Seven Years

Our local gift shop, Calladoodles, is about to turn seven years old. I enjoy supporting local independent traders, and I have designed and painted some art to help Calladoodles celebrate.

This art is representative of the red envelopes which are often used to contain money, and given as gifts at times of celebration as part of Chinese culture. I have attempted to overlay the Chinese characters for ‘seven years’ in gold leaf. I hope they are at least reasonably accurate.

Calladoodles will be including one of these art works in their celebration treasure hunt next week, and the other will be given away as part of my free art project.

The Chinese Art of Listening

I’m in the middle of preparing some illustrations for a client, one of which needs to represent good service. I got stuck for ideas, so I asked Twitter for some visual cues to help describe what good service looks like. Among the replies, Meg Peppin suggested that because good service comes from paying attention, I should explore the Chinese symbols for listening. My curiosity aroused, off I went – and here is my attempt at representing what I found.

The Chinese Art of Listening

Ears are represented in the top left, eyes in the top right. In the bottom right we have the heart, separated from eyes by a line representing focus, and in the bottom left we have the mind. Together they stand for wholehearted listening, paying full attention. I struggled making this with acrylic paint and a stuff brush so I had another go with a bottle of black ink.

The Chinese Art of Listening

The shapes flowed better this time though I was still using the same stiff brush. Lastly, I returned to some acrylic paint and had a go at abstracting the characters representing focus and heart. This time I made a thick mix of paint and tried to create some depth in the shapes I painted. You may be able to see this effect better in the close up picture.

Focus and Heart

Focus and Heart - Close Up