Brushstrokes on the canvas, slowly and surely they sway and swirl. The joyful chirping of birds outside of my apartment, the noisy hammering from the renovation next door, and the peculiar tuneful accent of a chatty neighbours from their private garden downstairs – all exist at once. Quite surprisingly, they make a blissful cacophony!
I am painting in Florence – the city of ancient art, history and philosophy, well known to the world as “The cradle of the Renaissance”. Initially, I came to seek inspiration for my second book. However, an impromptu decision to participate in a Beijing art expo in three months’ time has also prompted me to paint during my stay here. Many people think that I am fortunate to be living and working as an independent artist who has the freedom to travel to places I love while enjoying the pleasure of working at my own pace. While I agree with this opinion, many people might not know that I was once possessed by fear and uncertainty.
Have there been times when things worked against your dreams? Times when you looked at your dwindling bank account and thought perhaps you should just give up chasing rainbows? And, times when you felt guilty because you were too persistent pursuing your passion?
There were many times that I felt exactly that way.
I embarked on my artistic journey five years ago. In the first three years, being an art professional seemed like a far-fetched dream because I only managed to sell one drawing. There were countless nights while painting alone in my studio, I heard not only the sound of my brushes working tirelessly against my canvas but I also heard the sound of my shattered dream. Clear, loud, and unbearable.
Then, I looked around me. I saw my artworks and an almost-silent voice in me insisted that I carry on painting.
I chose to continue to paint because while painting, I cast my worries away. I chose to keep on painting because I believed that I was preparing for my future. Instead of worrying and complaining about misfortunes, I chose to prepare myself because I believed that when opportunities knocked, I would be ready with artworks in hand to showcase. I would be prepared, anytime.
“If it is not the right time, I will make the time right.” I took my first baby step by holding a solo exhibition to showcase my works and then later, I went on to participate in international exhibitions to gain wider exposure.
While the soft brushstrokes are swaying and swirling on my canvas, I once again listen to the joyful chirping of birds outside of my apartment, the noisy hammering from the renovation next door, and the peculiar tuneful accent of my chatty neighbour in her private garden, I understand why I find all of this to be blissful – it is because I am grateful for the grit and resilience that have brought me to this present moment.
“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” – Napoleon Hill
Huifong is an author, painter and a poet. Her book “A Cup of Simplicity – mixes poetry with her art to depict the art and pleasure of simple living. She is an intuitive painter whose works are sometimes painted without a model, a reference or a photo. Beyond Brunei, Hui Fong’s work has been exhibited in Italy and Singapore. She is also the recipient of the Premio Speciale award from Biennale of Art, Umbria.
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