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Media: watercolor and gold ink on Saunders Waterford watercolor paper (300g) Size: 55cm x 40cm
Year 2017 is also the Chinese New Year of the Rooster. During the week-long celebration, people like to greet each other with blessings of good health, happiness, and fortune. Some popular rooster related sayings include "金雞報喜 過好年" (the golden rooster announces happiness and the promise of a good year), and "雞鳴春來 喜氣到" (the rooster calls and spring arrives, festivity is in the air).
When I was deciding on which species of rooster to use as inspiration for this piece, I chanced to learn that what the ancients referred to as "金雞" (which literally translates to "golden rooster") was not actually a type of chicken, but a type of pheasant instead, specifically the "Golden Pheasant" (Chrysolophus pictus, 紅腹錦雞). --> see this fellow here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_p…
Upon seeing the golden pheasant, I was tempted to choose him as subject. However, considering that almost all present day new year decorations portray roosters, I thought it would be too confusing for many people if drew a pheasant. I promised that this wouldn't be the last I see of him, and that I will include him in a future series~
My search for a magnificent rooster inspiration led me to find some quirky breeds of chicken along the way that are too fascinating to not share with you, so here are some of my favorites (prepare to go "huh?" for some of them): -the fluffy "Silkie": photorator.com/photos/images/s…
and finally, the winner, the mythical looking "Onagadori": s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/5… 2.bp.blogspot.com/-vNyV-Ho2-xI… upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia… Its tail feathers can continue to grow throughout the entire lifespan of the rooster, with tail lengths ranging from a phenomenal three to eight meters (12-27 feet) long if meticulously groomed and cared for. Onagadori roosters also have a lovely and distinctive white patch on their cheek(? for lack of a better word), which I feel compelled to point out thanks to a friend in medical school who asked if my rooster had cancer... I personally adore that pop of white on an otherwise all too red head.
People who are born on the Year of the Rooster are said to have a touch of clairvoyance, which makes them naturally forward-looking, ambitious, and goal-oriented individuals. Known to be fast thinkers, they loathe the company of slow workers, and their garrulous nature will make sure that their discontent is voiced many many (and many more) times. Caution: do not prompt the nagging or attempt to out nag someone of the Rooster year.
In this painting, the rooster is up bright and early, announcing the start of a promising new day, a new spring, and a new beginning. He is perched and poised atop of a large rock, perfectly balanced on one foot, indicating that he has finally not only risen to the top, but is also confidently secure of that position. Perhaps by having caught a glimpse of him, you too may have the luck you need to climb to new heights this year~ Flowing from his tail are three golden tail feathers, which implies that if you pursue your path with fortitude and principle, good fortune will follow you wherever you lead.
The flowers that surround the rooster are Azaleas, which according to Chinese tradition, symbolize temperance and moderation. The reason for this association is because azaleas only flower strictly during Springtime, but when they do, they bloom with such undeniable abundance and exuberance. I chose to paint this flower to convey the idea that if you do find yourself fortunate enough to be in a status of great power and wealth, to remember to exercise that power and wealth with control and restraint. The wind-blown petals imply that if you remain generous in you spirit towards others, the blessings of the new year will travel with you in the many long days ahead.
I wish you merriment and warmth in this new year! Cock-a-doodle-do~