I had a lovely day out in Brighton. First a visit to Louisa at Oriental Arts, had fun trying different papers. Naturally I bought a couple more brushes, and also spotted, to my delight a ruyi sceptre – I have wanted one for ages! Louisa says it is “village made”, so not quite Qing bling.
Another attempt at translating Chinese Poetry: Du Fu‘s melancholy “Spring Scene” written during the chaos and destruction of the An Lushan rebellion.
There are many different translations, for example.
This is mine:
Mountains round the ruined city,
Spring-grown grass on walls and towers.
Weeping in the time of flowers,
Birdsong jars the parted heart.
Three long months the beacons burned,
No gold worth a loving letter.
White head thinned by fearful fretting,
Cannot hold a single pin.
Hills like heaped gold are quenched,
Her cloud of hair loves the scent of her powdered cheek.
Languidly she draws in her moth eyebrows,
Plays with her hairpins and comb, washing slowlyBlooms surround her in the mirror.
The faces of the flowers seem like the reflections of friends
Newlywed, she dutifully embroiders the gauze jacket
With a pair of golden partridges.
Another enjoyable woodblock printing course with Laura Boswell creating glowing lanterns.
Spring Festival Paintings typically contain a range of items which would not occur together in reality, such as spring blossom and autumn fruit. The items depicted have significant auspicious meanings, with natural and man-made objects mixed together. For example vases mean peace, firecrackers and teapots signify the arrival of the new year.
The Chinese often copied the shapes in other materials – ceramic, cloisonne, jade. So this one is a modern stone copy of the old shape. As I am a lover of bronzes, I thought this would be a fun addition to my shelves.