Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Heavy Weight Birds and Flowers

The two paintings today, lotus flowers and birds in Gong Pi style, and roses in One-stroke style, are drawn on Strathmore Water Color cold press 300 series paper (9" x 12", 300 g/sq.m), a so-called heavy weight paper. They dry considerably faster and do not wrinkle, thus making framing easy. I have some empty picture frames lying around and just might frame these paintings up.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Roses in One Stroke and in Rare Color

A rose painted ala one stroke, may seem less magnificent compared to the previous renditions of Gong Pi style, but it sure consumes much less time to draw.

For the second rose painted ala Gong Pi, Hubby has suggested the purple color, which is a rare color (even unnatural?) for rose, definitely by no means as common as lavender and orchid. Nor does purple rose enjoy a niche in the spectrum of rose color associated with love. If one were to fall back on the meaning of color by itself, then "Purple is royalty. A mysterious color, purple is associated with both nobility and spirituality." So perhaps, that can be what a purple rose symbolizes.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rose as the Symbol of Love: Enduring Passion and Friendship

A rose proclaims, "I Love You". But the nature of the love differs based on color, red being the romantic kind while yellow celebrating friendship. So be aware if you are sending it as an expression of your intentions. Here I would like to dedicate the red rose to my loved one and yellow, to all of my friends. Both are essential ingredients of a fulfilling life.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Buddy + Painting + High Tea

Yesterday's Buddy Painting session ended with a high note of sort: High tea. "High Tea" as a social gathering is commonplace back home, and we have visited many hotels serving such late afternoon snack food on weekends with friends and family members alike then. Because of such "indulgence", we have come to assume that having High Tea is essentially a British tradition as Malaysia was a former colony of the British Crown. That's until I wikipediaed the term this morning:

"The term "high tea" is sometimes used in the United States to refer to afternoon tea or the "tea party", a very formal, ritualised gathering in which tea, thin sandwiches and little cakes are served on the best china. This usage is an analogical construction, the term "high" being associated with social "formality" (rather than a "high", or main, table). Most etiquette mavens advise that such usage is unorthodox outside commercial contexts."

And it adds:

"In recent years, high tea has become a term for elaborate afternoon tea, though this is American usage and mainly unrecognised in Britain. Such usage is disfavored by etiquette advisors, such as Miss Manners."

So in one single moment, my long-held belief has been debunked. So until I am advised otherwise, with etymological evidence, I would stand corrected.

With that linguistic exploration out of the way, let's get back to the matters at hand. First, the paintings. Mrs. Kim has started her three paintings of flowers three nights ago, using the Chinese brush painting guidebook by Yu-shia Liou. This trio is joined by the fourth, a continuation of my Rose series, complete with the fluttering of a lone butterfly.

As for the High Tea, I bought two packets of tea (Georgia Peach and Earl Grey) and several bagfuls of tidbits from Kaleisia in the morning. I then brewed the Georgia Peach and served it using the thin procelain cup set, a gift from the Japanese mother of one of my students in Malaysia (and I'm glad I brought it along). Mrs. Kim came acalling with home-baked Macademia cookies (the kind I like best), and a bag of mixed nuts bought from Sam's Club. After the painting session, Hubby joined in and we talked in typical High Tea fashion, meaning spontaneous and at times wandering, while sipping the hot tea whose fragrance seemed to ensure in the mouth and around the nostrils.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Richness of China Rose

For the rose painting series I started several blogs ago, I have been using a Chinese painting guidebook bought online here. It's entitled How To Draw Peony and China Rose, the second in the Entry series on The Technique of Chinese Painting published by Art Book Co. Ltd, Taiwan in 2005 (see book cover on right), and is one of the best investment I have ever made. The first edition appeared in 1991 and its 71 pages are filled with lucid instructions with excellent explanation on the uniqueness and the distillation of simplicity from complexity that peony and rose appear to the naked eye and their uncanny interpretation on canvas. The roses then have been painted starting from line sketches of a selected scene that projects a tight collection and yet evinces logical arrangement to avoid taking in everything that would only result in clutteredness. This is then followed by coloring in using Chinese brush comprising layered hues of either the dense or dilute forms, or even mixed, to bring out the magnificence of color blend that is the hallmark of the Gong Pi style. The following two paintings follow in the same tradition.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Rose by any other name ...

Or in different stages of growth such as transitioning from a flower bud to a full bloom, or reaching maturity, a ripeness that butterflies find it hard to resist, is still a rose.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Color Spectrum Ala Roses

Continuing from yesterday's inaugural blog on the Rose series, the first two rose paintings complete the array of special meanings revolving around the theme of Love that each rose color symbolizes, literally roses among the thorns.

Red: Love, passion, resepct, courage

Cream: Thoughtfulness, charm, graciousness

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Roses are red, my love ...

That's the beginning part of the lyrics of a popular song, rose being the ubiquitous symbol for love. But here the roses are more than red, and are from China too (Rosa chinensis). How did I know that? Well, I was piqued by its name in Chinese, which appears in the Chinese painting guidebook that I'm using and which translates literally into monthly season, and not the usual Chinese name associated with rose. And I got the above answer from Wikipedia.

Yellow: joy, friendship, freedom

White: innocence, purity, secrecy, reverence

Pink: happiness, gratitude, appreciation, admiration

Orange: admiration, fascination, enthusiasm, desire

Monday, March 23, 2009

Diversity in Similarity

While looking similar, these two drawings display some less than subtle differences. However, the common thread is both birds evince joy that emanates from contentment.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Birds and Flowers in Springtime

Today's paintings are a combination of hand-painted birds from photographs shown in a WWF 2009 calendar (Song Birds) and my own rendition of flowers that adds gaiety to the spring-like atmosphere projected therein.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Flower Painting Par Elegance

The buddies met again today, thanks to the Spring Break, and continued to churn out flower paintings par elegance. As before, Mrs. Kim has focused on flowers alone, which makes the distinction between our works easy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Birds and Leaves

This time is bird in the company of leaves, and colorful leaves at that.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Flower Galore During Spring Break

Last week, WT had the Spring Break. This week is CE's turn, as well as Mrs. Kim's. So she came by today for the buddy painting session, interspersed by a one-and-a-half-hour break where she invited me to watch a Van Gogh documentary at MOSI's IMAX Theatre. The first painting is hers while the rest (orchids) are mine.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bamboo Galore By Accident

There is a reason for the Bamboo galore today. I was transferring the black ink from a big bottle that we bought recently at Pearl Fine Art Supplies introduced to us by Mrs. Kim, to a smaller bottle that I have bought from Michaels (black Sumi ink) and have been using when it spilled onto the table because I have underestimated its capacity. It seems a waste to just wipe the stains off the table. So instead, I dipped the Chinese brush into the shallow pool of black ink and the outcome is before you.