5th Anniversary #1: (Don’t Stop Flying) 하늘을 높이 High Up In The Sky

“Forever flying in a place full of beauty… whimsy… & of wonder…”
“Love is like floating in a hot air balloon. The higher you get, the higher you feel!”
Smita Sharma Dabas
“Don’t stop flying 하늘을 높이
하늘을 높이 until you find me”
Taeyeon “Find Me” Lyrics


When I thought about what I should paint at our annual art-jamming session ahead of our 5th anniversary, I originally had a more retrospective idea that would look back at the past year of 2019 and summarise the few key concepts that had been explored in our relationship throughout the year – a painting of seashore, lighthouse, boat and seagulls. I even had a rough mockup of the painting done in a digital form.

However, after I tweeted about my intention to go for an art-jamming session to make our anniversary painting a few weeks earlier, I had a sudden change of idea while meditating just two days before our scheduled first session. I saw images of hot air balloon and airplane against the sunset. I instantly knew that they were upgraded version of my concepts behind my new website banner for this new year of 2020!

Read more about my newly updated banner for 2020 at HAPPY 2020 – HOPE FOR THE BEST.

On my banner, I had used images of a balloon and seagulls as symbols to represent the concepts of “flying high” and “flying far and wide” respectively, both inspired by the lyrics of Taenggu’s new song from her latest “Purpose” album, “Find Me”. However, in hindsight, both balloon and seagulls are vulnerable to natural circumstances like winds and storms. In other words, the pace of reaching their destination seems slow and very much uncertain.

Hot air balloon and airplane, on the other hand, are man-made machines for flight. We humans have the ability to control its speed and direction with much more certainty, unlike balloon and seagulls. It seems like my visions were a sign telling me that rather than letting nature takes its course and allowing myself to be susceptible to external factors, I should take more deliberate human actions of my own to achieve my goals much quicker and with certainty.

It was an interception of ideas, I thought. But it was clear to me at that time that some spirits/ghosts were unhappy about this sudden change of idea. Personally though, I was attracted to this new idea because it is more forward-looking and spiritually more powerful, and I realised I could still adopt my past usual style of painting (black silhouette against a colourful background) to present these hot air balloon and airplane concepts, whereas my original idea of a seaside painting was a totally different and more common style of painting that would seem boring in comparison (and also more difficult to paint in terms of technique).

So that was how my idea evolved from a single painting into two parts – first one, 하늘을 높이 (High Up In The Sky) to be portrayed by a hot air balloon; and second one, 태양 끝까지 (Till The End Of The Sun) to be portrayed by an airplane. And from one art-jamming session, it turned into two separate sessions completed a few days apart.

I did the first hot air balloon part on my first session held on a Sunday. For a change this year, I tried out a new art-jamming studio at Cafe de Paris at 313 Somerset as they have Fave vouchers that would cost me half the price of a session at Arteastiq. But I was quite taken aback when I reached there at my scheduled time 4pm (after I had a yoga class nearby). It was so crowded and packed with art-jammers that there was little breathing and moving space between each easel.

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I had the following photos as references for my painting.

It was supposed to be a 3-hour session, but I managed to complete the painting in about 2 hours. Some things I liked about this new studio were that they already have all of the paint colours that I needed to choose from so I didn’t have to go through the trouble of mixing them first, the paints were easily wet and smooth to paint on canvas and they also have more variety of brushes in different sizes from super big to super small for me to use interchangeably. It was an overall good first experience for me at this new studio! 👍🏼

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As I wrapped up and went to the toilet before taking the train home, I placed the painting in front of the mirror at the back of the cubicle and the light above me started to flicker. I then remembered there was already some spiritual discontentment when I had this new idea a few days back. But I wasn’t too scared by the sudden flickering light above my cubicle because there were other women in the toilet as well. When I got home, it was just me and Tofu. As I looked at my painting for awhile, I heard an angry male voice remarking that what I painted was a bad move…

Despite these negative voices and spiritual reactions, I personally loved how my painting turned out! I spent some time admiring it myself and found some peace and solace from it. Here are more closeup photos of the details! 📸

Now that my 5th anniversary painting part 1 is complete, head over to 5TH ANNIVERSARY #2: (DON’T STOP FLYING) 태양 끝까지 TILL THE END OF THE SUN for part 2! 💜

Listen and Watch: “Runaway” by Tiffany Young (feat. Babyface, Chloe Flower)

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