Saturday, October 06, 2007

Nature and Art

Art, History and Nature come together in this exhibition "Empire of Nature" currently taking place at the National Museum. I've always admired the drawings in the William Faquhar Collection that I have seen here and there. So when I learned that for the first time the entire 477 drawings made as recordings of the flora and fauna in this region are being displayed in the National Museum, I was simply thrilled.

The drawings were superb as can be seen from the samples on the brochures of the exhibition. The drawings were educational as well as appealing artistically. I simply could not go through such an excellent collection of drawings passively.
So I decided to make sketches of some of the drawings, that I had found interesting just so that I have a record of my visit. My drawings below are not meant to be artistic endeavours, just evidence that I have spent time to study closely the details recorded by the artist as observed by him. The actual painting of this Flying Lemur was executed in meticulous detail and you cannot imagine how fine the lines are. Though the depiction of this Flying Lemur may be disproportionate, I find that the face of the Lemur is gentle with large eyes on a small face and yet the way it held on to the branch shows that this animal is strong in survival instincts. This may not be a realistic depiction of an owl but nevertheless the artist had, through the use of colour and patterns, highlighted the beauty of the feathers which I would not have noticed if I had just looked at this painting passively.This watermelon is not round but it does not matter to me. I was drawn to the arrangement of the seeds in the original painting that was in colour. I wondered if the stylish patterns of the seeds were what the artist actually saw or were they just how he wanted them to look in his painting. We often look at what is before us and ignore the fact that there are always two sides to a coin, or leaf, or anything in life.
A typical botanical drawing that was in colour. In just one depiction of this palm, you can see how the leaves look when it is at the peak of its life and how it looks through various stages of wilting.
I did this quick sketch because I have seen this bird before.
I made this drawing from a painting of a very happy mudskipper. It looked so happy that it could almost be a cartoon character. The artist sure had a sense of humour because right next ot it was another mudskipper looking like all the mud in the world has disappeared.
I never knew that pufferfish have such elaborate patterns on their bodies.

No comments: