Lijiang to Shangri-la 2006
Spending two months in Yunnan and Tibet brought back memories of past visits to the Center Kingdom in the mid 80’s and 90’s. Though much has changed on the surface, it is still the same crusty China beneath. Ensconced in the ancient village atmosphere of Lijiang and the verdant landscapes of Shangri-la, fueled my passion for painting the traditional in a contemporary fashion. Combining layers of paint with images, sketches and bits and pieces of China found along the journey provided a deep backdrop for the paintings. In Lijiang, I was taken again by the roof tiles and courtyards which define the landscape. In Tibet, the prayer flags fluttering in the trees speak of the countless requests sent lovingly to heaven on the wind by devoted Buddhists. Monks wrapped in burgundy robes wander before white-washed monastery walls or sit chanting sutras below tanka paintings. The Himalayan peaks jutting high above the road towards Lhasa fill the picture frame and testify to the majesty of nature here. Though traveling in China is still no picnic, the vistas and views afforded into this ancient land erase the bumps and bruises accumulated along the way.