This work is made for a friend, a mother of the 4 year old girl called Jade. I didn’t set out to paint a traditional portrait: Following the practice of iconography, I was using allegory and symbols, that have special meaning for the Chinese people. My depicted message is for Jade’s future happiness and welfare: The dominant colours and shapes are that of the Jade stone. The importance of the Jade in Chinese culture is reflected in its status as a symbol of goodness, preciousness and beauty. It is also the embodiment of the Confucian virtues of courage, wisdom, modesty, justice and compassion. The polish and brilliance of jade stone is considered to be representative of purity while its compactness and hardness reflect intelligence. The color of jade stone depicts loyalty while its flaws reflect sincerity. The Chinese also value jade stone because of its brightness; representing heaven, while its substance is representative of the earth. Of course, there is also red, for happiness.
My main motif, however, is the fish: I consciously used it in double meaning: To symbolise the ‘wish for more’ of good fortune, as well as the 'long life' and the number 8 that is the luckiest number there is in China. I meant these in relation to both the girl and the fish.
Because without a healthy world there is precious little left for Jade's generation.
First of a two piece request: A 10 year old girl. I was given free hand on the representation, style and materials.
I choose a 40x40 cm canvas and oil paint. I used a memory to base this picture on: an evening during a holiday spent together... (2015)
The second of a two piece request: A 12 year old girl. I was given free hand on the representation, style and materials.
I choose a 40x40 cm canvas and oil paint. I used a snapshot for this composition that was made right after Charlotte's ears were pierced as her 12th birthday wish came true... a "coming of age" sort of picture. (2015)
This painting was a wedding gift. I was briefed by the bride's parents: Anguilla and the Niagara Falls being in prominent places in their lives. I was also given a series of photographs depicting the couple. I "stole" their body-language from those: the very essence of the two person's relationship, in my view. I used acrylic for the brilliance and layering, and a canvas 50x50cm in size. (2016)
A wedding gift for a couple well known to my family. I was given free hand both technically and in the theme.
I chose the landscape of their shared university-years: of Wales. The groom's chosen career gave me the idea of the bird's-view perspective, and the thought that they might be going to be living on the move made me decide on the colour scheme: a reminder of Britain's unique greens and blues. (2014) For the texture and earthly colour-mixtures I used oil on a 40x50cm canvas.