Different Strokes

JAA & I went to the Pastel Art Exhibition yesterday evening. Good to meet up again – we both felt like our class happened a long long time ago! Good laughs at how recalcitrant we’d been… not finishing our pieces… busier taking photos in class than perfecting our canvases… and at the unexpected friendship we’d found in each other 🙂

Every piece in the exhibition told a different story. Indeed, they were created with very different strokes. Some were bold and rough; others were delicate but no less brave. A few were tiny, and almost overshadowed by larger-than-life pieces if not for their mysterious charm.

“This is my favourite… smaller pieces, it’s easier to draw because you can see the whole picture at once. But this one is so large, much skill is needed to work on the fine details yet still see the big picture…”

That self-portrait was my fave piece too 🙂 The artist had done an earlier, smaller piece – when he was 34. This larger piece, standing at least 2.5m x 1.5m, was of him at 46. Looked more like a photo than chalk art. Told JAA frankly that I thought he looked better at 46 – less haggard, gentler edges, more thoughtful eyes. True, he has a lot less hair now, but he looked… wiser. That kind of growth, shouldn’t be taken for granted.

JAA’s observation was so true too. It takes special skill to be able to go into the details and handle them well while holding on to the bigger picture – in art as well as in life.

My 2nd fave piece was a much smaller canvas that comprised rough, square strokes. An abstract piece on many counts, but the overall picture depicted a village in China. You wouldn’t have been able to tell from looking at the individual strokes (e.g. the people looked nothing like people!) but when seen in the broader context of the entire frame, it wasn’t difficult at all to identify the villagers – even down to what they were doing! Gave me inspiration for what my own style could be like.


Learnt much more about JAA’s story yesterday, and it was encouraging to hear how God again exceeds expectations all the time, for those who trust Him. She walks with such thanksgiving in her spirit.

A certain country, certain jobs, a certain home, certain schools & facilities… certain individuals in their path. Circumstantial provision, big and little extensions of grace.

Belief that there is no such thing as ‘coincidences’. Learning to trust one’s intuition, yet remaining open to the surprising humour of the Lord. Wondering why we still ask for/expect so little when God is really so big.

“Wens, whenever you meet a person, there is always a reason. Always.”

“Negative! But I just knew it couldn’t be… She told me just to wait a little longer, that the sign wasn’t showing just yet…”

“It looked so small there… but it is actually so big!”

“So Wens, if God wants something for you, He will send it to you.”

Different strokes? Yes and No… 🙂



About lilac butterfly

Live. Love. Learn. Laugh. Write. Draw. Colour. Blend. Play. Dream. Cry. Reflect. Pray. Sing. Worship. Bake. Cook. Rest. Give thanks.


  1. God is good all the time!!!!!

  2. count me in your top ten visitors! 🙂

  3. thanks Talin and Ja for visiting!

  4. Hi Wens.
    It’s a wonderful feeling to be back at the library again…
    …but nothing is happier than to see a wonderful friend once again 🙂

    Really had a great time!

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