A new life at 67.Can a woman start all over again?

Archive for the ‘Painting’ Category

Should I do Bali?

Here comes the difficult part of being alone again.
Diminished funds.
Forty years of not having to consider very much whether I could afford it or not gets to be a habit.
Of course if I had considered it then,I might not have had to consider it so much today, but that is beside the point now.

A friend of mine asked yesterday, if I would like to join her when she went to Bali in January,her husband would be away and she would enjoy the company.

A lovely idea I thought.It would also combine with my having to make a “visa run” (one of the rusty bits where staying in Thailand for more than a few months is concerned)

But now I can’t just say,yes,which I would have done before.
I now have to consider many things,the main one being,can I really afford this,even if I get the cheapest available flight,and basically I am a 5* girl.
Is Bali really worth it.

I suppose I could fast for a few weeks.
Cut out the gin and tonics,which of course I only take for their medicinal benefits in the tropics.
Not send Christmas cards,which I won’t get back anyway out here.
Not start my art classes again,which are an added luxury and I don’t practice enough.
Forget the hair dressers, even though it does only cost 100 Baht.

Yes,I will really have to think about it.


Painting at Baan Sillipin

You won’t believe it but I am going to Art Lessons here in Thailand.

I had read about an art exhibition of Impressionist Paintings and Watercolour in the local paper.

By the time I got around to visiting it the actual exhibition was over,but one morning a friend and I drove over to see what the small Art Gallery where it had been held looked like.

Six Kilometers over a pot holed road full of gravel on the back of a motor bike wasn’t really fun,but the lovely woods and hillside overlooking the sea made up for it.

We eventually came to Baan Sillipin,which actually means Painter’s House in Thai.

It was idyllic.

Set back from the road, a large old traditionally built Teak house greeted us.

It stood alone in the wood ,surrounded by tall tropical trees,their hanging branches and liana giving shade and a feeling of tranquility. Orchids of various hues had been planted in baskets hanging from the tree trunks and on the pond a couple of ducks swam contentedly.

We spent a while looking at the paintings in the gallery. Many very vivid with Buddhist motives,others paintings of western scenes looking somehow out of place here.

My friend being naturally more inquisitive than I am, wondered what was down the wooden staircase leading round the back of the building. We went down and found a large hut,of which the openings for windows and door were covered with mosquito mesh so we could see quite clearly there were people in there painting.

“Lets go in” he said

“No we can’t do that” I answered,knowing how painters don’t like to be disturbed.

In we went.

And that’s how I found Nang,my Art Teacher.A wonderful lady who is teaching me to paint in Watercolour Thai style.

It’s a different technique to the wet in wet method that I had got used to. It’s very bold for water colour,and in the beginning I was a bit sceptical,but it seems to work,especially here.

Last week I finished my first painting at Nang’s,and if I do say it myself I think it’s brilliant.

Khao Takiab Hill

It’s been there since i moved into this little apartment. Every morning I sit drinking my coffee on the balcony and it stares menacingly down at me. If I am up early enough,-and I usually am, because it’s the only time of day when the temperature is pleasant in Thailand,- I see the sun rising directly behind it, silhouetting it’s rocky outline in the Turner yellow light.

Khao Takiab Hill.

It sits,daring me to draw it,paint it or Heaven forbid climb it.

A mini Eiger in the Bay of Siam. On it’s lower tree covered left flank,a Buddhist Temple glitters. The rest is a rock climbers paradise. The expressions on it’s face seems to change with your mood. Daily It beckens me, me like a lost Sirene.

Draw me,paint me.

Today, knowing how difficult it would be I took out my sketch book.

Thailand Revisited

Today is the big day. I am booked on a flight to Bangkok tonight.

The stamp in my passport says I am allowed to stay for a year in the land of smiles,and my life is now in one suitcase.

I’m not sure I like the feeling inside of me.

I will take my laptop,and I have paints and paper to last me through till someone comes over.

Time,will be my own.

I hope all my blogging colleagues will look in now and again,and I will try to keep you all informed of my day to day life in Asia.


Yesterday was one of those perfect late summer days,and my watercolour painting class took off to capture,or maybe not,the beauty of the nearby lake.

Although we are now only four pupils the course still started again last week.

My teacher congratulated me on my new size block of paper and large brush,and was indeed very generous with his comments on what I had painted at the end of the first lesson. Can you believe it,I was even quite pleased with it myself.

So yesterday I was full of confidence as we went to paint the lake again,from the other side.

No problem,I thought,but there was.

Firstly that side of the lake enjoys the full afternoon sun,and yesterday everyone was out enjoying what well might be one of our last really warm days. Families with crying babies, loud youngsters on cycles,walkers making a din with their unnecessary sticks in the gravel, and of course countless pensioners who had nothing better to do then to look over my shoulder and ask if I minded them taking a “gucksle” Oddly enough I didn’t mind it quite so much as I used to which must be a step in the right direction.

Concentration wasn’t easy.

The real problem though for me were the boats. It didn’t matter what viewpoint I took to paint, the colourful boats got in the way. An accomplished Artist would of course have welcomed the colour of the little moored sailing boats in their in their composition but to me they were an unsurpassed challenge. I couldn’t get the perspective quite right,and they moved all the time in the wind,so you couldn’t really copy them, not to mention their important shadows in the water.

I was getting really frustrated at my inability and the noise around me, when my mobile phone let itself be known.It was only a message,but it was something that I certainly didn’t want to read at that moment,and I hoped it would go to sleep, but they don’t do they, the infuriating little peep kept reminding me that I hadn’t read whatever it was,and I eventually had to rummage around in my rucksack until I found it.

Odd how certain things happen, and especially at certain times that really count.

The message was from an Artist friend of mine in England, who I hadn’t heard from in a long time.

He hoped I was O.K and persevering with painting.

Dipping a Brush in Water

I still try to paint.


I don’t practice enough and I don’t let the creative side of me, if there is one, get the upper hand but slog along trying to copy others, whether books or teacher.

By chance a colleague of my husband visited us just as I was returning from art classes last month and I was forced to show him my work.

I don’t like showing people what I paint,I suppose I am a bit ashamed of it.

The colleague studied Art in Munich,although making a career in another field he still dabbles with paint and has had several successful exhibitions.


He told me to throw away all my small paintbrushes-did he realise they cost me the earth,-and buy the largest block of rough watercolour paper I could find.

He told my husband he thought I had talent.

A week later he came over again and brought me a Da Vinci brush, size 24, Jumbo, and a 50 page block of Torchon paper 36x48cm.

I don’t know what it was,the praise,the brush,or the paper.Maybe a combination of all three,but at last I am seeing results and feel that what I am now painting might be good enough to hang on a wall sometime.

I would like to pass on his advice to all other struggling and exasperated watercolour beginners.

The Most Expensive Woman in the World

Sue Tilley is the name of the lady,and she has just been sold for 33 Million Dollars.
Lucian Freud painted her in eight hourly sessions , three times a week over nine monthes.
He called his painting “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping”

She earned about 40 Dollars a time,and is now famous.

Lucian Freud is one of the most outstanding and brilliant portrait painters of our time and “Supervisor” is the most expensive painting ever sold by a living artist.

But he is not for everybody,

as the controversy over his 2001 portrait of Queen Elisabeth II proved. A lot of people thought she should have locked him up in the Tower of London for it.

“I am only interested in painting the actual person; in doing a painting of them,not only using them to some ulterior end of art” says the 85 year old.

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