How to combine my art, my kid’s Chinese learning, my Chinese learning, our cultural awareness, my brushes, homeschool paddling pool physics lesson about floating (ok, I jest) – how to combine our whole life? Always trying to do everything and this was a simple idea for a Gesamtkunstwerk killing 5 birds with one stone. Because art and life are inseparable, are they not? Maybe some people disagree, I would love to hear their point of view.
On the back of my makeshift Clouds brush boat I wrote 船 chuan boat because… any opportunity for Chinese characters! Any opportunity to set it in a child’s (and my!) memory.
And of course a simple paper boat. These are going in my Door Buddha painting as golden boats (reminiscent of the golden Chinese sycee yuanbao ingots at Spring Festival Chinese New Year symbolising fortune) (any opportunity at all to be culturally aware… and this is just for Chinese learning. I am obsessed… luckily we are doing only one language at a time, mother and son. Otherwise… whole world of cultures to explore and be obsessed by… India, Persia, Russia… and actually the rest of the world 🌍)
FISH First step was to look in wonder at our paddling pool (now a temporary pond) because a fairy had left some (artificial) old Chinese coins there overnight, so fished for them THREAD Threading (fine motor skills, cultural awareness and fact that old coins have holes in them specifically for threading – also, the square in the circle ⭕️ profound symbol but maybe that’s for later) to make the Chinese character 钱qian money (older kids can knot coins into patterns) COUNT Figuring out how many coins make up the strokes (so, bigger number for the longer strokes etc) and sticking in correct stroke order (always) WINGing it because maths not my strong point but am sure just counting is fine for now (other tips welcome) RUB Once stuck down did brass rubbing kind of in correct stroke order (I loved making rubbings as a kid)
The sketch. Just paint it straight, using paint to do the sketch, don’t bother with pencils… also pencils are a different material and I don’t know how they will hold over the years, whereas I am familiar with paint
“HERA is dedicated to Vaishali Prazmari and to the other mothers who have given birth alone in these exigent times.”
My good friend the artist and filmmaker Alexa Seligman has dedicated her piece ‘Hera’ – inspired by the eponymous Greek goddess who gave birth to her son Hephaestus alone – to me and all the other mothers who have done a similar thing… it’s a beautiful 7 min film whose preview is available here: https://maternalart.com/blog/hera
I am touched – both by the film, filmmaker and another good friend who together with my family supported me in spirit throughout that long, long spring night ~