NIGHT 479 – THE NILE FERRYMAN

The House of Miniature Painting has had a renovation and now has a mezzanine level, stairs and a chimney. This was the cheapest house makeover ever as I just used an eraser to add in the new bits (imagine if it were that easy!)
Mezzanine level has been revamped to include both tapai (middle rendering) and pardakht pardaxt pardaz (final rendering). A flight of stairs has been added since you can move up and down between the upper levels after a certain point in the painting process. We’ve also installed a chimney for the optional highlights after the final outlines.
Don’t worry kids, all will be revealed later when I actually teach you live. Often hard to put these things into words and much better to demonstrate. Even my house has limits whereas painting is limitless…
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NIGHT 477 – THE CHRISTIAN PRINCESS AND THE MUSLIM

10/1001
Midwinter therapy
A new-old approach to calendars
I’m so cold. Thankfully there is a festival to help with midwinter blues. It’s less known nowadays, even in China where it originated. It’s the Dongzhi festival, or the Nine Nines of winter. There are several traditions associated with it; I’ll focus on the painting ones here. How nice to celebrate with paintings! I’m incorporating this unusual tradition into my PhD 1001 artworks. Essentially it’s a painted calendar marking 81 days (9 x 9) counting down from the winter solstice (Dec 21, when we started) until spring, which is marked by the Spring Festival (aka Chinese New Year). Like a painted Advent calendar, except for Spring and one that you make yourself. Each set of nines is characterised by a different coldness (ice, snow, skating, cold hands, visible breath) eventually giving way to signs of spring (ice melting, river flowing again, first signs of life after winter hibernation)… and a beautiful way to mark it is to paint 9 flowers on a tree. Each flower has 9 petals. You paint 1 petal per day, and once you’ve painted 81 petals – once 81 days have passed – it will be Spring Festival and winter will be over (yippee!). This is my midwinter therapy as well as homeschool for my son, a lesson in patience, nature, the changing of the seasons, marking time and basic maths and counting. There are other traditional calendars. We are also completing a calligraphy calendar of 9 Chinese characters each made up of 9 strokes which I’ll share later.
With thanks to Deziremi @deziremi.co.uk, a Chinese bookstore and much more based in the UK for hosting an international Chinese children’s book club where we talked – and sang – about this wonderful festival!
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NIGHT 475 – THE MUSLIM HERO AND THE CHRISTIAN GIRL

Concentration
My wonderful students’ work in progress
Anastasia Doran
Susan Lucas Dobrian
Nadia Khan
Sara Hall
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NIGHT 474 – THE MUSLIM HERO AND THE CHRISTIAN GIRL

Control
Also a work in progress
The two-fingered, intentional brush grip
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NIGHT 472 – THE SMITH WHO COULD PUT HIS HAND IN THE FIRE

Think pink!
Remember the precipitating colour volcano 🌋 from last year? We made the colour rose madder into a lake pigment and turned it into a salmon pink paint! Tropical coral colours are warming. Because I’m stuck in January cold and I’m imagining I’m in the Bahamas (are you?). This is a relatively safe plant colour for kids. All paints are dangerous. We wore masks (used to that now!) as the fine particles are the particularly dangerous part. He mostly watched but had a go at grinding as that’s fun for a kid. Keep it fun. Keep it safe. Take safe risks.
All kids like pink, it’s not just for girls. Montessori got that right with her Pink Tower idea; in fact pink was also for baby boys as was a pale version of red in the past.
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