Thursday, December 28, 2006

WHY I BEGAN TO DO SMALL PAINTINGSI first thought seriously about doing small paintings that could be finished in a short time in order to do several each day when I was Visiting Professor of Art at Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in Chongqing, China. In April of 2001 my painting class of Chinese students had taken me to Siguniang Shan, or “Four Girl’s Mountain” in Sichuan Province for a 10-day field trip. We stopped overnight at the village of Ri Long before heading for the mountain, then by horseback for three hours, and finally backpacking a couple more hours up to the plateau at the base of the mountain where we would stay for our painting outings. The village of Ri Long is at 3,160 meters and the mountain’s highest point is 6,250 meters. Our cabin was somewhere in between.

In order to show the students what I wanted them to do, I needed to demonstrate, because verbal communication was harder to accomplish since I needed to talk to them through an interpreter and words didn’t always come out the way I intended in the translation. I began to do a series of works and just let the students observe what I was doing, then they could go on to do their own work. The following posts are some of the small works derived from that time.

1. An old matriarch in the village of Ri Long. Not available for sale.

2. The cabin where my 15 students and I slept at the base of Siguniang Shan. Not available for sale.

3. One view of “Four Girl’s Mountain”. 5″ x7″ acrylic on board

4. A dwelling in Ri Long where construction workers lived. Not available for sale.

5. The latch on the cabin door. Not available for sale.

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