n recent years I have down-sized my art collection drastically so that I may focus more on the few remaining pieces making each one that much more valuable. From the Dao de Jing Chapter 22...
Have little and gain;
Have much and be confused.
My Favorite Piece
"Hand-Painted Landscape" (shǒu huà fēng jǐng)
his Ink Painting on Rice Paper
(4in x 6in) is my favorite piece of art. I actually watched the artist paint this using ONLY
the side of his hand and his fingernail. I was in a small antechamber of the Jade Buddha Temple
, in Shanghai, China. While he painted, head down in concentration, I stood silently by his side. Outside the open door a steady rain was falling. There are many specialized artists in China but I had never seen anyone so proficient in this particular method. I remember paying 80元 ($12 US) for the framed piece. I would have paid much more. The Temple itself is one of my favorite places in China. It is a place of peace and refuge, hope and understanding. People go there to help find themselves. I was no different.
keep it on my humble desk to keep me connected to the serenity of that special place.
Prayer Ribbons adorn the Temple Lions and Gates →
Framed Paper Cuts
Striving for Glory (zhēng chuàng huī huáng)
his Paper Cut depicts a beautiful woman playing a flute while riding a large Koi Fish. She is celebrating the Koi swimming upstream against a strong current. The Koi is striving to achieve glory and become a powerful Dragon. The lesson is clear, "Work hard and you will become successful". It is a famous sentiment popular throughout China.
hese two Paper Cuts are each 8x10 inches, signed, stamped, & beautifully framed. I found them at a local garage sale and only paid 1/20 of what they are worth. They are intricately cut and mounted so they cast a small 3D shadow.
Dragon & Phoenix (lóng fèng)
his is the famous eternal dance of the Dragon and the Phoenix. They are playing with the sun which is in the center. Both are powerful mystical creatures that bring great luck and good fortune. They are also known as the Emperor and the Empress and sometimes used to represent opposite, but complimentary, personalities, such as a Son and a Daughter.
Inside Painted Glass
(Fú Lù Shòu) - The Three Daoist Legends
(Shòu Xīng) - Daoist 'God' of Longevity
hese are known as "Inside-Painted Glass". They are hollow glass spheres, 4 inches in diameter, mounted on revolving stands. They are painted entirely with delicate bent brushes through a small bottom hole. This in itself is tricky enough, but also consider that the foregrounds must be painted BEFORE the backgrounds. The glass is frosted on the inside so you cannot see your brush! It is quickly becoming a lost art. It can take several weeks to paint one globe.
(Chuáng wēn nuǎn) Antique Chinese 'Bed-Warmer' - Brass
The writing on the Bed Warmer is a beautiful 1300 year old Chinese poem written in Traditional Chinese:
Meng Haoran 孟浩然 (689-740)
Spring sleep do not feel dawn
Everywhere singing birds
Night wind and rain
Flowers fell, know how many
chūn mián bù jué xiăo
chù chù wén tí niăo
yè lái fēng yŭ shēng
huā luò zhī duō shăo
花 夜 處 春
落 來 處 眠
知 風 聞 不
多 雨 啼 覺
少 聲 鳥 曉
A Book Of Paper Cuts
(jiǎn zhǐ shū) 'Paper Cut Book' - Antique Book with over 50 'Paper-Cuts'
Each Delicate Paper-Cut is HAND-CUT from colored papers.
They are sandwiched in between the book pages. (6in x 7½in)
(jiǎn zhǐ) 'Paper-Cut' Close Up
(zhú shí zì xiù)
Hand Made by my Sister-in-Law
LiLi - Qingdao, China
(16in wide x 20in high)
Don Quxiote de la Mancha ~ Wood Carving
Don Quxiote Wood Carving
10 ½" High