Everyone calls me by my nickname, Leach, but you can also call me Li Ching 🙂 Many years ago, I dreamed of going to Art School and being an artist. That was Singapore in the 70s and 80s…and so art school didn’t pan out for me. I ended up graduating from the National University of Singapore with an Arts and Social Sciences degree (close enough!), working for a bus company, and then for the government, mostly in HRM and HRD. I still drew and painted off and on but never had much time to indulge. Fast forward to the 2000s and I was now a lecturer at the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences in Bangkok. I taught the Coloured Stone Grading and Appraisal module which was part of the Accredited Gemologist Diploma programme. Through this job, not only did I discover that I had a gift for teaching, I now believed that anyone could be good at something totally different than anything they’d ever done before.
When my family relocated to return to Singapore, I had free time on my hands and I started coaching my kids in Art. I started posting our work on Instagram and Facebook and it was then my friends persuaded me to teach them. I wasn’t confident in the beginning because even though I did well in Art at my O and A levels exams, I’d never been trained formally. I did it anyway. It was my dream right? As I progressed, I realized that it was precisely my lack of formal training that made me well placed to teach beginners. I had none of the art school prejudices and all the patience, pragmatism and empathy of a self-taught artist. Please read the testimonials some of my students have left for me.
What makes me different? My classes are skill-based. Whether you have zero experience or whether you have had lessons, we start with the very basics for both theory and practical. Then we attempt to unlearn old habits, adopt good practices and learn with a fresh eye. I will share with you whatever I know. My goal is not to keep you in my classes for as long as possible, or to get you to come back again and again. My objective is for you to leave in as few lessons as possible with all the basic skills you need to paint what you want, including troubleshooting skills so you can improve on your own with practise.
My adult classes run regularly and on demand. I also run workshops for kids more frequently around and during school holidays. Details on course fees and dates are available here. You can also contact me for more information.
All lessons are held at my home studio in Cairnhill, 8 minutes walk from Newton MRT station or Paragon Shopping Centre. I also work with companies on customized workshops for small groups of up to 20, for e.g. Naiise, National Gallery, Armour Publishing and Willis Towers Watson. I’ve also done volunteer sessions for schools like ACS and SCGS.