Can you see the morning moon in this image, waning, but still dramatic? The fig leaves are kind of pointing to it. The black thing to the south-west in the sky is really a small spider weaving a web in that very same lanai fig tree.
The moon was quite nice last night as I drove home, top down, from the fifth of ten lessons in my current third session of Chinese painting classes that I started last January and continued through the summer. Coming up the freeway, the moon dogged me while I sniffed the damp earth exuding the delicious smell of the recently burned kiawe, the air a little like lapsang souchang tea. The weather has changed a bit, and I've been driving top down again lately, which I especially like to do at night.
I guess I sort of passed my mid-term in class; Lao Shi approved my little landscape and didn't want to change it; the rest of the class applauded.
This could have been because she and the class focus more on flower and bird painting, not shan shui/shui mo landscapes. Or maybe everyone was just being polite. But someone commented, "Wow, that's hard, did you copy it, or think of it yourself." I used the taught techniques, but the landscape did come out of my own mind, inspired partly by the views of the Waianae ridge (see below) on the way home in the evening, their jagged rift-volcanic summits demarcating the line between earth and heaven, Wudangshan memories, and images from the Red Cliff movies. What I find hard, or possibly less personally compelling, is the xie yi flower style. One young woman in the class brought her homework, gorgeous peonies, a copy of one of Lao Shi's demonstrations. "But I can't do that," I said. She told me she's been studying for five years and it was only after two that she started doing flowers. All Taoist cultivation (and this is indeed a cultivation exercise) takes time.
I will just keep on keepin' on my own path, like the little guy in the corner of my painting.
Waianae Range from my lanai in the morning.Just so there's no confusion, the image in my blog title above is NOT the Waianaes, it is Wudangshan, Hubei Province, in China.
And speaking of the moon, this just seems so wrong.