Friday, May 30, 2008

The Chinese Pear Thief

This was my first series commissioned by Music and the Spoken Word. It is a Chinese folk tale about a man who stole a pear and was thrown into prison, where he finished eating it and saved a seed. I wanted to be really true to the Chinese style of painting as much as I could, so I checked out several Chinese children's books and art history books and gazed at them for hours to "feel" like a Chinese artist. I hope it worked.

Pear Tree (or He Who is Without Sin)
At his trial, the thief offered the pear seed to the emperor, saying that it would grow into a magical golden pear tree if it were planted by someone who had never cheated, stolen, or lied. I was especially impressed when watching the beginning of "Mulan" while I researched this piece, and wanted to give the landscape that feel. This is one of my favorite paintings.

The Emperor's Court
In the story, the thief offered the seed to everyone in the court, but each looked into his heart and had to turn it down, and eventually they decided to let him go.

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