Once upon a time, housewife Diana Teh was in the midst of searching for her passion when she decided to take art lessons from an immensely talented and well-respected lady artist. She soon discovered her talent in art, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Once upon a time there were two good friends who lived in ‘Cat City’. One was a young entrepreneur, and the other one a full-time housewife. Both were searching for their passions and decided to take art lessons from an immensely talented and well-respected lady artist.
After some months, they discovered that they could paint better than assumed. Their respective homes were soon filled up with their own art.
As the years rolled by, did they become artists?
To cut a long story short, one decided that she is better off as a writer, and the other one is today an artist with her own studio in Kuching.
The writer is yours truly and I am very glad to interview my good friend and artist Diana Teh.
Life for Diana was hardly different than from any other housewife until 2018, when her son’s apartment needed some paintings to decorate its walls. She did one piece and was encouraged to continue. With the outpouring of more paintings, she re-discovered her passion and talent.
With an innate passion towards technology, Diana explores all the possibilities. Though the learning process began slowly only in the last two or three years, she surfs the internet extensively in researching on various art forms. From classic paintings she switched to abstract.
At her son’s apartment, her abstract forms are very different from previous works that I am more familiar with.
Then a visit to her studio took me by surprise. She was always saying over the phone that it is a place where she can have some breathing space and to keep some cats.
It turned out to be a fully equipped art studio and her new works are rather mind evoking. She even had poems to go with some of her pieces.
Why did she create such art with this media?
Diana: I like to create something unique and outstanding with acrylic, oil, recycled stuff and paste media. To make them into fluidity art or textured art. I like the experimental work that leads to interesting textures. Pouring paint with acrylic is challenging because they will not turn out as you plan. I’ve many failed ones too. The pouring medium will create marbling or some cells effect. It will tell you what they are as every individual view them differently. Art is mind intriguing.
What draws her to this form of art?
Diana: Art is therapeutic for me. This media keeps me experimenting and that actually soothes my mind. Results may not always be right but with all the trials and errors, I’ve learned a lot along the journey. I’ve improved from the practising and it gives me the satisfaction of achievement at seeing my ability to balance colours and to be able to have the instinct of what is comfortable.
What does her art mean to her?
Diana: My art evokes my emotions. As I’m an abstract artist. It expresses my feelings. The freedom of an expressionist. Highs and lows. From frustration to great relief when I’m happy with it.
What did she have to learn to create her artwork?
Diana: I would still say I am a self- taught artist but I do learn along with all the artists on social media. I’m amazed with their demonstrations, guidelines and experience it myself. There are so many platforms that you can pick up and learn. It’s my interest to pursue into developing art with creativity. There is such joy when your art turned out successful.
I was an art student many years ago under Lucy Liew who’s now an established artist in the US. From her I’ve learned the basics in depths, shadows, lights and forms. I’m grateful and thankful to my friend, Vicky Fong who got me into art lessons then. Really appreciate what we had learned.
In case you are wondering how much the prices of her art work are, they are proportionate to the high cost of today’s art’s materials especially the pouring mediums and the hours spent on experimentation. A knowing art enthusiast or collector will understand and value the worth of her work, she feels.
Amongst the new generation of women artists in Sarawak, and from a housewife with previously bearing only domestic skills, Diana Teh has moved on to develop exceptional skills in fluidity and textured abstract art.
To all the housewives out there, this artist with five children has this message, “You are not late in pursuing your passion, you are on your own time zone. “
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