliconia 2. Zendra declined as she had from the beginning decided that she wanted Pak Zawi's first painting with warts and all. Well it was her money and she can decide whatever she wants to buy with it. See the other fine paintings in her collection here.

Heliconia 2
Heliconia 3

Feeling the positive vibes in me, I began painting The Yellow Catleya based on the photgraph of the orchid I found at my good friend Tuan Haji Azmy Omars's house in Pasir Mas.

Yellow Catleya.

These are the people whom I have painted for and will be painting for:

1. Zendra of USJ (Delivered)
2. Mek Yam of New York (completed but yet to deliver)
3. Oldstock of Johor Baru ( Landscape - started)
4.Zackrey Mohd Nor of Seremban (started)
5. U Lee of Toronto Canada
6. My daughter Azura of Amanputra Puchong.
7. Awang Goneng of London
8. Aminah Harun of Subang Jaya - heliconia
9. My son Azuan of Shah Alam.
10. Yanie my daughter in law of Enstek Labu.
11. Dilla of Seri Kembangan Selangor - Catleya
12. My good friend of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (10 paintings!)
13. Dato' Jaafar Lamri of KL - Fishing boat.
14. Zaiton Ab. Ghani of Seremban - An abstract
15. Azini, my daughter in Labuan - balkis (touching up)
16. Teoh Yew Aun of USJ, Selangor - nature
17. HJ Angus of Johor Baru.- Sunrise of KB water front. (I must go and watch it one day)

Hey that is quite a list. So please don't feel disappointed if you find Pak Zawi has not updated LAISI and couldn't find time to visit your blogsite. Pak Zawi will be fully occupied.
Selamat berpuasa to all my moslem friends.
Should there be anybody else interested please email me and indicate to me what kind of subject that you prefer. No portrait of yourself please as I wont be able to ensure you will retain your age. Pak Zawi can also be contacted at Mobile: 019 9125647 Home: 09 7903785.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tok Sangkut Benevolent Fund

Remember what I wrote in Doing Our Bit For Charity? To recap I mentioned about setting up a benevolent fund to help the beedy in a small village called Tok Sangkut in Pasir Mas Kelantan. To get the fund moving Cikgu Mazeri Othman @Deen who is also from the village has donated a painting with the title of Buah Seto Tok Ma. The beautiful painting was auctioned off and Puteri Kamaliah of the famous blog Kata Kama had won the bid after outbidding Oldstock of the blog Just Observations... For your information only the two of them bidded for the painting.
That sale cost Puteri Kamaliah RM600 which can be considered a small amount for getting so much pahala in the next life. On top of that she got herself a beautiful painting by Deen which was delivered to her via a courier company and should be in her keep the latest by today. Hopefully she will be very happy with the purchase as she bought 2 for the price of one, one of which is the pahala which only God knows how much she will be rewarded. The painting will be a good investment as Deen rarely sell his paintings as he is building up his own gallery in Pasir Mas called Heritage Gallery. Buah Seto Tok Ma was displayed at Heritage Gallery before it was delivered to the new owner in KL.
In this great month of Ramadhan, it will be extremely great to give out to the needy.
In his latest posting today at his site Exploring & Relaxing The Countryside Deen tells us of his 16 years old brother who is diagnosed with a defected valve in his heart. Read more details at the site. To meet part of the expense to have the operation done at IJN KL, Deen may have to sell some of his paintings to help his father pay for the cost of the operation. Even by selling his paintings may not be enough to pay for the cost. I will tell you more about how much is needed for the operation once I get the information from him.
Now there is all the more reason for you to chip in to help the boy live a normal life. Please help in whatever way you can.
More updates later....

Monday, August 17, 2009

I Consider It Done

Heliconia Flower

That is how the painting looks as at this time when I am making this post. I consider it done and I have signed it dated August 09. I consider it done and should there be any touch up it will be quite minuscule. That is my first painting.
If you remember when I place it in my previous post, this was how it looked.
It was then still incomplete although the basics were already there but it was not finished.
Now then it is done, it will be ready for collection by Zendra of Kuala Lumpur. To make it easier for her to collect, it will be sent to Shah Alam via my son Azuan who will be returning to Shah Alam on Sunday 23rd of August. So Zendra please contact Azuan at Brusfield Service Apartment Shah Alam to collect the painting. I am really grateful to Zendra for her willingness to own my first painting which really inspire me to go on painting beyond the first one.
The next project will be a landscape as per the picture below. It is a typical Chinese house in Kampong Tepi Sungai not far from my own house. I really love the serenity of the place. Let us hope that I will manage to paint something as close to the one showed in the photograph.

Painting has given me immense pleasure. Hopefully my friend Dato' Jaafar Lamri or Jaflam of Jaff Point will not wait any longer to start painting as Dato' is an avid art collector.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My New Hobby

Colorful fishing boats at Pulau Gajah, Pantai Sabak.

With the interest in blogging beginning to wane, I decided to pick up a new hobby to fill up my abundant free time. Time is one luxury that a retiree like me could have. Often times such times are wasted doing nothing. I might as well use it to paint. Not house painting which is something I do only once in at least after five years when the house paint begins t fade. The kind of painting I have in mind is oil painting on canvas.
The interest on oil painting was rekindled when I saw some oil paintings of the Japanese carps normally known as kois by Chegu Mazeri Othman at his mother's house in Kg. Tok Sangkut. The desire to own one of the pieces by him was curtailed when he said he isn't selling them since he will be using them to fill up the walls of his new house. Infact he said he is still working on many more since he will be making a part of the new house as his personal gallery. Frankly I wont be able to afford to pay for his paintings as oil painting is quite expensive since the materials used are themselves expensive. A meter of the canvas can be had for about RM40. The oil paints are as much as RM9.00 for a 70 ml tubes for the lower quality ones. The frames for a standard size painting can set you back for another RM40 at the least. The most important element is the time it takes for the painting to be finished.
I had the opportunity to observe members of Persatuan Seni Lukis Kelantan (PESENI) as they were having a painting activity at Pantai Sabak, Kota Bharu. Here En. Ismail Kadir an established water color artist was seen putting the above sight of a berthed colorful fishing boat to paper. En. Ismail is an authority in water colors and is often invited to display his works overseas. Soon he will be going to Beijing for such a function.

Beside En. Ismail, there were other artists doing the painting of their favourite subjects before them. One of the painter is a young boy who share his father's hobby. With his father's guidance he will grow up to be a fine artist one day.

One of the finished job.

An artist hard at work.
A close up of his job.

Chegu Mazeri was also at the site though he wasn't painting as he had to attend class that afternoon. I was there to meetChegu Mazeri as I had requested him to buy me some materials for painting. Mazeri had brought along a piece of stretched canvas for me to paint on. Since this is my first go at oil painting and without any experience whatsoever, he asked me to use a recycled canvas that he had used on one side. Beside that he had also purchased for me some tubes of 70 ml oil paints and brushes of various sizes. Since I wont be using those made of hog bristles, he bought those that were made of nylon hairs. He also handed me a bottle of linseed oil to dilute the paints. The oil paints were of red, light green and blue colors. Noticeably absent was the yellow and white colors which I will have to acquire later when the stocks of the dealer is replenished. A few days later I managed to get hold of the yellow and white color. I defintely needed the yellow as I was intent on painting the heliconia that grows in my garden.

After sketching the heliconia flower on the canvas, I started applying the signal reg oil paint on the canvas.
This was followed by the yellow color.

Next I added a leaf blade to fill up the empty part of the canvas. followed by some details comprising of some dark blemishes on the red petals. Some hues of green was later added to the yellow part.
The remaining paints on the tile piece as as the pallette was mixed and used as part of the background colors.
That is how the painting is compared to the real thing. My wife who had been very skeptical about my ability was quite surprised at the result as she had never seen me draw anything before. At least she will now be more supportive of my painting endeavours.
I consider this as the finished product, a rush first job done in less than two days. Now I will have to wait for my mentor Chegu Mazeri to tell me how to improve on the painting. Personally it is really an amateurish job and I will need lots of practice and guidance before I can really produce something that I can be proud of.
Anyway I consider the work as not bad for an old artist doing it first time at a ripe old age of 59 years.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Europe Here I Come - The Final Part

The Last Days In Europe
Our last few days in Europe was spent in London. We have done the city with Wan Hulaimi as our guide and we were extremely happy with his performance. After 3 years at the job and with almost 30 years of living in London, Wan Hulaimi is more than capable to do the job with information flowing like an encyclopaedia. Awang Goneng as he is known in the blogsphere, did his research well.
It was a free day on our last day in London. POTO travel had kept the slot free for us to do our own things in London. For those who were keen to explore the seedy side of London's Soho, they had ample time to see it.
My friend Nick Habgood of Azini Capital came over to the hotel to have breakfast with me. Who would ever think that a Pak Zawi from faraway Pasir Mas, Kelantan would have such a friend in London? It was a first meeting after knowing each other via the internet. Nick looked dashing and trim in a white shirt and grayish tie. A fine specimen of a fit and healthy person who loves to cycles. Nick will be holidaying in Italy on a biking tour at the end of the year.
Nick left us to go back to his office so we said our goodbyes and he took the tube. Even for a Londoner, Nick had to carry along a printed map of tube routes and location of our hotel prepared by his secretary. How convenient things are with the internet.

How Pak Zawi would wish to have a body like Nick. Some 20 years ago, Pak Zawi may have some semblance of that look.
We had requested Puan Zainida to arrange an outing to Madame Tussuad. This is the beautiful side of Puan Zainida from POTO Travel, she willingly obliged. Here she is collecting money to buy the ticket to Madame Tussuad.

We bought the tickets at the hotel counter at a discount of 5 pounds each. Despite the discount we still had to pay 22.5 pounds (RM135). Do you think you would pay such a price to visit a wax museum in Malaysia?
We walked to the tube satation quite a distance from our hotel. Again Puan Zainida bought group tickets for us.
Can't remember exactly how much the ride costs us.

The group entering the tube station.

We just follow the herds.

Ample signage. We constantly checked to see that we were on the right platform.

The train arrived.

Here I am infron of Madame Tussuad somewhere near Baker Station. I have to remember that station lest we get split and had to go back on our own.

Tell me which is the wax model?

How about these two? Would you make the mistake of thinking the man is the wax model?

The wife was so happy to have a picture with a singer, any singer will do and the singer turned out to be no less than Julio Iglesias as pointed out by Ee Lynn of Combat Loaded and Mission Ready!. Thanks Ee Lynn.

My friend Haji Fuad posed with the wax model of one of the most expensive actress in the world, commanding USD24,000,000 for the movie Mona Lisa Smile, Julia Roberts. As of this writing Reese Witherspoon is on top spot grossing a whopping USD29,000,000.

Just look at the crowd in one of the halls of Madame Tussuad.

The other half found her heartthrob Salman Khan from Bollywood.
Even the wife a Pee Em was overwhelmed by the presence of Shah Rukh Khan, what more if it was my wife. This is the nearest she could get close to him, a wax model.

Tommy Yew of Kangaroo Island, Australia pointed out that I was with Nicole Kidman, a doll like film star even in real life. She was so tall. Now you know why I won't date her, she was just too tall for me.

Whoopie Goldberg doesn't seem to attract much crowd. She was always available to be photographed with.

You have to be a bit aggressive to have a chance to photograph yourself with The Incredible Hulk, there were just too many people waiting to place themselves in the clutches of the hulk.

I told Audrey Hepburn to go easy on the cigarettes. Mentioned to her that Government of Malaysia always reminded the people of Malaysia that smoking is bad for health. The reminders seemed to fall on deaf ears thus wasting all the government's effort and money. I doubt that Audrey heard me.
Aha! Lewis Hamilton the F1 Champion of Team McLaren-mercedes. I wonder whether his dad was around in Madame Tussuad too.

The tennis legend Boris Becker. He is so tall. no wonder he could serve aces so easily.

Boxing geat, Muhamad Ali in his heydays. How else can I get close to him. Thanks to Madame Tussuad.

We didn't meet her Majesty the Queen when we visited Buckingham Palace. Our Guide Wan Hulaimi told us we could meet her at Madame Tussuad. Here she was in finest regalia accompanied by her husband Prince Phillip, The Duke of Edinburgh. The royal couple was gracious enough to have their photograph taken with my wife maintaining a discreet distance form the Duke.
The Beatles continued to attract numerous admirers who wanted to have their photograph taken with The Fab 4. I have to be contented with photographing them with other younger fans. The Beatles were of my age.
The lock of hairs were unmistakable of Farrah Fawcett who died recently of cancer. Mekyam of New York corrected me that this figure was of Britney Spears (Thanks Mekyam). In Malaysia Britney Spears appears in advertisements to promote Toyota Vios. I was so impressed that I bought one.
Margaret Thatcher better known as The Iron Ladies was once the prime Minister of Great Britain. Here she is seen with the iron lady from Malaysia

Fatthiyah with the 43rd American President George W. Bush. During his term he invaded Afghanistan and and Iraq.
Tony Blaire was the Prime Minister of Britain from 2nd May 1997 to 29th June 2007.

Mahatma Gandhi.
President Obama was amused when this girl perched her feet on his table while pretending to be a President of USA.
Fidel Castro of Cuba when he was healthier.
John F Kennedy or JFK as he is better known was the 35th President of USA.

Jiang Zemin was the President of The People's Republic of China from 1993 to 2003.

We skipped the Tunnel of Horrors but we did the Time Tunnel instead. We were transported through the Time Tunnel by sitting on a moving chair that will turn around to face the was figures wherever necessary.

William Shakespeare will not ring any bell if you didn't study English literature while in School.

When London was devastated with the plague, the figures of dead mean in bull cart, depicted the era.

I cant relate the above two pictures.

Charles Dickens wrote Oliver Twist but I remember him more for A Tale of Two Cities.

The above wax figures depict the modern psychedelic eras of the 70s from the film 'Goldmember' a movie by Austin Powers. Tommy Yewfigure figured that the girl with the afro look was of Beyonce Knowles the former lead singer of the once popular Destiny's Child group. In the film Beyonce played the role of Foxxy Cleopatra. (Thanks for the info Tommy)

The best seemed to be reserved for last. When we exited the Time Tunnel we were rewarded with the sight of the wax figure of MM or Marlyn Monroe.

Rumours had it that MM had and affair with JFK when they were alive.

My wife was more interested with Lady Diana. While in France we entered the tunnel where Lady Diana was killed in a motorcar accident while trying to escape the paparazzi hounding her for photographs. What a tragic loss for someone so loved by the public. Monuments in memory of her were found in Hyde Park.

It rained when we exited Madame Tussuad. Here the group was seen waiting for the rain to subside before we could proceed to Baker's Street Station to start our journey back to the hotel.

The Statue of Sherlock Holmes, a detective character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was too attractive for me to resist. During my school days I have read most of the stories about this sleuth, well at least all the books about him that was available in my small school library. "It was elementary my dear Watson" was the popular catchphrase of Sherlock Holmes.
Going down the escalator to the train's platform.

On the train. Most of the members had the somber look knowing that we have just seen the last of London as tomorrow we will be going to the airport the first thing in the morning on our journey back to Kuala Lumpur.

At Bayswater we still find time for some last minute shopping for souvenirs. Things were definitely cheaper here than at Oxford Street. For those intending to go to London, save some money for shopping here.

Holliday Villa is a hotel chain owned by Malaysian owned ASB group. We only had fond memories of our stay here though I have read report of poor service at the check in counter when a roomed bought on the internet was deemed as not available. Make sure you double confirm your booking. Should you face any problem, do not hesitate to ask for the manager who is a Malaysian. He will help you out.

The Lagenda restaurant will make you forget that you were in London. Most of the food you missed from home is available here. You will wake up from your dream only when you have to pay in pounds at the cashiers.

We were transfered by bus to Terminal 3 of Heathrow airport. At that time the City of London was still asleep. Despite that, Terminal 3 was already alive with people waiting to board their plane to various parts of the world.

Here's the proof that we were really at Heathrow.

While waiting for our flight on Gulf Air to Manama, Pak Zawi befriended Phillip Smeed, a Briton going to work in Manama, Bahrain. Phil works for Commercial Management Consultants Ltd, England. I promised Phil I will include this picture of us together in this post. I hope phil will get to read this as i have emailed him about it. Who knows we may bump into each other again sometimes in the future.
We were on our next leg of the journey home after a 2 hrs stopover in Manama. We still had a long way to go. The ground speed of 527 mph done by the Boeing 777 seemed to be too slow as I have seen all the movies on board. I saw Slumdog Millionaire an award winning film by Danny Boyle twice. The film won 8 of the 10 Academy awards it was nominated for.

The plane's flight path showed we were close to home.

Some forms had to be filled upon arrival due to the H1N1 epidemic. The excuse of not wearing my spectacles allowed me to let my other half to do the form filling. All I had to do was sign the form.

Waiting for our baggage at the baggage carousel in KLIA. Thank you Allah, all our begs arrived safe and sound. The European trip will always remain fresh in my mind. It was an enjoyable trip.
The next trip to Europe will be to Eastern Europe.