Of Pirates and Tea

"Pirates at Tea" copyright 2012 by Vivian Cheung

“Pirates at Tea” copyright 2012 by Vivian Cheung

This painting has a lot to do with two of my friend, Judy’s, loves: pirates and tea parties; therefore, I melded the two subjects to form a setting where young pirates are properly enjoying their afternoon tea. The juxtaposition of rough and dainty was quite refreshing. To add a personal touch, I used my Judy’s beautiful bone china tea-things as references.

That Magical Night of the Fireflies

"Fireflies" copyright 2012 by Vivian Cheung

“Fireflies” copyright 2012 by Vivian Cheung

This painting is for my friends who met when they were in junior high. Their friendship and quiet understanding is evident by the way they relate to each other. Their request was that I portray them as little children in whatever setting I wish. Because they are such fun and nature-loving people, I placed them in a tree with a jar of fireflies, symbolizing the magical nature of childhood discoveries and a quiet moment shared between them and a few other curious critters.

Around the World in Four and a Half Years

sketchtravel

In addition to the Ezra Jack Keats exhibit (see previous post), the Cartoon Art Museum was my second destination in San Francisco. I had no idea that the Sketch Travel Project would be on display and was in for a delightful surprise. I love to view other people’s sketchbooks because they allow me to see the thoughts and processes of their ideas. But this blew my mind as far as sketchbooks go. The Sketch Travel project began in 2006; it was a collaboration between seventy-one artists from twelve countries. The sketchbook was passed from person to person until 2011 when it was completed and auctioned off to raise money for Room to Read, an international non-profit organization.

sketch5

What blew my mind most of all was that Hayao Miyazaki was one of the artists involved. Some of the other incredibly talented artists are:

Yuko Shimizu

Yuko Shimizu

Luis Grane

Luis Grane

Bob McKenzie

Bob McKenzie

Taiyo Matsumoto

Taiyo Matsumoto

Quentin Blake

Quentin Blake

Greg Couch

Greg Couch

Leuyen Pham

Leuyen Pham

I wish I would post all seventy-one pieces on my blog for you to see. By the way, the sketchbook has been reprinted and is available on Amazon.com for purchase. All in all, visiting the two galleries was a breath of much-needed inspiration.

Old Friends on Paper

Books are like old friends; three of my favorite childhood books are The Trumpet of the Swan, Stuart Little (both by E.B. White) and Pipi Longstocking by Astrid Lingren. Books were my constant companions when I was small; they allow my imagination to flourish and they also provide a safe haven for me when I felt lonely. I no longer have copies of my childhood books but to recall these enjoyable characters is like remembering past friendships with old pals.

A Cat’s Meow

In 2000, Muschi entered Maeuschen’s enclosure at the Berlin zoo and never wanted to leave. Muschi (“Pussy”) is a black cat and Maeuschen (“Little Mouse”) is a black Asian bear. No one knows where Muschi came from but ever since Muschi and Maeuschen became best friends, they sun-bathed together and shared food and shelter with each other. To have a best friend, no matter how different, is a cat’s meow indeed.