Updates from the Last Chance to Paint team

Day 5 – Person of The Forest.

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

Today is our last day in Mulu before we fly to the very southern tip of Borneo , Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.

Sadly we said goodbye to Robin today, who took a flight back to the UK. We’ll really miss him as we continue our travels south but it has been so valuable having him on board for our Mulu adventure!

Having had a really busy few day since arriving in Mulu, we took today at a much slower pace. This gave John an excellent opportunity to paint the last two paintings from our time here in Mulu.

Today, he painted Deer Cave. The view he chose to paint was from the far end of Deer cave out into, what is known as, the ‘Garden of Eden’. The painting is full of life with bats, birds and butterflies filling the canvas.

His second painting was of Batu Bungan, the Penan village we visited previously. He specially captured Nyapun and his two wives, playing the traditional Penan instruments, the nose flute and their string instrument.

Here’s John to explain a little bit more about how he paints:

“Before I start a painting I create an image in my mind and if I’m not in front of my subject then I gather reference sources which are photographs, videos, memories and field guides (books or leaflets that illustrate wildlife).

A painting is free to change the time of day, move objects around, add people, plants, animals and insects at will and the composition can be changed to create the essence and feel of your subject.

This freedom is the great joy and the creative life of painting as unlike a photograph you can really emphasis parts of the subject or experience or bring in things you have seen on previous days or in my case include birds that I hear in the canopy of the rainforest but never get to see.

When I put the paint on I start with the background (sky first) and work forward in layers adding elements finishing with the foreground.