Nurture the Simple Joys of Life

26th May 2024 Beena

Hi there, everyone๐Ÿ˜„. I posted a painting of the entrance to Padungan, which is in the city centre and lined with quaint old shophouses. I painted this in watercolour. I faced many challenges. I painted from a photo. I tried to include details on the roof, but the painting differs from the photo. Hence, there were some mistakes๐Ÿ˜”. The cat in that garden is a statue, as some asked me if that is a real cat๐Ÿค”. My friend took the photo at noon, so there were a few shadows. Cars are challenging to paint๐Ÿ˜“. I was unsure if the mistakes were glaring for others.

Mr Sim Poh Yaw, who has passed on, created the original Chinese characters that adorn the building in the painting. His son, Thomas, is the designer of this website. As I can’t read Chinese, I decided to write my Chinese words on the painting. The first character represents Peace, the second is Love, and the third is Harmony. These three values are essential in our lives, and I wanted to convey that through my art. The feedback I received on this painting was genuinely heartwarming. Many of you found serenity in the painting, with one person even saying it ‘looks like Heaven.’ For those familiar with this place, it evoked a sense of nostalgia๐Ÿซ . The cat in the painting symbolises the city of Kuching. Your comments and reactions have made this journey of sharing my art so fulfilling, and I’m deeply grateful for every one of them. 

Reflecting on your comments, I’ve realised that the beauty of art, and indeed life, lies not in absolute precision but in the emotions and experiences it evokes. Ann Chin and Yuwana rightly pointed out that if we seek precision, we should take a photo, not paint๐Ÿ˜„. Agnes’s insight into how painting expresses our feelings about the subject resonated deeply with me. I discover something new about the painting and life each time I paint. It’s a reminder that our pursuit of perfection can often overshadow the joy of simply living and creating๐Ÿค—.


9 thoughts on “Nurture the Simple Joys of Life

  1. Well expressed dear Beena both through art and your words.

    As your friends Ann and Yuwana lies in imperfection..even a photograph of a place changes the effect we get / feel depending on the time of the day it is crowded the place is at that time, the angle at which it is taken and of course the viewers perception what we celebrate is the here and now..๐Ÿงก๐Ÿงก..

    Kudos for the great effort and a most pleasing painting.

    1. Hi Suchi,

      As we have expressed on numerous occasions, why do people only find the defect, rather than seeing the big picture. Once you observe that defect, nothing seems perfect. The whole picture appears tarnished. This applies to how we look at people too. I was at a wedding dinner recently. I met someone who I haven’t seen since 2005. After awhile, she remarked that she would never have recognised me as I looked old and fat. But it didn’t bother me as I am old and fat:):). But I know most people wont be so frank as personal remarks can be sensitive.

      Thanks my dear

    1. Yes, Faridah, we are so absorbed in multiple and bigger stuff and get no joy out of them. Lately, i find that small things made me happy. Like a walk in the park, seeing the sun rise, hearing the birds chirping is good enough.

      Thanks, Farida


  2. This is a beautiful tribute in paint and text to a well known site in Kuching. Iโ€™ve always thought of it as a city gate. The popular and much photographed cat is presented here โ€œundressedโ€. In the course of a year, the iconic feline would have gone through several costume change from Chinese cheongsam to Malay baju to Dayak costume and Indian Sari. This is Malaysia after all, where even cats are multi cultural. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    1. Hi Nyuk

      As for the “naked” cat, I dont think any cat likes to be dressed up:(. In that photo that I painted from, the cat was a white cat and a single one. I remember usually, there are a few cats. Wonder why they were downsized, hmm… interesting. But I prefer a garden with plants,:)

      Thanks Nyuk

  3. In this painting, the middle character
    *็ˆฑ ” is well written.
    Beautiful painting.
    Great !

  4. Impressive piece. So much attention to details. Your last line definitely nailed it “our pursuit of perfection can often overshadow the joy of simply living”

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