Sunday, December 30, 2007

Flowers Galore and Ruminating

Last night, while the two males in the house were engrossed in watching the day long telecasts of college football bowl games (starting from 1pm till late at night), in between alternating with the NFL game featuring the as-yet unbeated Patriots against the NY Giants, I kept myself busy by drawing flowers, fruits, sceneries of mountains, trees, a bird and a fish, and writing chinese calligraphy, on 16 blank cards. Most are based on drawings in books on loan to me, for a limited time, by one friend or another.

While some are reserved to be used in hubby's blogs, the others (the colored ones) are shown here, in twos.


More flowers.

Still more flowers.

And for a visual change, fruits, singly and in bundles.

Ruminating, the ancient Chinese way, hands joined at the back, eyes fixed on the moon partially obscured by bamboo.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bamboo Garden

This week, I'm on my own again, being half way through the Arts lesson hiatus induced by the holiday season. Can't wait for the break to be over.

I'm devoting this blog to all manners of bamboo drawings, hence Bamboo Garden, a virtual one to make up for the absence of the on-site variety because of the premium on land in a condo complex. The good thing is I get to see it whenever and wherever I want, as long as an internet connection is available.
Bend it to the left ...

Bend it to the right ...

And straight up ...

And criss-crossing ...

And diverging ...
And all bundled up ...

And being discrete ...

Monday, December 24, 2007

Painting on ...

This past Friday is the first of a month long layoff from my Arts class due to the holiday season, starting with Christmas and ending with the New Year. But it also affords me the time to do some free-lance drawing, putting to practice things that I've learned.

Here they are, this week's offering:


Orchids by the rock.

Chinese plums.

Another Chinese plums, this time extending downwards.

Forgiveness, in chinese calligraphy.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Perennials in Nature and Paintings: Trees

Trees have featured prominently in brush painting. For example, the knotty Pine in chinese brush painting, sometimes with its convoluted trunks seemingly emanating from rock cliffs.

So the main theme in my Arts class last Friday (Dec 14, 2007) was the good old tree. And as usual, we started with trees in different stands, different shapes, different canopies. And then we combine these with the elements learned earlier (mountains and rocks) to compose a scenery of nature, much like an ensemble of different musicians playing a symphony: a cacaphony falling in steps to become a melody, harmony par excellence. Of course I still have a long way to go to reach that so-called resonant state where the sum rises above its parts. But incrementally, with perseverance, I will continue to work on it, not so much caring for the end but rather enjoying every bit along the way.

The elemental trees.
More of the same (from a leafy to a defoliated state).

And a scenery where it all comes together, at its rudimentary form.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Passion, Like-Minded Friends, Purpose, Love

I have been drawing since early this week. While I subscribe to the adage that practice makes perfect, I think the enthusiasm is also buoyed by my rekindled passion in drawing, seemingly trying to make up for the lost time while devoting full attention to my family and my work as a teacher prior to my retirement. Another reason is my good fortune in landing a great arts teacher who is eager to share her experience. And to top it all, I could use the products of my creative bent, honed under proper tutelege, to touch another heart, to make a child smile. I'm truly blessed.

A hobby to get passionate about, like-minded friends to share with, and a purpose to it all, all the ingredients of a great retirement. Not to mention a fabulous hubby who would rather spend time blogging about my hobby than doing any of the other things that he could have indulged in.

But enough basking in self admiration. Here are some of the works in progress, as tomorrow it will be back to the drawing board under the watchful eyes of Mrs. Fan.

Wooded dwellings in the shadow of a distant mountain range (camera shot).

A glow as a backdrop to a lone bamboo (camera shot).

Trees among rocks.

A cascading waterfall.

Another cascading waterfall going the other direction.

I guess as long as one's work is founded on love, everyday is a good day, and the chinese character for love is just another excuse for me to practice my Chinese calligraphy (camera shot).

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Unfeeling Beings: Trees, Rocks, Mountains, Lakes ...

Buddhism views the world in two broad categories: the sentient beings, capable of feeling, and the unfeeling beings. Both need further clarifications lest we miscontrue.

Sentient Beings are all lifeforms on earth, including the small critters and inhabitors of the insect world, which are our equals in the eyes of the Buddha. The unfeeling beings are all other inanimate objects that comprise our land, the seas, the atmosphere right down to household items.

This week's arts lesson is on the "mountain and water" genre, in an attempt to capture the beauty, the harmony, and the serenity, of natural scenery. Like all efforts, we start from the basic units, the individual trees and rocks that in combination result in a breathless scene, though obviously my drawings do not do enough justice. But just let your imagination fill in the vision gaps, the scent, etc.

The individual tree elements.

The different rocks of varying shapes and sizes.

Still more rocks, in clusters.

And viola, a scenary, with with my Chinese calligraphy to boot.
And with the human presence (implied).

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Resumption of Arts: Class and Painting

After a two week's hiatus, my Arts teacher resumed her class this week, this time of two since one other classmate has found work and could not join the scheduled class. But the fervor, ours in learning and the teacher in imparting her experience, in no way diminished. Here is a smorgasbord of my efforts for the week, some completed earlier in the week as a prelude to the class, one of which is a summary work of sort combining the various things that I have learned.

Scabiosa (Pincushion flower) (from A Book of Cut Flowers, Sheila Okun, 1988).

Chrysanthemum (from A Book of Cut Flowers, Sheila Okun, 1988). It makes for a nice tea too.

Bamboo, slightly truncated at the top as I drew too close to the top edge of the page, losing the margin required by the scanner.

The Mudan (peony), the blooming flower of wealth and elegance.

The roses, overwhelming the thorns (from A Book of Cut Flowers, Sheila Okun, 1988).

The synthesis, combining the bamboo, the Lan (Orchid), the Chrysanthemum, and the Mudan. Can you spot the odd one out? It's the Mudan, the other three being part of the ensemble termed "The Four Gentlemen" in chinese arts. The missing one is the Mei.

Now here's the real synthesis, the so-called putting it all together, the Four Gentlement, the Mudan, encircling the Goddess of Flower, drawn in the pose of a traditional Chinese Lady, signifying the garden of all seasons, and earning the praise of the teacher. (This is a photo shoot since it is too wide to be scanned.)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Clearing BackLog

This week is another off week for my Arts lesson, the Thanksgiving holidays being the reason. But the show must go on as they say. So I have collected some previously done drawings but which have yet to grace this space for all to enjoy (and to get rid of my backlog too!).

Guan Yin Pusa.

The Mei.

The Chrysanthemum.

Another Mei.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Photo Frame Comparison

As promised, here's the two drawings of trios individually slotted into the triple photo frames bought from Dollar Mart at one buck a piece.

The frames are vertically stacked, but the photographic effect does leave much to be desired. Perhaps one with a orange decor might help (see below).

This is on loan from my teacher: photographs of her home-grown flowers in single photo frames, hence bigger in slot by slot comparison, that cost the same.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Fruits of my Practice

My Arts teacher is out of town this week. So I took the opportunity to do some drawing and painting on my own, practicing the techniques that I've learned in the past weeks. It's kind of a bit of everything: bamboo, flowers, and Chinese lady in traditional dress. Those on white background are drawn on the translucent paper roll that I bought from Michaels Arts and Crafts last week. The price may seem high ($16 per roll) here in comparison with that in Taiwan, but it's more than offset by its immediate availability.

Rippling bamboo ...

There is a reason for this trio. I bought a pair of plastic photo frames. It's curved in plan and has three slots. I intend to cut out the above drawing into three parts (the division is self evident) and put them in the slots. I will show the complete photo frame in a later blog.

The fluttering bamboo leaves. Guess you know where the wind is blowing from ...

These would go onto the second triple frame. Watch this space.

The distracted lady, from reading that is.

And yes, the birds and the bees, and the butterflies too, all drawn in by the fragrance in the air.