A spirit guardian

Moonbae-do, acrylic on wood 1998

Moonbae-do, acrylic on wood 1998

In 1998 I was living and working in Borneo (Brunei). With no internet at work or home nights I would often sketch or paint on the balcony overlooking the jungle. This one was painted on a small wooden panel that was left over from a project. A spirit guardian to look over our door. Loosely based on Korean Moonbae-do painting.


The panel already had a green wash. I started by applying acrylic paint directly from the tube. Creating the smudges that are the paws. Then loosely painted the blue body, painted out to the legs. This gave the creature the floaty, supernaturalness I was aiming for. Somehow one can’t tell if it is leaping, hovering or flying! A darker blue wash over the blue gave it form and finally a size zero brush was used to add the tiny dots before painting the face and orange highlights.


My year in Borneo was very creative. Something to to with the tropical air ;-). I will endeavour to share some of them. Those that I still have. A few were framed and have gone to good homes.

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