It has been raining the whole afternoon. Dark, wet, dreary.
I looked at this photo of frangipani flowers by Philip Little. Also dark, wet, dreary.
In Singapore, frangipani flowers are also known as graveyard flowers as they are often found in cemeteries (or what’s left of cemeteries on our tiny land scarce island). My grandmother and mother would refer to it in the Chinese dialect of Cantonese less glamourously as as “死人花” (si ren hua) or flowers of the dead. According to Wikipedia, Asian folk beliefs say that frangipani trees provide shelter to ghosts and demons. The scent of the flowers has been associated with a vampire in Malay folklore, the pontianak.
This photo is interesting because it shows the flowers of the dead in its watery grave. Yet, there is something ethereal about it, something beautiful transcending out of death. I had an enjoyable time painting it.
*Afternote (5 Jan 2013): I learned yesterday that Philip had met with a motorbike accident in Malaysia recently and had passed on. He was over 70 years old, and had remained the free spirit that he always was. RIP Philip.