Tuesday, 13 July 2010

My ticket to freedom (10"x12" oil on canvas board)

I have submitted a painting for the 'Freedom' challenge at the Calypso Artist Movement
The Art challenge for July is depicting what freedom is? For this I chose to paint myself with headphones on, sunglasses and a good book, oh and my backpack slumped on a chair, in a sleeper train travelling from Bangkok to Malaysia. I remember the glossy green metal interior and navy vinal seats (which folded into beds to my surprise!). I had been caring for my termially ill mother for a year and I was in need of a break a few months after she passed away. Freedom for me was rejoicing in my my own health, celebrating my mother's life, and getting back out into the world. I had orginal plans to fly to Kuala Lumpur from Bangkok, taking another flight to start a trip in Borneo. However, the demonstrators from the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), which is dedicated to bringing down the prime minister, caused mayhem across Bangkok as they fired on government supporters....and as they set up camp at the international airport, it made my travels a little bit frustrating! But where theres a will theres a way. I'm sure the demonstrators had their own agenda for freedom. For me, the 26 hour journey was freedom, despite the lack of food and water, the cat scratching in the cage next to men, and the cockroaches crawling around my feet. It was a moment where time was my own, I could do whatever I wanted as I had complete freedom of choice. I do miss my mum, and she is the one who always encouraged my painting.


  1. I had a similar train ride once - after working on a new project/job for a solid 6 months (day & night), I took 3 weeks off to travel the US by train. You captured exactly how it felt some 20 odd years ago. Sorry for the loss of your mom. I believe we all meet up again on the other side, so our good-byes are never forever. Thank you for the memory jog!

  2. What a great painting to match your story. Life is often one moment of chaos followed by another, and little, or long moments of silence and can mean so much. I was once "stranded" in Paris while my husband flew the plane home and all of the standby passengers were left behind. Poor me, right? I was not upset or nervous but elated! I got to ride on a train through France, Belgium, and Holland where I waited a few days for the next available seat to open up. For a few days I was on my own, no husband, no screaming babies, just me and the solitude I crave so much. My train ride was only 6 hours or so, with no cockroaches and lots of food, but I think I can understand your freedom a bit. Great story!

  3. Interesting how the light comes in on this picture and what has hard edges and soft edges, the sense of space.
    Isn't that the mystery of art?
    Hugs about your mom.
    Great to meet you.

    Thank you for your words and image.

  4. Sally, your cool color palette is very calming. The lower portion of your body dissapearing supports the dreamy state of your thoughts and the spiritual freedom you experienced on your journey. I enjoyed reading and gazing upon your entry. I hope you will be inspired to do more challenges with the Calypso Moon Artist in the future

  5. It's wonderful that you can look (in your painting) and BE so carefree in the face of loss and unpredictable travel detours in foreign lands. I have to admit, I just checked your profile for your age. I used to adore adventure and uncertainty, but currently I'm almost dreading an upcoming trip to Asia, because I have to leave my plants and my pets, and I can't speak the dominant language. It isn't sad, entirely. I'm sure I'll have a wonderful time, but it's definitely ironic.

  6. Thank you everyone, I have really enjoyed this challenge and your comments have been warmly received xo see you on the next one!