「速寫檳城」十周年紀念

我中學時期,寫生人數是一群的。後來大家長大了,各散東西,寫生人數也慢慢從一群人減至我一人。初入社會工作,認識了昌仁,寫生人數變成兩個。過後我們結伴到曼谷旅行寫生,看到當地畫友寫生人數是一堆的,我們頗為羨慕。回來後我們決定成立眾樂樂寫生團「速寫檳城」。慢慢的寫生人數再由兩個人增至一打人,後來變成很多人!

「速寫檳城」在2012和2014年分別辦了「素描喬治市壹和貳」,一起寫生的人數由很多檳城人變很多馬來西亞人,很多馬來西亞人變很多亞洲人,最後變成很多世界各國的人。我們都同屬一個大家庭—「城市速寫人」(Urban Sketchers)。

一晃,大家在檳城一起寫生的時間已經十年了。人來人去,人多人少不重要,重要的是這十年間我們一起擁有了無數個的快樂星期天早上。畫得好畫得差也不重要,相互支持和鼓勵最重要,享受寫生的過程更加重要。祝福大家未來繼續享受更多的歡樂星期天!

30 Years Sketching Penang

Translated by Ryan Ng

In light of the recent Movement Control Order (MCO), I decided to use my free time to compile and re-evaluate the artworks I have done over the last three decades.

My sketching journey began when I was in secondary school. Besides being an active member of Chung Ling High School Art Society, I also sought private lessons from artists outside of school. I had two teachers – Dato’ Tan Chiang Kiong and the late Mr. Tan Lye Hoe. I still remember Mr Tan Lye Hoe saying to me, “The stone lions outside Tan Kongsi* are amazing still-life subject to practice. The lions should appear three-dimensional. You need to draw as though you are a sculptor – every stroke must be concise and powerful.” That was my introduction to sketching and the start to my artistic journey.

*Tan Kongsi is a clan temple that used to be a place of dwelling in the 19th century by the Chinese Hokkien immigrants who share the surname, Tan.

As my secondary school only offered Science and Commerce subjects, I did not have the opportunity to study fine art. Reluctantly, I became a Science stream student. I did not enjoy all of my subjects but biology, and that was only because I love watching fishes in the aquarium! My only escape from my dull subjects was the weekly meeting of Chung Ling Art Society. I remember vividly the little art room underneath my school’s clock tower. There were two hallways entrance to the room. We only used the left hallway because we used the right-side one as a pottery studio! I remember the plaster sculptures that were displayed in the room for drawing practice. I used to laugh when the mischievous students make undergarments for Venus out of little cloth strips.

Every Saturday, the art society’s meeting was from 9 am to 12 noon, then the few of us would go to George Town for lunch and watch a movie. We used to admire Hong Kong film director Wong Kar-wai, even though we did not understand his films half the time! I suppose we just enjoyed the simple lifestyle and company of each other.

Besides Saturday meetings, us ‘art fanatics’ would often have on-location sketching on Sunday mornings. We would excitedly set off in our motorcycles, giving our juniors a lift along the way as some of them either did not have a license or just had very strict parents. These experiences I had sketching with my friends are now memories that I hold very dear. It was a time of genuine happiness, as we focused on ‘playing’ more than serious drawing. It did not matter how ‘good’ we were, so as long as we were having fun.

It was then I fell in love with the practice of on-location sketching. This practice has become a habit that has stayed with me until this day.

Selected pencil sketches from the 1990s. Drawn in a Daler-Rowney A4 sketchbook.

Pencil & Graphite

I decided to pursue architecture after graduating from secondary school. I then became a little busier and was sketching less frequently. Thankfully, I could still hand-draw all my design sketch and even use watercolour washes in some of the presentations. My architectural training provided me with a deeper understanding of space and further informed my approach to drawing them.

After my degree, I worked as an architect for a little over a year before switching to the graphic design until this day. From 2001–2005, I made lots of graphite drawings of Penang, my hometown, in quarter imperial format (28 x 38 cm). Looking back at those works, most buildings and street scenes are no more. One of the more notable places is Sia Boey market, that now exists only as a collective memory among old Penangites.

I think my drawings have become my way of keeping a diary. With no words, every drawing functions as a diary entry. As I flip through old works, memories of emotions, weather, and the occasional conversations with passers-by resurface in my mind and warm my heart. It always seems as though they just happened yesterday.

After collecting a number of drawings, I held my second solo exhibition, My Sketches Diary in 2002 at Ching Lotus Humanist Space, Penang. I invited my teacher, the late Mr Tan Lye Hoe as my guest of honour.

For more drawings from 2001-2005, click here.

One day, I had leftover long-format cartridge paper following a graphic design project. Not wanting the paper to go to waste, I decided to use it for sketching. I was immediately faced with a problem – I could not draw a complete street scene. All of a sudden, multiple dilemmas presented themselves: drawing the sky would mean giving up on the ground; drawing the ground would make the upper half of the street non-existent; I could always minimize the entire scene, but I would have to give up detail! This was all very challenging, and at the same time very exciting. My happy coincidence encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and think of newer, more dynamic compositions.

I started asking myself questions and rethinking my approach to drawing. “Why must the whole of a building be drawn? I am free to decide what I draw!” That conclusion led to my mini epiphany – that ‘selecting and discarding’ (subjects) is more important than ‘filling up’ (the paper).

I began to take a new approach. I no longer started a drawing by sketching the entire building. Instead, I started by forming composition in my head before starting with a point on paper. I found it freeing to let my lines flow in all directions from a single starting point – from up to down, left to right, my lines endlessly changing and evolving. I was freed!

My hand could then follow my heart.

I found my newly discovered method very fitting for depicting the street scenes of Penang. I made many drawings in a similar style during 2009-2010.

For more drawings from 2009-2016, click here.

In 2009, I exhibited a series of long format sketches of Penang, titled Line-line Cerita, cerita meaning story in Malay. I also compiled drawings from several years and published my first book Sketches of Pulo Pinang. This would not have been possible without the help of my friends. My appreciation goes to Lee Khai for editing, to Tan Yau Chong for translation and proofreading, and to Lee Khai, again, Tan Lye Hoe, Tan Yeow Wooi, Khoo Cheang Jin and Ambiga Devy for contributing to the writing of the book.

Kiah Kiean’s accomplishments in art are expansive. Among the many are his streetscape sketches. He has a sensitive perception for buildings. With his exaggerated yet balanced form and his seemingly chaotic yet emotive lines, he brings the streetscape, especially old buildings, he sketches to life. Each modest or even dilapidated old building seems to come alive with vigour, proudly showing off.

Khoo Cheang Jin

But Kiah Kiean’s sketches are not direct, realist representations of the old buildings and street scenes of George Town. They are always imbued with his passion and affection toward his home city. By representing the buildings and street scenes with a twist, he is in effect expressing his affectionate impressions of his subjects.

In the sketches, Kiah Kiean embraces his subjects, be they buildings or street scenes, with strokes of thick and thin lines in so powerful a manner that the subjects are somehow twisted. Such an affectionate embrace of his subjects is always interesting and very often touching.

Tan Yeow Wooi

Dry Twig & Chinese Ink

Following the publishing of my book, I got into contact with a Taiwanese artist, Professor Carton Chen. Professor Chen is a retired lecturer from the National Yang-Ming University in Taiwan, and a co-founder of Urban Sketchers Taipei. In 2011, during my vacation to Taipei, I received a very warm welcome from Professor Chen and his fellow art friends. We immediately hit it off and started sharing about our own art practices. I remember Professor Chen telling me how he draws with an ink-stained twig. He explained how he stores his ink in a little jar containing a sponge for convenience, reducing spillage and improving ink control. I was fascinated.

The following day, I went sketching in Tamsui District with some Taiwanese artists. During the session, I tried out Professor Chen’s twig pencil technique and fell in love with it instantly.

After returning to Penang, I made many monochrome sketches with dry twig and Chinese ink. I mostly used smooth surface paper in 2011-2012.

For more twig and Chinese ink sketches from 2011 and 2012, click here.

I had my fourth solo exhibition Line-line Journey in 2011 and released a book under the same name, Line-line Journey.

Last Christmas Eve, I was thrilled to receive a present from a faraway friend. Penang Black & White, a collection of postcards by Malaysian artist Ch’ng Kiah Kiean arrived in the mail. His lines are a rich artistic language that tells stories of old towns washed pale by time. His lines are dense in some areas and sparse in others, generating contrast and rhythm like the most beautiful melody.

Ung Vai Meng

To me, through the lens of Kiah Kiean’s drawings, I am able to see the lands and structures of Malaysia – the little tropical former British colony. Even though KK rarely draws people, it feels like I can see the little alleyways where different races live in harmony. It is as though I can feel little glimmers of life that peek through KK’s strokes of dense and sparse and dark and light. There is life in the window panes and roofing that provide shade and shadow, there is life in the cracks of the old, chipping structures that somehow possess a sense of grandeur. With a bold hand, KK presents both extreme precision and spontaneous transformation, creating a seemingly endless interchange of streetscapes and negative space.

雷驤

Eventually, I started to realise that smooth paper does not work very well with the ink-dipped twig as it lacks friction. My strokes were not very easy to control and it constantly seemed like my twig was slipping. I started using traditional watercolour paper, and I found cold pressed paper to be my favourite. I also prefer Saunders Waterford over other brands as the paper is yellowish, giving it a vintage impression. Besides, it is easily obtainable in Penang. Saunders has remained a personal favourite up until this day.

When I started using ink and twig, the greyish tones in my drawing were created through either rubbing a blunted twig on paper or painted on with diluted ink. The blunted twig could only cover small areas. Though diluted ink could solve the problem I still felt it wasn’t enough.

I then gave myself a challenge. What if I managed to create a method with undiluted ink that could cover wide areas in greyish tones with controllable depth and contrast? The initial concept came from traditional Chinese brush painting’s cun-fa (皴法) a method using dried ink to paint mountains, rocks, and tree bark, creating textures and depth. After many experiments, I discovered I could create my desired effect with stiff-bristled stencil brushes that are dipped in ink then dried. I did it! I called this technique ‘dry-washing’.

Artist statement edited by my good friend Song Gang for my solo exhibition Ink-Between.

I started using dry twigs and Chinese ink to draw in 2011, beginning with “dots” and “lines”, but I had to use diluted ink in order to achieve a grayscale “surface”. Later I found that the ink midtone surface can be achieved by rubbing ink with a dry brush on watercolour paper. I call this technique “dry wash”. With this technique, the drawing method with pure ink and twigs has become more complete. Ink-Between represents my dialogue with the traditional ink painting, with an attempt to re-think it and give it a new interpretation.

Ink-Between

For more dry twig and Chinese ink drawings from 2011-2019, click here.

Chinese Ink & Watercolour

It was a long and very much monochrome journey from graphite pencils to twigs and ink. At some points during these years, I have experimented with colours, only to find them difficult to control and easily overdone.

These are old sketches I did with pencil and light watercolour washes. Due to the paper being only semi-water absorbent, I could only use watercolour sparingly and quickly so as to not damage the drawing.

Sometime in 2011, I started applying watercolour to my dry twig and Chinese ink sketches whenever suitable. Then, I used watercolours from secondary school that were long untouched. Most colours had already dried up, so I had to add water to it before every use.

Seeing five colours leave the eyes blind; hearing five sounds leave the ears deaf; tasting five senses leave the mouth numb

Laozi

Eventually, I bought a new watercolours. My artworks became a lot more colourful. They began to border gaudy, and I was confused. Laozi claims that ‘five colours make one blind’. It seems like my excessive colour usage has left my eyes confused and the focal point unclear. The rich pigmentation of my new watercolours has now covered the unique lines of my twig pen.

In the beginning, I blamed this failure on my watercolours being of too high a calibre. Eventually, after a sharing session by artist Ng Woon Lam on colour usage, I then realised my mistake was because I lacked understanding in colour application. My brushstrokes were not confident enough and a little too sloppy, resulting in colours mixing with each other, complicating the painting. I started re-learning watercolour. My colour usage became more minimal, and my strokes more confident.

Inspired by colour filters in photography, I also explored the possibility of selective colouring.

For more twig drawings in colour, click here.

The Magical ArtGraf

During a workshop and trip to Paris in 2017, in an art store near the Pantheon, I stumbled upon ArtGraf, a brand of water-soluble graphite that was produced in Portugal. Its contents are similar to that of regular graphite, but it can be applied with a brush due to its water-soluble nature.

I had already come across ArtGraf product in Italy sometime before that, but it never occurred to me that graphite could be applied with a brush. I think simple solutions are often easy to overlook and sometimes, all we need is just a little pointer! Now, I use it together with pencils as I can have both the fun of pencil and brush.

My interest in graphite was sparked again. Only this time, I added ArtGraf.

The once-bustling Sia Boey market is now converted into George Town’s recreational park. Despite the change, the old tree remains constant.

For recent pencil sketches, click here.

As an artist, it is so common to be met with bottlenecks whether in terms of media, format, or subject matter. I believe this to be the artist’s challenge and daily homework. Every breakthrough should be celebrated, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. The artistic journey is one that has to be taken alone, as no one is as sensitive to changes in your artworks as you.

Below are my recent twig and Chinese ink drawings, some coloured. Here, I used a harder twig and thinned the tip to allow for more variations in thickness and line quality. This little change has allowed me to accommodate more detail in my drawings.

For more recent dry twig and Chinese ink sketches, click here.

Now, I select brighter and more transparent colours. When applying, I try to minimize brushstrokes as well.

For more recent dry twig and Chinese ink drawings in colour, click here.

Conclusion

I believe my artistic journey of 30 years can be divided into three periodic timelines – Pencil & Graphite, Dry Twig & Chinese Ink, and Chinese Ink and Watercolour. However, this was not a linear process. In between there were experiments, there were failures, but thankfully all of them could be overcome. These 30 years are just a beginning. I am well aware I still have a long journey ahead of me.

Perhaps it is because I’ve lived on an island for too long, or that I’m not very adventurous by nature, whether it is studying, working, or making art, I have always stayed in Penang, my little island. It was sketching that brought me out of my comfort zone, allowing me to visit new places and make lifelong friends along the way. Writing about my 30 years of sketching seems to me like completing a huge diary, a diary dedicated to my homeland.


To the teacher advisors of Chung Ling Art Society, Mr Chai Chuan Jin, Dato’ Tan Chiang Kiong and the late Mr Teoh Leong Ban, the individuals I first had the privilege to be led by. Thank you for being my inspiration and foundation.

To my sketching buddies who I cycled with – Yik See, Mow Sern, Kheng Hong, Kheng Jin, Meng Sin, Hun Meng, Kean Eng, Guan Long, Chih Ning, Kok Hooi, Chin Soon, Siew Ho, Take Huat, Choon Ping, Siew Wai, Swee Aun, Chok Yan, Kar Keat, Seng Khiam, Fook Long, Kean Jin & Wei Teong. This journey started from you, from us. Thank you for your companionship, thank you for the memories I will forever cherish, and most importantly, thank you for making art fun for me.

Special thanks to Ryan Ng for your time and effort to translate this article.



素描檳城三十載

趁目前冠狀病毒行動管控期間,我整理了自己近三十年的素描作品。

我在初中時期開始學習素描。那時除了「鍾靈美術研究會」的課外活動練習,我也向校外的藝術家習畫。兩位老師分別是陳昌孔及陳來和老師。記得陳來和老師曾對我說過「姓陳公司家廟前的石獅就是你很好的素描練習對象。石獅要畫得立體,筆觸就得學匠師雕刻石獅,每一刀都簡潔有力。」那是我對素描初步的認識。

我就讀的中學當時只有理或商科可選,沒有藝術。我無可奈何唯有選擇理科。我只對生物科有一點點的興趣,其實是只對養魚有興趣!我中學最快樂的時光算是加入鍾靈美術研究會了,那是學校的課外活動之一。當時美術研究會的會所是在母校大鐘樓的下一層,要上鐘樓需經由我們美術會的會所。會所有左右兩個走廊入口,我們只用左側,把右側半露天的走廊作為陶藝室。美術會有早期創會的師長們從英國訂來得石膏像以供同學們練習素描。頑皮的同學們常愛用布塊把維納斯的乳房遮住。

美術會的活動時間為每星期六早上九點至中午十二點,過後少數會員會留下來一起吃午餐然後下坡*(檳城人愛把喬治市以外的地方稱為山上或山頂,下坡即指去喬治市)看電影。當時王家衛是我們的最愛,然而很多時候我都不知道他在拍些甚麼!

課外活動時間之外,那時候我們一群「藝術狂熱分子」也常在星期天相約去寫生。我們是騎電單車出發,有駕照的去載年級較小或家裡管教嚴厲不讓孩子騎車的學弟。寫生成了我中學時期最美好的回憶也是最快樂的時光。當時「玩」的成分是多過認真的畫畫。

我是在那時候愛上「寫生」的。寫生的習慣也是由那時起一直伴我至今。

1990年代的部分檳城鉛筆素描作品,畫於Daler-Rowney A4素描本。

石墨鉛筆

中學畢業後我就讀於檳城理科大學建築系。建築系的訓練讓我對空間的解讀有更深一層的認識和多一分的思考。那時候課業較忙,寫生的次數減少了。但是設計功課仍以手繪,設計呈圖也是手繪淡彩表現。

建築系畢業後,我馬馬虎虎的當了一年多建築設計師,後來改行平面設計至今。2001至2005年期間我以四開水彩紙的格式(28 x 38 cm)鉛筆素描了家鄉檳城。回看那時的作品,許多的建築和街景皆以不復在。其中包括許多老檳城人的集體回憶—社尾萬山*(萬山為檳城地方語言市場之意)。

我是以素描寫日記的!沒有文字,一幅畫就是一頁日記。每每回看自己的素描,當時作畫的感受、天氣、路人的問候、交談偶爾也會湧上心頭,記憶猶新。

收集了一定數量的作品後,我於2002年在檳城清荷人文空間辦了第二次個展「我的素描日記」並由已故恩師陳來和先生主持開幕。

更多2001至2005時期的作品請看連結

在一個偶然的機緣因設計印刷工作剩下一些質量頗好的長型圖畫紙,我就用來素描檳城街景。改變慣用的格式讓我有新發現。開始時困擾我的問題是我無法把建築的整個立面完整畫完,如畫天就沒法有地,如畫地就需捨棄上半部的街道;若硬要把全部立面畫完則比例需縮小,畫不了細節。這對我而言是個新挑戰,於是我開始思考新的構圖模式。

我開始問自己「為甚麼一定非要畫完整的建築立面?」我可自由選擇的呀!取上取下,構圖由我自由決定。「捨棄」比「填滿」更為重要,這發現頓時讓我茅塞頓開。

於是我嘗試了一個新的畫法,不勾勒建築的整體,憑經驗和感覺在腦海中簡單構圖後就從一定點下筆,讓線條和塊面四方擴散。方向可上可下,可左可右,隨機應變,變化多端。我的畫面構圖更為自由了!

我手隨我心。

之後我發現這種格式和畫法很適合檳城的街景,在2009和2010年間我大量的畫了該格式的街景素描。

更多2009至2016時期的鉛筆素描作品請看連結

2009年尾我展出了那一系列長型檳城素描作品「線條的故事」並把好幾年的作品結集成我的第一本作品集《素描老檳城》。感謝當時很多朋友傾力相助,其中包括編輯李凱、翻譯和校對陳耀宗 、寫序的李凱、陳來和老師、陳耀威、邱昌仁及Ambiga Devy。

嘉強涉獵的藝術有很多方面,其中最為人津津樂道的即是他的街景速寫。憑著他對建築物的敏感,加上獨特的誇張但不失平衡的構圖,再配以亂中有序的極富情感的線條,筆下的景物都活了起來。尤其是老房子,再怎麼殘破簡陋不起眼的老屋在他筆下總能被注入新生命,然後很驕傲地展示自己。

邱昌仁

嘉強的素描不是對老街景物寫實的記錄,而是一種有感情的創作。所謂曲則有情,水平垂直的建築物經過誇張的變形,皆成了有情之景。他的素描像是對某一街角或建築物一角撒一團粗粗細細的線索,然後深情地纏抱,以致景物變形得有情有趣,令人感動。

陳耀威

枯枝水墨

也因這本書我認識了台灣的畫友陳文盛教授。陳教授現是已退休的國立陽明大學教授也是速寫台北的發起人之一。2011年我初次到台北旅行寫生,受到陳教授和其他畫友的熱情招待。志趣相投的我們分享了彼此的寫生工具與心得。還記得那天陳教授開車經關渡平原時告訴我他以撿來的枯枝當筆沾墨作畫。墨汁則裝在含有海綿的小罐子中,目的是方便攜帶,控制墨量,不易打翻。

隔天我們和其他畫友相約到淡水寫生。我向陳教授借了他的枯枝筆來試畫,一下筆我就愛上了!

回檳以後我以枯枝筆和墨汁大量畫了一系列黑白檳城素描作品。2011和2012年間我多用滑面畫紙。

更多2011和2012年枯枝水墨素描作品請看連結

2011年我辦了第四次個展「路‧線」同時出版《路‧線》素描作品集。

去年聖誕前夕,叫人喜出望外地收到一份來自遠方的禮物,一套出自馬來西亞畫家莊嘉強的素描名信片專集《黑白老檳城》。作品中,那時而密集、時而空疏的交錯線條,以豐富的藝術語彙,編織起一幕幕歲月洗刷後的舊城故事,奏出了一段段光影交織的動人樂章。

今天,欣聞嘉強舉辦個人素描畫展在即,在送上本人衷心祝福之餘,心裡更期待著:什麼時候和這位素未謀面的青年朋友,拿著鉛筆、畫板一起穿越窄巷橫街,或在檳城,或在澳門。

吳衛鳴

予我,那個熱帶的歐人曾經殖民的土地與建築;華人、馬來人、印度人雜居的街巷(雖然畫中幾乎不見一人),生命的樣相熠熠閃爍,在筆觸濃密或疏淡之間;在窗櫺遮棚的暗影之中。那些出現在畫面上古老、殘舊卻有某種莊嚴的建築物,莊君以率性執著的筆,一方面呈現其無比精確的觀察;同時又主觀的任意變形和留白。

雷驤

後來我發現枯枝和滑面畫紙接觸感較不佳,筆勢不易控制,有溜滑的感覺。我開始嘗試用傳統水彩紙來作畫,冷壓中紋畫紙(Cold Pressed)最合我意。品牌則喜歡英國出產的Saunders Waterford,其紙色偏淡黃有古樸之感,也較易在檳城購得。目前我仍使這品牌畫紙作畫。

開始使用枯枝筆時,畫面的灰階是以鈍頭枯枝筆摩擦或稀釋的淡墨渲染。鈍頭筆摩擦的面積有限,很難處理大塊面。淡墨渲染雖可解問題,但我心中總覺得有些不足和不快!

我給自己的挑戰是「如果單以純墨,如何做到大面積兼有層次的灰階效果?」以傳統水墨畫皴法為參考,經過不斷的嘗試,我發現用硬毛拓印筆沾少許墨汁,弄乾,刷於中紋水彩紙上可達那效果。我將之稱為「乾染法」!

經好友宋剛修飾後的《墨間》展覽簡介。

繪事廿載,五年前始用枯木沾墨作畫。「點」「線」漸能得心應手,唯灰階之「面」,除濃墨稀釋渲染之外,久無他法。後偶然之間,發現以乾筆拂刷水彩紙可得暈染之趣,遂命之為「乾染法」。至此墨畫點線面手法略臻完備。《墨間》乃以此法與水墨傳統對話,嘗試反思與新詮。

《墨間》

更多2011至2019年枯枝水墨素描作品請看連結

水墨水彩

從石墨鉛筆到枯枝水墨的一條漫長黑白系列道路,間中我也嘗試佐以顏色。顏色對我而言卻是不易掌控的,一不小心往往畫蛇添足。

以下為較早期的鉛筆淡彩作品。因畫於非水彩紙,紙質不耐水所以上水彩時只能快速及輕描淡寫。

2011年間,我開始枯枝水墨素描於水彩紙,偶爾也為黑白的畫面上水彩。那時用的是中學時期擱置已久的舊水彩盒,很多顏色都已硬化只能加多一點水稀釋。

五色令人目盲;五音令人耳聾;五味令人口爽

老子

後來添購了新的水彩顏料,作品顏色也越來越豐富,越來越豔麗,但我卻迷惑了。老子說「五色令人目盲」太多的顏色讓人感覺眼花撩亂,觀者也迷失。過多和過艷的顏色把枯枝筆獨特的線條美掩蓋了。

開始時我把失敗怪罪於太好的顏料。後來聽了畫友運南「用色」的分享才發現其實自己對於顏色的了解不夠、用筆拖泥帶水以至畫面顏色混濁和混亂。於是我重新學習和探索水彩。用色由「繁」入「簡」;用筆也「反反覆覆」化「直截了當」。

有些畫面我也借用攝影濾鏡手法,局部上色處理。

更多枯枝水墨上彩作品請看連結

神奇石墨

2017年的巴黎素描工作坊和旅行期間,我在近萬神殿的一間美術社發現了由葡萄牙所生產的水溶性石墨(ArtGraf)。其成分和普通鉛筆差不多但特點是可溶於水並能以水彩筆作畫。我通常將它和鉛筆一起使用,如此可兼有鉛筆及畫筆作畫之樂趣。

我之前於義大利工作坊時就知道該品牌產品,但沒想過「石墨」可用水彩筆作畫。有時候想不通的東西經別人一點就通!

於是我又回到闊別已久的鉛筆素描,這次我加了「神奇水溶性石墨」。

近期的鉛筆素描作品可看連結

在媒介、格式、題材間游移常常會遇到瓶頸。我想這是給藝術家的挑戰和功課。每一次的跨越和克服都是令人開心的事,雖然有時只是很小、很細微的改變。這往往只有孤獨的畫家自己察覺得到。

以下為我近期的枯枝水墨及水墨加水彩素描作品。我用了較硬的枯枝當筆,筆頭削薄,所以畫的線條有粗細變化,畫面可納較多細節。

更多近期枯枝水墨素描作品可看連結

水彩用色也選透明度較高的顏色,下筆盡量一氣呵成。

更多近期枯枝水墨加水彩素描作品可看連結

結尾

我把自己近三十年的素描作品分成「石墨鉛筆」、「枯枝水墨」和「水墨水彩」三部分依照時間性整理。但這過程並非是直線式的,間中有很多實驗性的穿插。當然也有很多的失敗,所幸過程中都可以克服跨越。三十年只是一個開始,未來的路還很長。

不知道是島民心態還是自己不太勇敢,我出生、求學、工作都在檳榔嶼這個小島。但卻因為「素描」讓我有機會游走世界多個城市,認識了許多好朋友。三十年的素描作品收集起來就像一本厚厚的日記本––「一本寫給家鄉的日記」。


獻給鍾中美術研究會的顧問老師––蔡傳仁、陳昌孔和已故張龍萬師。

及一起騎電單車去寫生的學兄弟們––益之、茂盛、慶雄、慶麟、明信、漢民、建永、元龍、志寧、國輝、禎順、绍豪、得發、俊斌、兆偉、瑞安、茁原、嘉傑、勝謙、福龍、楗仁、偉忠。



2019-10 Trip to Hanoi

千萬條線 無一是對 無一是錯

記得那晚初抵河內就被他繁忙的交通和噪聲嚇到。

開始時膽怯的我無法越過馬路,過了一會兒我就喜歡在河內大街小巷自由穿梭的感覺。過馬路只要勇敢直接走過就可,沒有車會撞你;隨心所欲,當然還是要注意交通。如過要等到所有的車都按規矩停下才過,那是不可能的!每個城市都有自己的規矩,明白了順應就可。

還沒到河內就久聞其「交通」和「電線」混亂的大名。我拜訪過的東南亞城市如曼谷、雅加達、三寶瓏等都有類似的景觀,電線縱橫交錯,蔚為奇觀。那些城市的線條是有生命力的。

我的第一幅素描就是老街的電線桿。我覺得它像一顆大樹,樹葉由千萬條電線組成,樹幹是方塊空心磚砌成。樹和樹相互連結把整個城市串在一起。

有些「電線樹」下小小的周圍就是一個小販擺攤找生計養活一家人的地方。空心磚的洞是他的臨時置物櫃。「電線樹」的「葉子」––電線團像是街屋上層落地窗外的寄生植物。

雜亂的線條是我喜歡素描的題材之一。因為「亂」所以容易找到節奏,因為「亂」所以城市街景更為生動,也因為「亂」所以畫錯了也沒有人知道。千萬條線,無一是對,無一是錯。

河內的電線把老城串在一起,速寫人的線條則將世界各地熱愛素描的心連在一起。

河內之旅回來後不久,一位年青的越南畫友卻悄悄離我們而去。記得前年大家還在台中的火鍋店喝酒暢聊,靦腆不多話的你臉上總是掛著微笑。懷念你––Phong Khieu。

「近物」Close Objects

大家也許對我的建築素描較為熟悉,四年前我開始嘗試畫建築以外的主題如花草樹木等並發現大自然之美是任何建築都無法取代的。後來的寫生素描除了用心尋找建築不同面向的美之外,也會多留心身邊之「物」。

這次很榮幸有機會在東方人文藝術館和大家分享我近幾年所記錄的一些身旁小物。我把展覽主題定為「近物」而非「靜物」主要是我所描繪的花草、物件都非刻意擺設來作畫。它們都是我生活周遭很不起眼的一些小東西如:在巴剎買來的玉米、海邊撿來的竹根、路旁的枯樹等。

近我們之物,你只要用心觀察就會發現美無所不在。

This is my second solo exhibition in Kuala Lumpur after the first one in 2012. I feel very honoured to be invited by Oriental Art and Cultural Center to showcase my recent “non-architecture” sketches bearing the theme Close Objects – which are common objects or small things in my surroundings. I started this series with some botanic / plant sketches four years ago and realised that the beauty of nature is incomparable with any man-made buildings.

I thus themed it “Close Objects” than “still life” as the objects I have depicted are not deliberately designed for painting. They are the little things common to me such as: corns bought from the market, dried bamboo roots collected from the seaside, withered trees by the roadside etc.

Beauty is everywhere near you; you just need to observe with all your heart.

Click for more info.