Thursday, 17 May 2012

At The P√Ętisserie Cafe

Upon reaching Paris, the owl historian apprentice decides to indulge herself in some sweet French pastry treats before she enrols into the French language school.

Friday, 20 April 2012



The owl historian apprentice has successfully time travelled to Paris and exclaimed "OUAH" ( like YES! Wow! in French). She's riding on cloud 9!

I used reproduction copies of an antique Parisian street map for the clouds, the big cloud is lined with French themed brass stampings, vintage watch faces and watch parts. A copper toned vintage tourist souvenir piece joins the owl as the focal point. Vintage pocket watch bezels are used as balloons here, well, this occasion definitely calls for some celebration! :D

This artwork measures 16 inches by 16 inches on canvas.

Monday, 9 April 2012

In The Time Tunnel

"In The Time Tunnel"

The time has been set to France in 1851. Contrary to popular time travelling beliefs, one does not travel at blasting speeds filled with blurry dizzy images. Instead everything is magnified and illuminated. One finds somewhat strange bizarre absurd sightings in the tunnel. Some of them are fellow time travellers while many are in fact old irretrievable memories and deep heartfelt sentiments. They, like anyone else, yearn to be remembered, not forgotten or forsaken. Memories which are retrieved will cease to loiter in the tunnel. The owl historian apprentice takes all she sees to heart.

This 2nd piece of the Time Travel collection measures 16 inches by 16 inches on canvas. Antique bisque figurines, vintage hardwares, clock watch parts and brass stampings are glued onto the canvas with trusty epoxy glue. I like how the owl look with the antique optical lens over her right eye :D

The Gears That Set History In Motion

"The Gears That Set History In Motion"

Finally, here's the first piece of my Owl Time Travel collection!

I made a wish on Christmas 2011 that I would wish to time travel to France in the 19th century, this 1st piece documents the moment when gears started shifting in my head for this possibility. It turned out quite different from the sketch that I showed in the previous posting, especially the background. I thought a dark and almost black background gives that mysterious sense of imagination.

This artwork measures 16 inches by 16 inches on canvas. The owl is embellished with vintage clock and watch parts acquired from a watch parts dealer from Eastern Europe. Her head is layered with mainly clock and watch gears, I added a bee in there too, inspired by the saying "I've got a bee in my bonnet!" !

Sunday, 18 March 2012

An Owl Begins Her Time Travel Journey

The last 2 months had been great fun and excitement as I searched local and online for supplies that I would need for my new collection of mixed media assemblage artworks. Ophelia the Owl also a historian apprentice is preparing her journey to France in the 19th century. Here's an initial sketch of how the 1st piece, "The Gears That Set History In Motion" may look like:

Sketchy Thoughts From My Journal

Something was definitely gearing up within Ophelia to go back to historical times. She could hardly wait to be a first eye witness to the arts and cultural happenings of that era, she had to experience it for herself! She has come up with a  list of people whom she wants to meet and places she wants to visit, she's still consolidating her list at this juncture, trying her very best to make the most out of this trip.

Here are the pics of what I had hunted and gathered for this purpose (just part of it):

Vintage Watch Faces

Vintage Small Clock And Watch Parts

Vintage Clock And Watch Gears

Vintage Keys And Hardwares

Vintage Bisque Doll Parts

Vintage Decorative Tourist Souvenir Piece

Will be working on the 1st piece on canvas this week, finished work will be updated here :D

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Have A Googly Valentine's Day!

I'm so delighted and pleased with my Valentine's Day gifts for this year!  A 3.5x 3.5 inches "Kewpieful" Kodak snapshot from the 1970s and an early 1900s postcard of a dolly with glass-like eyes from Germany :D

In the foreground of this photo is Cameo Kewpie doll with a sweet pleated dress and mary janes. She must be really tall, my guess is she must had been at least 20 inches tall or so. She was part of a Valentine's Day party decoration (scribblings behind the photo said so :D) together with several other Kewpie dolls on the altar-like shelf. They all have the googly side glancing eyes. Such a sweet Valentine's Day theme, lots of pinks, reds, hearts and I love how the antique looking ornate altar and mirror seemed to compliment the entire decorations. Besides being attracted to the Kewpie gathering, I'm taken by the wholesome-ness of this Valentine's Day party, all I can say is I would love to had been invited to this party.

This Valentine-themed postcard must be close to 100 years of age! I think this postcard company must had lots of fun manufacturing postcards like this one. Firstly, her eyes are made of a type of plastic which gives the eyes an expressive glass-like look. Secondly, a ribbon was glued at the back of the card so that one can hang it for all to see. Lastly, another ribbon was glued and pierced through to the front of the postcard (where the doll's hand is) and out comes the ribbon with a heart that says "Token Of Love". Everything about this postcard screams cuuuute, from her little fruitpunch cocktail parasol, her shiny golden curls to her watermelon-like smile and yes, absolutely made my day!

May you enjoy the sweet tokens of love this Feb 14th!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Monet's Garden In Giverny

The book Monet's garden in giverny: inventing the landscape proved to be a book filled with rich and insightful records of the impressionist master's life, painting endeavors and his passion for gardening at his giverny house (1883 - 1927).  I found the book to be very useful in helping me to have an insider's peek into how Monet went about designing the landscape, planting the flowers and making it into another masterpiece filled with nature's grandeur. It's time to get to know Monet as a gardener and not just  as a painter :D

The parts in the book that made me smile the most were the letters that Monet wrote back home to his wife, Alice while he was travelling, totally charming! His plants and flowers were constantly at the top of his mind, he worried about them, missed them, just like how a parent would treat a child.


14 October: Monet writes to Alice, from Kervilahouen:
"For the dahlias, I really don't think it's time to bring them in yet, but they could perhaps be labelled, because if there's a frost, it's impossible to know which color they are; lastly, I'm counting on you to do all the things I unfortunately haven't been able to tend t; I'd also like someone to collect a few sunflower seeds for me. (........) The damage to the garden you describe doesn't surprise me."

10 November: Monet to Alice:
"So tell me if the chrysanthemums I sowed are flowering; if so, and there are some pretty ones, please mark them with a bit of wool."


3 April: Monet to Alice, from Antibes:
"I forgot to tell you that for the chrysanthemums it would be a good idea to replant them in the vegetable garden, spaced well apart, so that they can grow, and on my return we'll plant them out; if a few hollyhocks have survived, look after them.


9 March: Monet to Alice From London
"I hope you found the house and the garden, and the greenhouse, all in good order; it would be good if you could keep an eye on everything from time to time; and that Pascal gets a bit used to having an eye kept on him, too; likewise, it would be good to know what is happening at Florimond garden, see if the vegetables are in good shape, and know what has been planted. Eugene ought to be go there twice a week; it would be a good idea to find out and go there the day he is there."

For Monet, everything was thoroughly controlled and mastered in his garden. The book went on to narrate the following:

"The head gardener, Felix Breuil, and his team of five would receive precise orders, passed on to Alice when the artist is not in giverny, and Monet even went so far as to finance the asphalting of the road through Giverny to stop the dust from soiling his sumptuous water lilies. The artist left nothing to chance, primarily because he knew his garden would be his outdoor studio. As soon as he planted the first flowers in 1883, his intention was to paint them: I've had gardening to do, which has taken up a bit of my time, picking some flowers to paint them when the weather is bad." And when he applied for the permit required to make the pond, it was again to have "things" to paint.........the Giverny garden became his quintessential motif at the turn of the century. From 1900 to his death in 1926, Monet painted, and bequeathed us, nearly 400 pictures, not counting the panels at the Orangerie in Paris. More than half these works were devoted to his garden."

Water Lilies 1916

Water Lilies 1904

Water Lily Pond, Symphony In Green, 1899

Monet's Garden At Giverny 1895

The Garden In Flower 1900