December 20, 2013

The Shining Moon or Moonshine?

For my next experiment in painting with ancient language on imaginary bottles I started with metal leaf. The metal leaf I used was a composition of brass and copper which had a rich pattern of iridescent colors. I used to used real silver and gold leaf but that became rather expensive and the composition leaf seemed to serve just as well.

I stamped the bottle in the painting with the ancient zhuan words for “the shining moon.” Actually, reading from top to bottom it reads moon first then shine next. Being steeped in the language of another culture in another time, I did not at first realize the joke I was playing on myself by labeling a bottle, “moon shine,” albeit in an archaic script that just about no one would be able to read. I only thought of the romantic shining mystery of a full moon. Even the lid to this vessel I painted white and moon like. The dark surroundings was like a night sky. I wiped and scratched through the dark paint to the shiny metal leaf beneath the surface. A glittering gem of a small painting emerged.

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