The painter of dreams
Norhayati Ahmad has always enjoyed art but only recently discovered her own talent in painting.
Photographs by Djohan Shahrin
Nurul Hayati was once in the beauty industry but recently fell into the world of painting and visual arts.
She owns a spa in Ampang, and leads a busy life as a mother of four. During the Covid-19 lockdowns, though, she and her youngest daughter, Arissa, spent their days painting in order to pass the time.
Norhayati and Arissa complete a batik painting on canvas using acrylic paints. While Norhayati still oversees matters at the spa, she spends the bulk of her time picking up new drawing techniques online.
Norhayati has always enjoyed art but only realised her own talent during the lockdown period. These days, her spare time is spent at the art gallery, enjoying the talent of others and taking inspiration for her own work.
She is nearly always accompanied by Arissa, with whom she exchanges ideas and opinions about the art they see.
Norhayati began taking art seriously in early 2022. The painting on the left is her first, titled 'Little Cabin', and beside it is a night scene done by Arissa.
Norhayati describes herself as a 'painter of dreams' as she takes most of her inspiration from Western art done by US painter Thomas Kinkade. She loves depicting colourful scenes filled with flowers and light.
Much of her painting is done in this green nook, one of her favourite places to work.
Norhayati has completed nearly 20 paintings since she began in early 2022. Some, she has sold. Others, she donates to a centre for autism in Hulu Kelang.
Each month, Akademi Remaja Islam Autisma hosts an open house at which Norhayati is invited to exhibit her paintings.
A visitor stops to speak to Norhayati about some of her work.
Recently, Norhayati was also asked to hold a solo exhibition of her work at a mini gallery in Hulu Kelang.
One of her paintings, a 70cm X 70cm acrylic on canvas titled 'Autumn Sunlight', sold for RM5,000.
Back outside, surrounded by sunlight and nature, Norhayati is busy doing what she loves.
She intends to continue developing her talent, so that she can help others even as she grows herself.
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