15 May 2018, 5:02 a.m. | Works
A time-traveling family portrait for our new home
In China in the 1930s and 1940s, black-and-white family portrait photographs were popular in well-educated families. This was the time when Western culture had just come to China, so you would have seen a mix of styles, with some people wearing suits, others traditional Mandarin clothes.
As we were settling into our new home, I decided that we should have a family portrait on the wall. Since traveling to China and back in time wasn't an option, I decided to paint it myself!
But the background that you would typically find in these photographs, like interiors or landscapes painted with ink in the traditional way, wouldn't fit. We needed something more related to our current life. So I settled on a landscape from Joshua Tree National Park, which is (somewhat) close to where we live now, and I added some palm trees and cacti. These old portraits also often feature gramophones, but I thought since my husband is a writer, there should be a typewriter instead. And of course I'm holding a brush, and since I love plants, there's a vase with flowers next to me!
What's else is missing? OMG we almost left out the third family member! Just kidding, haha, we would never forget Fred.