Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bland Sketching Style

I have been busy in the past few days catering to WT's brief return during the Thanksgiving break. A mother's work is really never done. My painting inevitably becomes the unintended "casualty". But I was able to catch a breather today, and here are the results. Two of the paintings are termed as the "bland drawing" (bai miao) style comprising black line strokes without any colored space filling. Don't they look crisp?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hooray! First Chinese Calligraphy Lesson

We had our first Chinese calligraphy lesson last sunday at Brother Yang's house. We started from the basic, writing the character "one" several times, and practiced several calligraphy strokes over and over again. Unlike writing with a pen, calligraphy strokes emphasize the right way to pause, twist, and lift to finish off a stroke. Another important consideration is arrangement, particularly for those Chinese characters that appear lop-sided, usually top heavy. Similarly, the way the brush is held too plays an instrumental role in whether the ensuing calligraphy is free flowing or constrained, the former best achieved with the so-called brush hanging style such that there is more room for the character to flourish. Brother Yang explained that a good holding pattern is such that the palm would just hold an egg without dropping. Brother Yang tried to demonstrate, improvising with a golf ball instead. But the round shape did not lend itself to a good grip and feel.

Here are the results of my first day at the Calligraphy class, admittedly still a long way to go.

This is the famous poem by the famed Chinese Poet, Li Bai, who lived in the Tang Dynasty. We learned to recite the poem while still in elementary school, evoking nostalgia when basked in a moon-lit night.

This is the same poem by Jia Dao that first appeared here. I know, I have an arduous way ahead of me ...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Floral Rhapsody

Like a mid-summer dance ...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Floral Card Display

Another round of floral display on cards, mostly textured.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Sun, the Buddha's Hand, the Fluffy, and the Hanging Cucumber

Flowers and plants sometimes exhibit significant likeness to other images that they end up adopting their likeness in their names. These include the Sunflower and the "Buddha's hand" melon featured today.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Floral paintings in pairs

We have had such fun painting yesterday that our buddy painting session turned out to be a four-hour long affair. I can see and sense the passion for painting in Mrs. Kim, a kind of late bloomer like myself, hitherto always putting the needs of the family ahead until such times when we can have some time to ourselves to indulge in our avocations. And these are definitely exciting times for us in roaming the borderless world of creativity.

Here are the fruits of our mirthful escapade for the day, the guest's come first, disitnguished by her name written in Chinese appearing by the side (and yes, the older generation of Koreans can read and write Chinese too).

After this is my turn ...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Floral Rhapsody on Cards

Today is my second weekly buddy painting session with Mrs. Kim. And I'm anxiously looking forward to the occasion.

Here are colored flowers painted on colored textured cards, hopefully weaving them into a rhapsody of floral delight for your enjoyment.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Principle of Equality, in Calligraphy

The essence of the Diamond Sutra is embodied in the principles of equality. The first of the five was eloquently expressed by the late Master Xuan Hua in the following couplet when he delivered a Dharma talk on Feb 2, 1969 at San Franscisco:

This is the traditonal way of writing a Chinese script, vertically up-down and read right to left.

This is in line with the modern text structure, written horizontally from left to right and up-down.

Translated into English, they can be paraphrased as:

While gradual and sudden enlightment may differ in terms of pace, they become one when enlightenment is achieved. Then why bother with the North-south divide? [Traditionally the teaching of sudden enlightenment is credited to Master Hui Neng, the sixth Patriarch of Chinese Zen School who hailed from the South region while Master Shen Xiu, a contemporary of Master Hui Neng from the North region, is the acknowleged proponent of the gradual enlightment.]

The difference between the Sage and the laity only lasts momentarily since both possess the same Buddha nature. Why should we then be obsessed with the East West chasm? [Tradtionally, the west is where the Pure Land, hence the Western Paradise, is located.]

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Microcosm of Fauna and Flora

Here the fauna is represented by the avian kind while flora, the leaves, the trees, and the flowers.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

More Chrysanthemum ...

More flowers, the Chrysanthemum variety.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Painting with my painting buddy

Yes, I have a regular painting buddy now, Mrs. Kim. Today was our first fun-filled day together, coursing through the fertile virtual mind field of painting the Chinese brush way, a learning journey that is mutually supporting and reinforcing.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Perennial Tree

Today's painting theme is the perennial tree, a symbol of sturdiness, uprightness, truly hoisting the sky and buttressing the earth, besides conjuring up images of longevity and splendor.