The artists, E and Lai, have been married for close to 60 years. Painting is a common passion that unites them. During their 20s, they put aside their love for painting for more than two decades, to take care of the needs of a young growing family. In their 50s, and with their children all grown up, they were able to resume their artistic pursuit. Lai signed up and completed a 2-year course at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. While she appreciated what she learned in class, she knew that she needed to continually practise, learn and evolve if she wanted to become a good painter.
For them, painting brings much joy whether they are doing still-life indoors or sketching outdoors.
1990 was when they first went backpacking in Europe. They visited France, Italy, Switzerland and Hungary, where they found the landscapes, street scenes, and old architecture mesmerizing. It felt like everywhere they turned, there were scenes they must capture in their sketchbooks.
In subsequent years, they travelled to China, America and other cities in Europe with their family. These trips widened their exposure and gave them many more opportunities to practise painting in varied settings. “We are grateful to our children and grandchildren for planning family trips which always catered to our love for outdoor sketching,” said Lai.
They also enjoyed painting trips with fellow artists. Besides nearby countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, they also embarked on trips to India, Nepal and Turkey. What a treat it was for them to see and paint such a variety of scenes and historical buildings!