Friday, August 28, 2009

I CALL IT {A R T} ... Jeanne-ming Brantingham



Jeanne-ming, a wonderful portrait painter shares her beautiful story with us:
...We settled into an old Japanese house, left over from the occupation of Taiwan on a dusty lane called Wu Fung Road. In those first months I tried to make friends. Initially it was easy, for I have strawberry blond hair and was tall and gangly. The Chinese kids on my street were curious wanting to touch my hair and count my freckles. They found my moles a great oddity and a game were started to see who could count all the spots on my arms the fastest. I would stand like a scarecrow in the middle of the street being picked over. I endured it. It was a great way to learn how to count. I started picking up the language, but the kids would laugh at my misuse of tones and vocabulary. (I once called the Lord, a Pig…same sound, different accent) So I learned quickly that I could make myself better understood by drawing in the dirt or on our courtyard walls...


... In the center of our street was a water pump. In the evening, all the women, no matter maid or mistress would gather there to draw water, twirl chopsticks, wash out rice bowls and gossip. I loved to listen to their conversations. It was like a game, trying to decipher their words. At first, the women did not think I understood, giving me total freedom to flit about almost invisibly, listening in on all the gossip and news. I would hear the long laments of women who talk only to them selves and their chores. I heard whispered and clucking conversations between Mothers and Daughters, sisters, rivals and lovers. It wasn’t long before I knew what everyone was thinking...


...When I was 12, I would hang out at one of my friend’s home whose father was a former movie director in Shanghai during the 30’s. His starlet wife had run off and all his financial backers had disappeared and run out of favor with the new government. He had come to Taiwan as a refugee in 1949. He was flamboyant and artistic. Everyday he produced one flawless brush painting or calligraphy. Long strips of fluttering rice paper hung on bamboo poles in his study as if laundry hanging out to dry. He gave me my first painting instruction in line and contrast. (Also my first exposure to blogging…he pasted a brush painting on his front gate everyday.) ...

...For almost 25 years, I laid down my own artist yearnings. I married, had children, worked in Asia for big gift and entertainment companies (yuck) and like many, just kept my head above water. I avoided art galleries and museums because they reminded me of what I might be able to do, but wasn’t....


...My husband and I retired 11 years ago and moved to America to be closer to our college age children but I had never lived anywhere except in Asia and so the experience of moving to Whidbey Island, in America’s northwest, was the most terrifying journey I had ever made. Once here I was desperately homesick for Taiwan. All of my immediate family, still live scattered around the provinces of greater China. Slowly, I would get news of my friends and neighbors, the same ones I had eavesdropped in on and to now hear their tales from afar broke my heart. That’s when I started painting again...



...I felt their portraits needed the walls. I needed to find a medium that would give me the texture that is so much a part of the architecture of Southern China and Taiwan. I tried pen and ink, charcoal, water colors, acrylics. All these attempts felt wrong for the portraits I wanted to produce. One day I was repairing a wall in our living room. Dry wall joint compound is like plaster and is a product commonly used in America for the interior walls of houses. It feels like cake frosting and as I repaired the wall, I marveled at how much it felt like the cheap plaster we used in Chai Yi for our courtyards. I covered the small fist size hole and kept going. I re-plastered the whole room. Then I painted it Taiwan Cinnabar Red. That night I rushed out to my garage and plastered a board then picked up a nail and carved the face of Uncle Tu. (Shanghai movie director) Since then, I have pasted a portrait on my gate almost everyday.



What you read was some selected parts of her original letter to me. I thought it would be very inspiring for many of you, because it was for me.
I found very aesthetic values in her art. the characterized portraits, the lights, the stories ... all are appeared very beautifully!

check her lovely art {here} over at her blog.

Thank you so much dear Jeanne ming for letting us know more about you and your art!

12 comments:

Michelle said...

Such a beautiful story. And so well written! On a side note, don't you think the girl in the first piece looks oddly like Sandra Oh from Grey's Anatomy?

Shaddy said...

I'm in awe. The colors...the faces...the artistry...all are unbelievably delightful and precious.

Thank you for showing them to me.

Sarah Alaoui said...

michelle, omg she does!

wow what talent.

Sara said...

Wow, Shokoofeh, this is magical!!!
Thank you for sharing this,love! Really!

muchlove said...

These are amazing! thank you for sharing.

you have a gorgeous blog.

Jeanne-ming said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeanne-ming said...

thank you for your generous post. Shokoofeh, I am becoming quite attached to you.

Shaista said...

This is a beautiful piece, such a generosity of spirit in both the writing and the art work. And in you for sharing it - thankyou!
Shaista

مى said...

This is really good!

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

Isn't she wonderful? I just love the way she works and the stories she tells. That, and she's a beautiful person inside and out.

katrina and the king said...

oh yes I recently became acquainted with her work. The photos on your blog are large and filled with clear beauty!

盧廣仲vicent said...

cool!very creative!AV,無碼,a片免費看,自拍貼圖,伊莉,微風論壇,成人聊天室,成人電影,成人文學,成人貼圖區,成人網站,一葉情貼圖片區,色情漫畫,言情小說,情色論壇,臺灣情色網,色情影片,色情,成人影城,080視訊聊天室,a片,A漫,h漫,麗的色遊戲,同志色教館,AV女優,SEX,咆哮小老鼠,85cc免費影片,正妹牆,ut聊天室,豆豆聊天室,聊天室,情色小說,aio,成人,微風成人,做愛,成人貼圖,18成人,嘟嘟成人網,aio交友愛情館,情色文學,色情小說,色情網站,情色,A片下載,嘟嘟情人色網,成人影片,成人圖片,成人文章,成人小說,成人漫畫,視訊聊天室,性愛,a片,AV女優,聊天室,情色