A lot of people still get surprised when they learn that I am working as a registered nurse when I am not painting. I would be lying if I say I never thought of giving up my nursing career and do my art full time. However, I believe that one of the essential components of my creative work is being a witness of real life stories of our own vulnerability as human beings. As a nurse I have grieved with my patients and their families in the midst of unthinkable tragedies and celebrated with them as they overcome health issues and recover from illness. Those beautiful stories become part of me. And then I pour my heart and soul in creating each layer of paint on my canvas – where I weave serenity and joy with a gentle touch of humanity.
..is no other than my husband, Kris! 😉
I don’t want to sound a bit cheesy but it is a blessing to be married to someone who has an amazing talent in art.
My favourite part is not just his paintings but the way he inspires me to believe in my dreams and work hard to achieve them.
For many years I enjoyed our countless art store shopping. I have seen how Kris toils on his paintings, brainstorm ideas and work on endless experiments using different art media. I have never met anyone as determined as him who aims to deliver polished project.
He puts his heart and soul into his art works and the end result of it amazes everyone. I did not know someone could paint emotions not until you see his ‘out of this world’ paintings. A lot of people have been inspired by his works and some are blessed to own some of his pieces.
I am so proud of what he has achieved as of this time and just recently he was featured by @theotherartfair Sydney as Fair Director’s Pick!
Kris reminds me of the Parable of the Talents in the book of Matthew 25: 14-30. It is a story about a master who puts his servants in charge of his property while he went away for a trip. He gave each servant a large amount of talent/money. Upon his return, the servants returned his money with good profit as they have used and invested on it wisely but one unfaithful servant hid the talent/money and returned it untouched. The master rewarded the wise servants in return and on the other hand chastised the unreliable servant.
Kris never fails to give back all glory to God at all times, who created us and gifted each one of us a talent unique from everyone else. I believe that we should use our abilities as what are intended for. As for me, I have found my talent in arts and in serving.
How about you? Who inspires you in your creative journey?
We hope that this art video and Joshua 1:9 will remind us to stay strong and courageous no matter what we are going through during this time.
Joshua 1 New International Version (NIV)
Joshua Installed as Leader
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips;meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
I grew up in a community where becoming an artist is almost synonymous to economic suicide. I was always bombarded with unexamined opinions regarding artists being lazy, eccentric, and having no ‘direction in life’. The lives of the artists I knew that time somehow became the evidence of such a misconception so I can’t really blame why the opinions relating to the impracticality of creative pursuit of was quite pervasive. One of the first challenges I have to overcome when I decided to be an artist was shaking off all these negative perceptions which I unknowingly accepted as ‘truth’ for many years. I needed to change my perspective and replace the unhelpful ones with positivity balanced with maturity and humility. What I mean by this is believing that my art career has great potential but also being ready to do the hard work and sacrifices whilst always striving for excellence.
Kris and I love gardening. Last summer of 2018 we wanted to take it to a different level by experimenting on making a fairy house garden. It was a trial and error that turned out very well.
We got our materials from Bunnings and Warehouse (our favourite shops). I swear Kris and I go to that place every other week to have a window shopping date. We can stay there for half a day or even a whole day. They have got amazing coffee and food too.
We were so excited to start the project when we got home. I must confess it was me who was the most enthusiastic about this project. LOL! As evidenced by the photos.
When I was a kid I believed in fairies as tiny as Thumbelina from a children’s classic fairytale book. I must have kept the unconscious drive to build a house for the fairies since I was young.
It’s not easy to purposely break a perfect and new terracotta pot and I was hesitating to smash it with the hammer. I felt bad doing it but eventually reassured to know that I am making a beautiful fairy house project.
I started to fill the broken pot with the soil and used the broken pieces to hold the soil in place. Then I planted the flowers at the top and succulents at the bottom. Lastly, I placed the fairy house and decorated the walk path with the white pebbles. It’s that easy! Trust me.
Surprisingly, I did not realise that the fairy house light up in the dark!!What a delight to see it glowing in the garden at night. I could imagine small fairies flying around it, making their dinner then getting ready for bed.
You too could enjoy this simple project at home. For sure kids and adults would love to get involved with this great idea. It’s like gardening with a twist of art and fairytale. It’s also a reminder of something broken which may not be made whole again but can be turned into something beautiful. Gosh! it gave me a life lesson too.
Thinking of making one as well? Here’s a list of the things that you need.
- Large Terracotta Pot
- Fairy House
- White pebbles
My creative journey isn’t a walk in the park. And it took me years before I was even able to take part in art shows and run exhibitions. I had a lot of those moments when the only thing that made sense was the raw and pure joy every time I pick up my brush.
In her heartwarming TED talk, Elizabeth Gilbert said “Don’t be daunted. Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be. If your job is to dance, do your dance. If the divine, cockeyedgenius assigned to your case decides to let some sort of wonderment be glimpsed, for just one moment through your efforts, then ‘Ole!’ And if not, do your dance anyhow. And ‘Ole!’ to you, nonetheless. I believe this and I feel that we must teach it. ‘Ole!’ to you, nonetheless, just for having the sheer human love and stubbornness to keep showing up.”
I’m so glad I did not give up. And as long as life goes on I will keep showing up.
I read the book “Rework” a few years ago and I still remember the words that inspired me and got me through the tough times when I tend to find excuses not to do my paintings. Whilst I believe that balancing work and rest is important, procrastination (if we learn to identify it) is not helpful and led me to many situations of unnecessary stress. So here’s my mantra when I notice that I am making a pattern of excuses and unproductive rationalisation: make time and just pick up your brush. And once I get into the flow the magic happens (most of the time).