Tortoise Mail

Now a day email pretty much replaced the actual mail, I don’t get many mails any more. Gone were the days I would see the mailman making daily delivery to our building but lately we hardly see him. Recently, there are talks of reduce the daily service to three days a week to helps cut cost for Canada Post which inspired me to create this paper cut:

Tortoise Mail”

slow mail


Cut leaf Art


 panda on a bamboo leaf

The more I see art created by computer software the more I wanted to go back to the basic. Lately, I am entertaining the idea of making art with the minimum tools and material.
One day, I was looking at the bare trees (it was still winter) outside an idea came to me: leaves!
That time I was working on paper cut on shopping bags and I thought why not try it on leaf. Since there were no leaves anywhere I then remember the bamboo leaves my mother used for the Dragon Boat Festival:
Every year, to celebrate the festival Mother would make sticky rice bundles which fill with meat, peanuts, salted egg yolk and mushroom and wrap them with bamboo leaves.
A short visit to Chinatown and I was able to found some dry bamboo leaves. A big bundle only cost $3.
The cutting actually was not as difficult as I thought. Here are a couple of my results. limitation is artists’ best friend.

bamboo dragonfly

Art in a Box Part 2

Last year,I meet an artist in San Francisco she was preparing an exhibition in Paris. They were all small paintings on paper, from 6’ to 12” square.  She explained it was easy to travel with and her whole show could fit right into a small suitcase.

I really like her idea of storing her art in a box and this idea planted seed in my head.

Early this year, I started to work on my idea of art in a box. The first two were using paper cut with boxes I had found.

 Here are the two I made last month:

art in a shoe boxcat in a box

However, as I continue to think how to create art inside a box and more ideas came. My latest art in a box is evolved from the paper cut ones I did last month but combined with my watercolor painting.

I first painted this owl in the wood and when I was satisfy with how it look I started to cut away part of the background, in order to add more leaves and branches.

Here is my finished art in a box:

“Owl in the wood”, watercolor, paper cut in a Nike shoe box, 9″x12″

owl in a box

Painting for Mothers day

painting for Mothers Day

magnolia painting for my mother

magnolia painting for my mother

I painted this magnolias painting as my mother’s present for my mom. When I saw the new Canadian magnolia stamps, right away think of my mother.

The Chinese name for Magnolia is (Mulan) jade orchid or tree/wood orchid and my mother’s name is jade in Chinese. The Disney movie Mulan was base on a Chinese Legend Mulan, a beautiful young woman dressed as a young man to take her father’s place to flight the war. Knowing her elderly father would not able to survive if he went.  In Chinese culture, magnolia symbolizes the beauty and strength of a woman.

 My mother is a true example of Mulan, she experience much hardship when she was young but she able to kept her dignity through out. She is like a beautiful magnolia blooms after the hard cold winter.

Watercolor on paper, 10”x10”

One in a Billion

One in a Billion

 China is a huge country both in term of size and population. Since I been living most of my life in Canada which has a small population. I have no concept the population of a billion was like.

One day, I was touring the Forbidden City in Beijing; I was overwhelmed with the sea of people. Although I don’t speak much of their dialogue but I share the same heritage as they were.  Almost no one notice I was from aboard. I was just one of the thousands enjoying the splendor of the palaces.  I love watching them how they interact with their friends and family members. Once I took a look of them, then they move along replaced with another. I will unlikely to see them again. They are just one in a billion. I started to work on this series of portraits of Chinese which I called “One in a Billion” about two years ago.

Usually, I don’t stay on working on the same subject or series for a long time. Somehow this works for me and keep me feeling fresh and excited with the project. I would move back and fore between different series.

Today I am back to the Chinese portrait; this one is watercolor on paper, 12”x16”

one in a billion

 and this one is from last year..

Chinese Portrait

Gallery in a box

iris with yellowwhite orchid

Today being the first day of May which. marks the beginning of the third month of my daily painting.

As I looking back, I can hardly believe how fast the two months gone by. I started in winter and now it is early spring and today it is such a beautiful and warm day.   The last two months, whenever I finished a painting I would put it in a large shoe box. Eventually it expands to two. Today, when I counted them and realized I had produced 75 paintings. Most of them are 8”x10” and all in watercolor. I like the idea how my two boxes of painting are like a portable gallery I can travel anywhere with and weight little.

This Saturday, I would select the ones I like most and taking my gallery in a box to an outdoor art show.

yellow ladyslipper final