Another commission I've just finished - this one dedicated to a cat called "baby". Actually, i was a little reluctant to do another commission as I wanted to start work on Catamsutra IV, but this was rather special... hope the owner will be pleased with this painting... fingers crossed. Here's a little about Baby via a letter from the owner.

"Baby was abused before we rescued him and as a result, he was alway terrified of strangers. The only people he tolerated in his life were us. If we had guests over, he hid under the bed till they left... He was also very greedy, a bona fide glutton. He probably never got over being starved and he had no qualms about stealing the other cats' food. When he first came, he was so scranny his ribs stood out... he was intensely loyal to my mother. Even though he was not in the least physically affectionate, he would always keep my mother company in the living room and only when she was done watching TV, would he follow her to the ebdroom every night, without
fail... We miss Baby, my mother in particular though she doesn't mention it. She couldn't bear to watch baby being put down but she was there when he was finally at peace..."

In the photo, Baby's about 4... but he died an old man though... I was supposed to deliver the painting last week but the client was feeling under the weather... So get well soon and hopefully, you'll like the painting!


catmasutra IV

Feeling a strong need to be closer to my art. Image after image, from the Internet, from magazines, from photos I've taken, they're slowly forming little swatches of reality (and I'm eating Fruit-tella like nobody's business). Jeans, shower, anime, movies, advertising images, illustrations, fashion, lifestyle, brands, coffee, cups, Milo tins, condensed milk cans, social issues, smoking, rebellion, conformity, kopi, ice lemon tea, politics, greed, otak, tattoos... Something is brewing alright!

"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light get in"... and in the very dim light, a vision for Catmasutra 4...

paulMysh - Sleep!

There's this very interesting story by Haruki Murakami about a housewife who suddenly discovers that she didn't have to sleep. She could stay up all night without feeling the least tired, but instead feel more alive and energetic. The implication of this is that she suddenly gains an extra "day" everyday, time that really belongs to her... think about it and see if you would prefer such a situation... haha "Sleep", one of my earlier paintings and it was actually the first painting I sold! I need sleep man!


Another cool ad for Levis Red Tab Jeans - Hanging. There's a concept somewhere in there for catmasutra... haha Maybe a hanging cat? Below is another ad from Levis that I like...

desk montage 2007

My desk montage now... starring postcards from my favorite artist Yoshitomo Nara (Dead Flower 1994), photos from Christopher Doyle ("There is a crack in everything. That's how the light get in" quoting Doyle quoting Leonard Cohen), photo of a young Joni Mitchell on a motorcycle, Levi's great Ad with dragon tattoo, MOS flyers...

paulmysh - desk montage 2004

It's quiet tonight. My eyes are tired and there's a slight buzz at the back of my head. Been sleeping late and this terrible headache... Well, this was my mood board on my desk at work some time back in 2004. That seemed like such a long time ago haha...It's different now so it's interesting how it changes. Eyes are really a motif here, well I guess they are really the window to the soul. You can always tell by the eyes, the state of a person's soul I think. I put up these montages all the time, rearranging them, replacing them; There's "The Crow" starring the late Brandon Lee, the matrix Animation postcards, drawings from the movie "Underworld", the really very beautiful eye from "Final fantasy" (next to the mug), my cat Halo, Mysh and friends, catmasutra 1 invite card...


Sleep is the best meditation!

"Sleep is the best meditation" - The number one quote for the quintessential catmasutra cat, Halo! (This is one of the first few paintings of Halo that was sold before "Catmasutra" was conceptualized!)

Catmasutra II - Peace Accord II

This is the first painting I did of Halo with a Buddha sculpture in Catmasutra. Instead of the fish bone, Halo has a stalk of Lily. This is probably the official beginning of the Buddha Collection. The theme is similar to that of "The Art of Negotiation", which in essence is "about the way we negotiate with something bigger than ourselves, within ourselves" (March 21, 2007). As in all of the Buddha collection, everything is reduced to a basic relationship - the simple things in life and happiness. Here there is an almost enlightened sense of blissfulness and playfulness in the painting. Also, when I painted this piece, I can't help but see the lines of the Buddha sculpture (the eyebrows and the eyes) reflect the trademark look of the Catmasutra cats.

Also, there is some cause for celebration this week as two sets of twins have safely arrived! First it's the 4 M's, Matthew and Megan with proud parents Marcus and May.Then just yesterday (Sat 7.28am, 7.29am), Celestine and Tristan with big papa Tim, and mama Yvonne. Wishing them all lots of love and happiness!


Shop House

Always liked shop houses! The dream is to be able to have a studio gallery/cafe one day.... called what else - "catmasutra"!

Dogmasutra and Albert Einstein

"The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity..." (Albert Einstein)

Not even sure how I came to this... and I was even more surprised when I realized that this quote was from Albert Einstein. Well, the first instinct is that he was a brilliant scientist, all consumed with the laws of science. But on closer inspection, you'll realize that it doesn't matter if your approach is scientific, theological, philosophical or simply an earnest quest to understand life. It is really about the search and if you search hard enough, you'll discover that there is a convergence of all the laws to an absolute truth - a convergence of the intellect and the emotional, an immediate recognition of something much bigger. Heh heh heh Perhaps the sutra of dogma is about this "discipline"...

"The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the power of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms - this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness." ( Albert Einstein - The Merging of Spirit and Science)



paulMysh has just registered the domain, Dogmasutra- heh! why? Well...

Having grown up with cats, dogs always seem to be on the other side of the equation - two sides of a coin, two different perspectives, two different ways of life! There was once when I did keep a dog (maybe in secondary school). A cool pariah dog that my grandma's friend brought us. Sometimes he would come around in his bicycle and sold us vegetables and fruit and I think my grandma called him "sum po" (skinny). It's different with a dog and I do believe now that anyone who wants to own a dog must go through proper "training school"!

Then we lived in a house and our cats were "picked up" from the streets and they came and went as they please. There was a kind of freedom, a fuss-free-no kitty-litter-to-clear kind of relationship as opposed to a dog, of course, who yearns for company all the time. But dogs are endearing in their own ways ( all dog owners know that), but without proper training, he soon became too much to handle. He was a speedster doggy, running at full speed around the house (that was how we used to play and we were all pretty rough with him, and he just got much bigger and stronger). Grandma was getting older and the situation became difficult.

I could only remember that I was the only person home that day. The van arrived and the man asked me to put the noose around my dog, and they took him away. He looked at me when he was being taken away. It left a bitter taste and I felt that I had betrayed him, and that somehow I was betrayed as well. Ever since, i have not thought about owning a dog...

Well, that's that I guess, and the sutra of dogmasutra is to avoid "dogma", and maybe a tribute to my pariah dog... Well, this painting "furballs" was of my friend's dog and it kinda fits "dogmasutra"... live and let live!

top three rules for an angel cat

The top 3 I N S T R U C T I O N S F O R L I F E of a top cat... in true Catmasutra spirit :

1. Think and live in the present. Past and future are out of our reach. If no one wants to play "fetch" - so be it... though it would be nice if you could just crumple that piece of paper into a nice little ball and hurl it fast and furious just above the surface of the floor like some death-seeking insect...

2. Control your own life. Don't fall into the nice guy trap. Look into my eyes - Learn to say no. If all else fails, just run away especially when you don't want to be hugged to death.

3. Guard time-off by limiting activities (sleep more). I can only pose for so long so if you must, take that photo now. Life's more interesting that way.

Angel zzzZZZZZ


The Peace Accord

The Peace Accord was the first of the "Buddha" Collection or what subsequently led to the Buddha collection. This was exhibited in Catmasutra 1, where the tree frog brokered a peace accord with Halo. The tranquility of the lotus pond in one of those large earthen pots and the serenity of frangipani flowers conspire to be the perfect setting for this seemingly impossible peace treaty. I can't say why but if there's a species of frogs that I would even like, it's the tree frog probably because of its small size, vivid colors and big eyes! I used to be an editor for children's books, and whenever there's a picture book story about the Amazon forest, there would be a tree frog. And it is here at this precise moment that I discovered the "zen" side of Halo, and henceforth, there would always be a painting dedicated to the cat's contemplation of life's quieter moments.

Here's my top 3 "life instructions" from the Dalai Lama for this entry:
1. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
2. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
3. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.


Catmasutra painting - Red Red Wine

Another commissioned painting I've just finished. For this piece, I have to fit Halo into a wine glass (so it has to be Halo when she's little). It's actually quite possible with a large wine glass as kittens are really quite small. They grow up very fast, so if you're intending to adopt a kitten - remember to take photos! The client also wanted a rose instead of the trademarked fish bone. The only times when Halo is without her fish bone are when she's in a romantic mood or when she's in the Buddha series (that's when she turns vegetarian as a symbol of respect). You can buy high-resolution print for this painting at artprintsasia.com. They've just launched the site, and if you're a savvy network marketeer, you can participate in their Rewards$ Program. And yes for this painting, I'm also finishing a Hunter Shiraz 1998 McGuigan wine... Haha It's a shame I can't exhibit this in Catmasutra IV coming year end 2007... I really like this piece too!

Who was that woman?

One of my favorite ads above - Elle Macpherson intimates (from Lürzer's ARCHIVE) Vol.6-2005. Also excerpts from the latest edition, Vol1-2007, a quote from Olivier Altmann, Chief Creative Officer, Publicis Conseil, Paris.

"A good creative is someone who puts the right suit on the idea he or she is working with. Creatives can’t be a stickler for elegance or obsessed with trash culture. Like editors, they need to adapt the look and feel of the subject they are working with to the idea that they need to deliver on the brand... They need to think concept before they think media…"

"The creative director is not necessarily the most creative man (or woman) on board. He (or she) is, rather, the person most skilled at drawing out ideas, defending them, detecting them and selling them…"


Just the three of us on that rainy day...

It rained heavily that day. I ran all around with my camera. From above, I saw the three of us standing steadfastly in the rain. The flowers were all beaten down... but it was a beautiful day.

In the mood...

I was walking back to my bike parked in the opposite alley when "Yumeji's Theme" song began playing in my head. I stood and watched the scene for a while...

Commissioned Catmasutra painting - Where's the Caviar?

Finally finished “Where’s the Caviar?”, a commissioned piece through Utterly Art. Haha – good things come in threes. I’m doing another piece called “Red Red Wine” as well – (hmm… will showcase that in my next entry). For both pieces, the clients love “Night out in the Garden” and wanted the same scheme but of their preferred intoxicants, it seems. This piece is based on one of the world-renowned vintage champagnes by Pol Roger, the outstanding Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill, 1979. Many people like the colors and I’m glad because the deep earthly tones are my favorite (especially the deep red).

You can get the print of “Where’s the Caviar?” at artprintsasia.com (which should be launching soon). There are many pieces that I would love to have them in prints especially those in the first Catmasutra show, as I kinda missed them! Fortunately, I have friends who bought my paintings and they were kind enough to loan me theirs! Okay – time to watch Liverpool vs PSV. Still can’t believe that Man U beat Roma 7-1. Must remember to set the alarm clock – man am I gonna be a zombie tomorrow!


Yaya Papayas!

Everybody needs an angel, a magical mascot that changes the negative into positive. Thinking of writing a book (right now it's an imaginary book) called "Root of all wisdom by Yaya Papaya" (haha a little insider joke...) Just compiling all the little things that makes life worth living, and the proverbial search for the meaning of life. Of course, what makes a life meaningful is different for everyone. Is there a black and white or just shades of grays in between? I used to believe in the latter but if you search hard enough, you'll realize there is a universal "truth". I think the most basic premise is that you must know who you are and what you wanna be. The earlier you figure that out, the easier it is to realize your dreams. For some, it is apparent though it may or not be easy; For others, they just stumble along and "get" it without much effort (think Forest Gump). Then of course, there are people who just can't be bothered by all this - they just get by and do what they're supposed to do - (in Singapore context, many just listen to what the government tells them or succumb to societal norms and pressures). It's like reading an "OK" book without really enjoying it, and believing that that's the extent of it because some "higher power" recommend you that book. Haha and our politicians now want more pay or else no good men will step up and be counted nationally. It's beginning to sound like a broken record, and a never-ending spiral of greed overshadowing the intrinsic value of leading a nation. And we took a bite of the green apple, and what is said will become law before we can say “that sucks!”



Some photos from a collective exhibition I did last year - Non-collectibles. For my part, I showcased the photos I've taken of stray cats in Singapore for the last few years (You can view the collection here) Also i wanted to bring out the beauty in these cats. There were several horrific incidents of cat abuse that were reported in the papers then. Makes you wonder the kind of world we live in. At the same time, you see people working so hard to take care of these cats (eg, Cat welfare society).
The AVA sucks. That's my opinion. Can't see any heart in their actions. Once I have to bail a cat (already neutered) caught by the AVA (because some fellow complained that the cats MIGHT scratch his/her BMW). I have to pay (was it a $100?) for its weekend stay (in a cage with uncleared urine and pieces of food lying around). It was really sad to find such a affectionate cat in such a state. I have been feeding him and have come to know the cat quite well. When i took him away in my car, he stopped meowing and seemed contented to hear my voice. It was a good feeling when I set him free. I returned to look for him but I was unable to find him. I hope he does well in his new neighborhood.
Why do people abuse animals? Kellert and Felthous (1895, 1122-1124) identified nine typologies for animal abuse. 1. to control an animal. 2. to retaliate against an animal. 3. to retaliate against another person 4. to satisfy a prejudice against a species or breed 5. to express anger through an animal 6. to enhance one's own aggressiveness 7. to shock people for amusement 8. to displace hostility from a person to an animal 9. to perform non-specific sadism... Sometimes I'm saddened by children (even adults) who squirmed and screamed at the sight of stray cats. I don't think we have a choice if we ever witness animal abuse - keeping silent is not an option.