Okay, how am I going to explain this? Did I just make huge mistakes? Or not?

A week ago, 2 February at 08:09am to be exact, I encountered one of a rare species of bird. A male of Oriental Pied Hornbill, I presumed. It matched with the description – smaller than other hornbill species, black in color and there a small white spot on its face.

According to Wikipedia, it can be found in the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, ranging across Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Eastern and Northern India, Indonesia, Laos, North Peninsular Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the Sunda shelf islands.

I was enjoying my hot morning coffee while scrolling Facebook when I first heard a weird sound. It’s like loud and harsh crackles sounds. I ignored. Until the bird landed at my window and its stuck. I startled. There was something black and big just landed, and I can feel my heart pumped so fast that I can hear the sound.

And I found him. I was so fascinated because, after so many many years, I met a bird that represents my proud state, Sarawak. Not the same species, but this kind of bird, once upon a time roaming freely in our forest. But, not anymore. They lost their precious home because of the human’s greed. So, I decided to paint him to dedicate my feeling for him and called him, BILLY. He looked so tired and weak. Before he left, I manage to take a short video of Billy


I don’t want Billy to become a distant memory. I grab my pencil and canvas, begin to sketch the layout.



After a few hours working on the painting, it turned into like this.


But, I don’t know why I felt so hard, I messed up so many times. I was lost during the progress. My painting turned into like this. I no longer refer to the original photo and just decided to paint with everything I’ve got.


Messed up pretty bad, isn’t it? I feel sad too. I love birds so much. I listened to their sound every morning. I feel calm listening to their songs.  This problem of mine; when I love something so much, I can’t properly illustrate it in the form of painting or drawing. Here, take a closer look.




But one thing I learned from doing that. To unleash the freedom of expression, I need to accept all the mistakes I have made and surprisingly, I found so many secrets hidden in that painting. I’m not going to redo or repair my painting. It stays like that. Billy stayed in that painting. We may not be able to meet each other again. I don’t know where he is now. But, I’m going to put Billy on a wood frame.

IMG_20190209_114621-02.jpegDear Billy, where are you now? I hope you safe somewhere you belong. Thank you for the short visit. You truly brought me happiness and made me feel I’m the luckiest human at that time. 

© 2019 Cha Niki