Chinese ink on paper
7.4 x 9.6 in
This early painting is done in the style of the Chinese brush paintings. It has bold brush strokes and simple lines in black ink like Chinese art since the Song Dynasty.
The red Chinese stamp is “David” in Chinese (DaWei 大伟) in Han Dynasty characters. The Chinese seal (Chinese artist signature stamps) is the traditional way of authenticating Chinese art.
The Chinese ink painting is done in a series of washes building up layers of depth and contrast in the final black ink.
“I painted this Chinese-style ink portrait for Beatrice’s university graduation. The graduation was in the morning at Henan Polytechnic University (HPU).
“The weather forecast predicted that it would rain, but it was a bright sunny day with wonderful weather to enjoy the graduation of the first sophomore class of students that I had ever taught. They were just entering university at the time that I was just beginning teaching, so we were all new to the whole university experience (each in our own way.)
“Emotionally, it was important to me to see these students graduate. It felt like completing a circle — completing a cycle of change and transformation — entering and finishing the university teaching experience with the same students. We were different people from when we started. Life had touched and transformed us. We were more knowledgable, more proficient in the world. In the intervening years, I had gone on to teach in Saudi Arabia and visited other countries, however we had all done this, completed this cycle of change together.
“Ah, memories. I’ll never forget going to Beatrice’s birthday dinner. It was upstairs at a restaurant in Jiaozuo, Henan, China. Bear and teacher Bill were also present. There was lots of food and fun to be had. The restaurant served these wonderful spicy and crispy shrimp with puffed rice. I’m not sure the name of the dish, but it was fantastic. I’ve had the shrimp dish several times since then, but I enjoyed them never as much as at Beatrice’s birthday party.”
Dave Alber is a Travel Painter whose illustrations have appeared most recently in That’s Shanghai, Suzhou Review, Open Magazine, and Nepali Renaissance. His comic “Bedding Shanghai” was featured in the 2018 Shanghai International Literary Festival’s Erotic Fiction Contest. For a limited time, Dave’s art catalogue Dave Alber: Travel Art: 2018 Part 1: Intimations can be preordered for free at DaveAlber.com. Longer bio and Artist Statement here.
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