Artsy Things I Like to Watch and See

Most of the activities I am up to require little physical exertion. I prefer quiet activities.

Lately, I have been obsessed with art restoration, and any day I have twenty or so minutes to spare, I watch art conservator Julian Baumgartner’s videos. You can find him and his work here, here, and here.

I didn’t receive a formal art education (something I sometimes still feel sore about!), so a lot of what I know happens by chance; I read, watch a lot of YouTube, and did a short portion in a university Humanities class analysing paintings, and that only covered the basics. In my late twenties I went to learn life drawing, and progressed to learn oil painting. It’s the medium I am most comfortable with.

I first came across the concept of art restoration in an Elementary episode. The idea still intrigues me, because good restoration is a combination of patience, good art education, some talent in painting and colour, tones, and composition, and interest to conduct research about the artwork, and a high level of expectations when it comes to outcomes and customer satisfaction.

These are some of my favourite videos:

While Baumgartner’s videos are not meant to be step-by-step instructional guides to art restoration, he explains what he does to artwork that comes through his studio’s doors. You can always expect to see how he uses different solvents and cotton swabs to first test portions on what reacts well to remove dirt, grime, varnish and other previous conservations. My favourite part of his videos is always the touching up. I would totally buy his palettes. He is also very organised and meticulous in his work, and that is something I find extremely sexy.

Other forms of art I enjoy consuming are of course music, other visual arts such as architecture (I love patterns), graphic design, ceramics (I sometimes watch people make stuff from clay, although usually the texture of the finished product makes me anxious), and applied arts such as fashion. I am not really well-informed about artists’ decisions or history behind an artwork, but if it is pleasing to my eyes and ears, I don’t really care or think much about it. I also do not read anything “literature” these days; my choice for books is self-help.

S recently introduced me to Zoe Hong, and I am very interested to learn to draw clothes, but I do not have the confidence. Gesture drawing/sketching was tough for me when I took classes years ago, so I cannot begin to imagine how spectacularly I would fail.

Museums are always my go-to when I need some inspiration (not that I do any art worth mentioning) and I like going to Asian Civilisations Museum, National Museum, and I hate to admit this, National Gallery Singapore. Thank you to all the taxpayers who contribute to nation-building, and make this possible for me. (Not sarcastic)

I would like to spend the year making a lot of art. I do not foresee sharing any of my art online, not because I am private, but because I am just so lazy to take photos nicely.

What sort of art do you like?