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I’ve found greater fulfillment in life, firstly through reconnecting with my love for painting from my younger days, and second, I see art now as a means to know myself and challenge my way of thinking – it’s an identity I’d like to grow old with.
Samantha Marie Chan
About the Artist
I’m Samantha, now working as a freelance social media marketeer and I’m Singaporean.
How did you get started in creating art and how does it enrich your life?
Fast forward to 2017, almost a decade later, I was finding myself burnt out at work, wondering what I could do in life. I’d long heard of My Art Space and always wanted to come back to paint. So I took my SkillsFuture credit and pumped it into my first course at My Art Space. Since then, I enjoyed it so much that I told myself, I must not stop painting again, ever.
As such, I’ve been coming to My Art Space since 2017 till now and I’ve found greater fulfillment in life, firstly through reconnecting with my love for painting from my younger days, and second, I see art now as a means to know myself and challenge my way of thinking – it’s an identity I’d like to grow old with.
Please share on your learning experience and what you like about My Art Space
I enjoy coming to My Art Space immensely. It must be the idea of a studio in the park, or something about the freedom to do what you really want during an art session. Here, I can paint what I want, at own pace, and in my own style. Through the process, I discovered the traits about myself that I like (or dislike).
For example, when I started I already understood the basics of colours and had a year’s worth of painting experience from before. However I was also very concerned about perfection, of being as close to the original photo as possible, and I was frustrated when I could not achieve the photo-realistic quality of the photo that I was trying to paint.
Through time, I learnt firstly that maybe hyper-realism isn’t my preferred style, and that each painting is a challenge for me to let go of perfection. When I was young I sought to get “As” in class, but now, there is no one to grade me. So I found learning art was also a way to get out of my old mindset of looking for validation through grades.
I also learnt what I was not comfortable with – for example, creating abstract art. To me, painting something from emotion or imagination is still something intangible. While others may paint to express a feeling, I originally started painting with the mindset to capture a beautiful scene so each painting is more like “a challenge” to achieve that final result.
Currently, I enjoy painting with the palette knife as it takes away my need for “painting within the lines”, which is liberating and allows me to paint with bolder strokes and speed. Though I still feeling the need for realism which gives me much tension inside, I am challenged to “recreate” a scene in new ways, to deconstruct in order to reconstruct. But all this is still a work in progress, and a total abstract rendition would be part of my art journey’s future goal perhaps!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given about creating art?
It would be that there is no right or wrong in painting, and that there is no end to it. You can continue adding strokes to it, or call it a day when you feel like it. It’s your art, so do what you want!
What's your favourite artwork?
I was blown away by the art by Scottish artist, Ronnie Ford which was selling for SGD 50,000 at one point in time. I love the way he uses textures, perspective and horizon on his common theme of lavender and flower fields from the French countryside. Looking at his work is so calming and meditative.
I also currently like the hyperrealistic watercolour artwork by French artist, Thierry Duval. This would probably be my ideal style if I was not too impatient or lazy (haha).
What are you trying to communicate with your art?
To me, Art is an exploration of myself, to see if I can do something differently in my painting styles each time I start on a new painting. I also want to capture the beauty of a scene, just like photography – to immortalise it. I don’t quite believe that art must always have a message, to me it is simply capturing beauty for beauty’s sake.
Tell us what plans you have for your art future?
I plan to continue painting as a way of relaxation and self-discovery. While many friends have previously suggested making it into a business or painting commercially viable pieces for sale, I have decided not to add pressure going this way, as I want art to remain something I enjoy – it should help me to escape from the worries of life rather than to add pressure to it.
All rights reserved by the artist for all images of artwork, please do not duplicate or replicate without permission.