Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Peony Reigns

The Peony, symbolic of prosperity and elegance in Chinese culture, reigns today.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Flowers for the Season

There are flowers that bloom especially brilliantly in certain seasons: some are so hardy that the extreme cold only brings out their resilience, while some flourish at higher temperatures, preferring to stay away from cold climate.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Continuing the season of love

Both Christmas and the Boxing Day of 2008 have come and gone, leaving behind a trail of unfulfilled promises, business sale that is. The year-end festive season of 2008 has been described as dismal, bucking the usual trend of brisk sales in the past years. We did play our limited role, doing our fair share of post-christmas shopping by taking advantage of the many dicounts offered.

In between, I have kept up my painting sessions, continuing the season of love through bird and flower painting.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Flowers of the Season

Yesterday was Christmas, and we stayed home and watched a Korean drama (The Delightful Girl ChoonHyang) based on an age-old Korean folk story that depicts unwavering love in the face of threats and pressure of separation, but reenacted in the setting of today. The director believed that the theme of fidelity in love transcends the bounds of time, and has directed an entertaining drama that captivates our attention, one that falls easily to unchanging love in the present world wherein change seems to be the constant.

Anyway, in between, I painted flowers, in their simplicity, without the bright hues that may detract from their beauty, to commemorate this season of love. May all be well, happy, calm, and peaceful.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Mudan (Peony): from prosperity to congeniality

Our monthly painting class was in session yesterday, a complement of six due to a slight expansion as a former member has returned to the fold. Earlier in the morning, Hubby helped me to rearrange the furniture layout in the living room to make space for an additional table so as to provide more comfortable seating.

Under the able guidance of Mrs. Fan, our Arts teacher, we revisited the painting of the Mudan, the flower of wealth and prosperity. Since I have been painting the Mudan for several times now, I was asked to demonstrate painting the petals in a larger form as shown in the second image below. Thanks for the recognition, ladies.

The ladies also each brought a dish or two of delicacies to the lunch that ensued. A congenial learning atmosphere, an uplifting painting expedition, a scrumptuous meal, lively interaction, what more could a coterie of ladies ask for on a Sunday morning?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Appreciating Flowers

Flowers are ubiquitous and have inspired many a poet and a painter, who has transmitted their exquisite elegance through words and artworks, respectively. These are some flower paintings patterned after the collection of Chinese brush painting books that I have accumulated over the years (just months really).

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Zoological-Botanical Nexus, through painting

Due to a change brought about by school/uni exams at the end of fall semester, our buddy painting session was brought forward one day to yesterday. In between, Mrs. Kim has also started painting at home (two), supplemented by one more she painted yesterday as shown below. At this stage, she prefers to draw flowers and plants, leaving me to bring in a pair of birdies to complete the zoological-botanical nexus.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gliding and Perching

A bird glides, and then swoops in for a landing. Perched on a branch, it assumes another form, mouth agape, serenading ...

Both in the company of gorgeous flowers in luxuriant growth.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chirping, chirping, chirping

"Yesterday is but a memory, tomorrow, a dream. But today well-lived is a present, the gift of life," one bird chirps into another, when perched together on a swaying branch, laden with fruits and flowers, forming a great theme for what has become my favorite painting subject.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Commemorating Amitabha's Birthday

Today is Amitabha's birthday, and I would like to pay homage to the Venerable one through chinese brush painting and calligraphy (vowing to embrace the Bodhi mind toward mindfulness unwaveringly).

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Rooster's Family & Chinese Plum

Yesterday was our weekly buddy painting session yet again. Time sure seems to fly when one is having fun. Mrs. Kim brought with her seaweed scallop soap and I made Chinese dumplings. Of course there was painting work to be done: mine featuring a rooster family, its plummage may not be as magnificent as the peacock in the previous blog but it sure makes a commanding stance, crowing its heart out, while Mrs. Kim's, Chinese Plum.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Birds and Wisdom

As WJ commented on my previous blog, I'm indeed trying out painting new kinds of birds, using bird paintings found on the covers of some older issues of BAUS Wisdom Journal published monthly by the Buddhist Association of the United States, courtesy of Sister Ming-Ju.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Two is comapany

The need for companionship is as much a fabric of animal kingdom, herein represented by the birds, as ours as reflected in these paintings.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Change is Good

I'm trying two things today. The first is changing the layout, specifically the background color which I think will better blend with my painting. In the process, there is also a slight shifting around of the various elements on the side.

The second, combining elements from different images, say the birds of one image juxtaposed with the trees or other props from another. Actually, I have started this kind of montage-like painting combination some time ago and I like the results, experimenting with the different combinations of pair and match.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Birds and Flowers: Magical Combination

After last week's break due to Thanksgiving, my buddy painting class resumed today with Mrs. Kim bearing more gifts this time, a belated gesture for my birthday that went by last month almost unnoticeably. One of them is a blouse which blended so well with her scarf (she put it on me to complement the blouse that I had just changed into) that she gave me the scarf as well. Then there were dodol-like tidbits from Korea that are not sweet at all, just the right stuff for hubby.

More brush magic follows, including one by Mrs. Kim (her name in Chinese appearing therein).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Magic of Chinese Brush Painting

It's back to colored painting of birds and flowers. Today's efforts have been inspired by the Brush Magic website. Painters are really like magicians, except here that the magic stays on to enthrall.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Black and White Sketching Style

WJ's comment on my last post got me (re)thinking. I did not intend to use "bland" (a poor choice of Chinese translation admittedly on hindsight) as the antithesis of dynamism and expressiveness. But as interpretation of a usage of a term is always laden with emotion, there is no denying that it connotes being barren, and uninteresting. So I haved opted to use "Black & White" instead in the sense of B&W movies that had enthralled the previous generation of movie goers because of their contents and nostalgic appeal. What's your take on the translation?