Three Pears, or Homage to “Six Persimmons”

Watercolor painting of Three Pears
“Three Pears”, homage to the Chinese Painting “Six Persimmons”

 

Asian art is a constant inspiration to me, so when my friend Debbie brought a bag of pears for me from her tree, I immediately thought of the work “Six Persimmons” when I decided to paint the fruit.

 

“Six Persimmons” is a work painted in 13th century China, by a monk named Muqi Fachang (or Mu Ch’i Fa-Ch’ang). The simplicity and perfection of this particular painting has always fascinated me. It is composed of no elements but six fruits – two dark, two gray, two ghostly white. All perfectly balanced on a mottled background and painted in only blue-black ink. Six Persimmons by Chinese monk

 

To compose my 21st century painting, I chose three pears and lined them up on the table. As I painted, I immersed myself in Looking – paying attention to each fruit and its utterly unique shape, its subtle reflections, the curves of its stem and leaves, the tiny flecked spots on its golden skin. Yes, an ordinary pear. But each fruit unique.

 

The paintings, Chinese and American, are very different – my watercolor infused with 21st century optics of color and perspective, the 13th century painting with a tradition of simple ink strokes.

 

Yet the meditative impulse is common to them both. The always difficult exercise of rejecting the urgent – whether the laundry, the business phone call, the overdue errand. Honestly, my own struggle, year after year.

 

Being fully present.

 

Seeing Each Thing for Itself.

 

I can only smile and know that I am a part of this timeless pursuit of artists through the centuries.

 

 

“Three Pears, or Homage to Six Persimmons”

Triptych, custom framed in dark grain wood. Overall dimensions 24″ w x 13″h

$729. 

Contact me for purchase.

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