Down Memory Lane with Tengku Nor Ashikin

Posted by Lakshmi

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Sometime ago ,  I had paid a visit to Tengku Nor Ashikin's home in Kajang.  It was for her photo shoot for the MIDI magazine and she had kindly invited me to reflect our '1 Malaysia' stand.  Shikin is from  the old school upbringing,  like me ,  where  '  1 Malaysia ' was not just a slogan to be bandied about. It was actually practised without us being told to  and was  part and parcel of our growing up years.    There was no such  division  or labels of Muslims and Non-Muslims  then .  We were all referred to as Malaysians collectively.  I still feel the same and Shikin is no different from me in that sense.  

How do I describe Shikin ? Let me see........ mmmmm  like a  chocolate..... a rich and  creamy praline  filled chocolate , to be precise !  Looks firm on the outside but so soft  and delightful inside -  yup ! that's Shikin !   If you don't know her, you might feel intimidated by her   imposing presence, her no-nonsense demeanor ;   her stern countenance, by her ever enquiring eyes  and by her sharp wit and full confidence in herself. Oh,  she doesn't suffer fools gladly  either ..................... From Shikin's point of view, a spade is a spade and there's no two ways about it; no wishy washy statements, no beating about the bush and going round in  circles..... .  It's a case of WYSIWYG program - " what you see is what you get ". In fact, during my first few initial classes with her, I was somewhat scared to skip her classes , lest  I would be admonished in front of the other students ( that was part of my 'old school' upbringing where you were told by your  parents to make the teacher happy and not the other way around as is now .........)   I was a newbie then and totally in awe of her skills.  My painting skills were zilch at that time -  (  erhmmmm !  it's hard to believe that now, isn't it ?  )  and just so that the others won't make fun of my painting, I'd go home  and practise late into the night , most often until 2 or 3am and get all worked up when I couldn't paint like her !!!   That was the groundwork laid then, practise, practise and more practise ...........................................

  Now, don't let me scare you, because that's only her appearance , for despite the stern facade,  she's just an old fashioned  softie inside.  Shikin is the type who will go all out to help you when you  really need help.  She's the type who will stand by you  in trying times, , takes charge of  situation when the need arises, has  perfected the art of organisational skills  and gives well thought out ideas and advice when required.  She has a generous nature and her laughter is full and  infectious  and  fills  the space around her.   It would be really difficult to be solemn and sombre when she's around  and coupled with her  great sense of humour , you can imagine the fun I have whenever I meet up with her .

Shikin was my first teacher. She was  the one who introduced me to Folk & Decorative Art and I've never looked back since. She's one of the few good teachers that I would recommend and if  you live around her area, do give her a call.   

 I visited her recently and although most of my contemporaries have left, except for  the die-hard student, Datin Masinah, I had a wonderful time with her.  I also did a Khokhloma piece in her class. 

 The pictures below are some of the paintings done by Shikin.   For those would be students/ painting enthusiasts around Kajang, and its surrounding areas,  please contact  Shikin at  019 - 3590095    for further details. 

A beautiful Khokhloma piece done on melamine table ware.  It really is a work of art, Shikin, bravo !

Latticed table mat with morning glory trellis

A beautiful bouquet of tulips done on a table mat cover set 

Ms Norita holding up a winter scene taken  from Ros Stallcup series,  painted by Shikin.  

This is a complete set of 6 table mats  with  hydrangeas on a lattice background. They make ideal gift sets. Wouldn't mind receiving one myself ! 

A beautiful Khokhloma piece  painted onto a  cutlery box.  This was given as a gift to Tuanku Raja Permaisuri  Perlis ( the Sultanah of Perlis ) during a wedding reception.

As  I had mentioned earlier to all decorative painting enthusiasts, please go and learn from  the teacher nearest to  your location or from  anyone well experienced  enough to teach.   Browse through the many blogs which are available online and find a good and sincere decorative artist teacher who knows her craft well.  You won't be disappointed with their  teaching methodology and skills.  In fact, you'd be very happy you made friends with them !  

Over to you , Shikin 

Happy reading and painting


2 Responses to Down Memory Lane with Tengku Nor Ashikin

  1. Blossom inch

    are one good teacher!

  2. Country Arts

    Hi Blossom inch

    thank you for your confidence, btw, is something missing in yr comment or am I being too presumptious ?!


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