Early August has been busy. I sent my two painting scrolls to the exhibition in Maulévrier, France a couple weeks ago. Now I have also sent my other two mounted paintings to Tokyo, Japan where they will have them nicely mounted on hanging silk scrolls. Ransui and other wonderful members at ICCPS will take care of the mounting and transporting them to China. I really appreciate their help!
This exhibition of Chinese paintings will take place October 1 to October 20, 2012 at the Jade Buddha Temple in Anshan City, China. It is organized by the International Chinese Calligraphy and Ink Painters' Society in conjuction with the the Province of Liaoning Artists' Association, and sponsored by the administration bureau of Anshan City. The works of artists from China, Japan, United States, Canada, France, Netherlands, Germany, Russia , and Australia will be exhibited.
October 1 is the National Day of China and the start of a 7-day national holiday. So attendance is expected to be high. The Jade Buddha Temple houses the largest jade buddha statue in the world. The statue was sculpted from a piece of jade 7.95 meters high, 6.88 meters wide, 4.10 meters thick, weighing 260.76 tons. Here is a photo of the Jade Buddha Temple where my paintings will hang.
I am so honoured that I have been invited back to the China exhibition. I participated last year, where the exhibition was held at the Anshan Museum. Here are the photos of last year's exhibition: http://oystudio.com/news2.html
The Art As A Healing Force Exhibition organized by the Art for Cancer Foundation at the Toronto City Hall was a success. Over 60 international artists displayed their work and several shared their healing stories through art. Two hundred people attended the opening event.
I went on opening night, and the moment I walked into the Rotunda, I was surprised to see my paintings in a very prominent spot.
Cid Palacio, the organizer, told me my fish painting was the first one in the exhibition that someone inquired about purchasing. Unfortunately, I did not want to sell those two paintings since they were very dear to me during my own healing process. Anyway, it felt good that my paintings were popular : )
Instead of donating a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of the original paintings to the charity, I donated cash out of my own pocket. I am also donating proceeds from the sale of some prints I have committed. Art for Cancer Foundation is a really worthy cause. It is a non-profit charitable organization, committed to improving the quality of life of people living with cancer by providing an outlet for creative expression through the arts, and by supporting research into the cause, control and cure of cancer. They also offer a series of free painting workshops designed to help people living with cancer, (patients, families and care providers) explore their creativity, escape, relax and engage with others who understand what they are going through. If they hold workshops in my area, I've told Cid I would volunteer.
I just dropped off my artwork for the "Art As a Healing Force" Exhibition at the Toronto City Hall.
The exhibition is held by The ART for Cancer Foundation from February 17 to 24, 2012 in the Rotunda at the Toronto City Hall. The multi-media exhibit will help raise awareness of the power of the creative process as a healing force, as well as promote the ART for Cancer Foundation’s free creative programs for cancer patients.
My two paintings describe how art helps in my own healing journey from gloom to glee. "Wait Up" was done when I was stuck at home recovering from my cervical spine injury. Watching the world go by and off work, I felt utterly helpless and useless. So I yelled out in the painting "wait up" !
I painted "I Am Back" in celebration of my recovery. After being cooped up at home for so long, I can finally get out on my own and have some fun. Wheeeeeee, I'm Back!
I hope the paintings will inspire those who are suffering from diseases or losses . The Art for Cancer Foundation which was founded by Cid Palacio does just that. It is is a non-profit charitable organization, committed to improving the quality of life of people living with cancer by providing an outlet for creative expression through the arts, and by supporting research into the cause, control and cure of cancer. It is a truly worth cause, and you can visit the organization's website at : http://www.artforcancerfoundation.org
Happy Year of the Dragon! I'm still in the midst of celebrating Chinese New Year which started January 23, 2012. We celebrate the whole week long, and for some people for two weeks!
Even though I grew up in Hong Kong, still a British colony at that time, and have immigrated to Canada for a long time, I still observe the traditions because it is part of my culture and I think it's fun.
2 days before New Year - thoroughly clean the entire house to sweep away the bad luck of the previous year. Get a haircut and buy new clothes, socks, shoes to welcome the new year.
New Year's Eve - family reunion dinner.After dinner, one can go to a Chinese New Year's Eve fair to buy auspicious flowers like peach blossom or plants like mini tangerines for the New Year. Others would go to a temple at midnight.
New Year Day 1 - house to be decorated with red items and put away brooms so that good luck will not be swept away. Welcome guests with a red box full of candies and dried fruits. Wear new red outfit (sometimes even down to new red undies ^.^ ); visit elder relatives ( or call them if overseas); give red packets to little kids. If you are still single, you are still considered a "kid' and you can still receive red packets (with money inside! )
New Year Day 2 - visit my own family - again, call if overseas (married daughters are supposed to visit their own birth parents on this day)
New Year Day 3 - do not socialize with friends on this day as this day is prone to argument
New Year Days 4 to 6 - continue celebration and make sure you greet anybody you see with an auspicious saying
New Year Day 7 - celebrate this day which is supposed to be everybody's birthday
New Year Day 8 to 14- continue celebration and auspicious greetings
New Year Day 15 - this is Chinese Valentine's Day, so celebrate again !
Those are just fun traditions I follow. For those who want to know more about how the Chinese Zodiacs work, here's some information.
The Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar, incorporating elements of a lunar calendar with those of a solar calendar. The start of the year is based on the cycles of the moon, and this year it falls on January 23.
A complete cycle takes 60 years and is made up of five cycles of 12 years each. The animals representing the rotating 12 year cycle are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
In addition to the 12 animals, the Chinese Zodiac involves 5 elements: metal, wood, water, fire and earth. These elements are associated with the 5 major planets Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, and Saturn, respectively.
The 5 elements and the 12 animals combine to create a 60-year cycle. This cycle, along with Yin and Yang, directions, the positions of the sun and moon, and the birth date and time are all used to help foresee a person's future.
Shown here is my wild grass calligraphy of the word "dragon" in Chinese. The original oracle bone script is a rough drawing of the dragon. It has evolved to the modern day character but you can still vaguely see the head and body on the left side, the back and tail on the right side.
May this bring you good luck and good health in the new year!
So happy to report that Alfa and Beta have settled comfortably in their new buyer's guest bedroom. Don't be alarmed. I didn't sell my pet fishies, just prints of them ^o^
I got an email from a buyer in New Hampshire who bought a few of my paintings directly from FAA. She had wanted to change the print sizes of two of my paintings, but emailed me instead. When I answered her email, she had already called FAA and got the sizes sorted out. But then she was so happy that I returned her email, she sent me a photo of her bedroom where she wanted to put my paintings.
Then a month later, she sent me photos of the framed paintings on the wall in that bedroom!
Wow, what a perfect match! Great matting and frame color choice! I emailed and thanked her and asked if I could post the photos, and she replied:
Love your prints! The frame shop wants to include them in her portfolio too. Feel free to post a picture...Saw the glass fish at Home Goods and decided your prints needed a friend..." ...and she sent me a pic of the new friend she got for Alfa and Beta...
Here's a big thank you to the buyer who has given my fishies such a warm and lovely home !
I got emails and well wishes after blogging about my pet fishies, Alfa and Beta, and how they accompanied me while I recovered from my cervical spine injury. Just a note to let you all know that after two and half years, I am now 90% recovered, and I'm so grateful for your concern.
I'm going to spend a little time today on my healing journey with Alfa and Beta, and how they affect my art.
When I was stuck at home, the fishies I painted were also not very mobile, and stuck in a tank:
Staying off work and staying home recovering, I watched the world go by and felt the need to catch up. To encourage myself, I painted "Wait Up" , telling myself : "Not to worry, I'll be coming back soon with a roar!"
I would also make them colourful in order to cheer myself up, and make them jump and dance the way I couldn't:
I must mention here that I have been receiving a lot of support from my artist friends on Fineartamerica.com and Imagekind.com. After uploading my art, I've received kind words and wonderful encouragement from them. It has made my healing journey so much fun. I would log in everyday to see what they say about my art. We would also exchange ideas on techniques... it makes the the days go by so quickly.
After two long years, I was healing very well, and I painted "I'm back" in celebration of my recovery. After being cooped up at home for so long, I could finally get out ...Wheeeeeee...
Finally, I was able to get out on my own, and have some fun. It was a great, great feeling, and I painted "It's A Fun World Out There":
So you can see, art can really be a healing process. Not only does it kill time, it also makes me feel productive instead of wasting away. It offers me a way to wander into a whimsical world filled with joy, hope and boundless movement.
I wasn't going to start a blog since I figured it might be too time consuming. But then I just read the blog of my artist friend, Jeanne Wood, and I thought to myself: "hey, that's really interesting! It ties the viewer to the artist with a closer bond". So I decided to start this blog, and with this being my alfa post, I am going to feature my pet bettas, Alfa and Beta.
Alfa and Beta are the pet fishies my husband bought to keep me company while I was stuck at home recovering from my cervical spine injury. Alfa is the red one and he loves to float at the top. Beta is the blue fella and always hangs at the bottom. They are in separate tanks since they are both males and would fight each other to death if kept in one tank.
I didn't venture out and was usually stuck at home recovering from my injury. I would feed them 3 times a day, and watch them blow bubbles. That's when I decided to paint them. Since they were my only live models, I would change their colours or change their looks as if I had a whole school of fish models ^.^
I painted "Betta Bubble" in the midst of winter, being out of commission and confined at home, I felt like my betta fish, gazing at the world from my window like my betta fish looking out from its tiny tank.
I painted "More Bubbles" with Alfa being the model. I felt like my betta fish, being cooped up at home recovering from the injury, I tried to have as much fun as possible in the confined space just like my fish blowing bubbles in its tiny tank. Injecting all the colours in the painting actually helped cheer myself up.
That's why my first blog post is a tribute to my fishies, who have helped me through the difficult times. Thank you, Alfa & Beta!