Status of Original Painting – Sold
All prices are in Canadian dollars
Size: 13.25 x 20 inches
Medium: Watercolour on 300 lb Arches
Beijing, China is the setting of this painting, which is part of a series that I’m doing during the pandemic to celebrate international destinations. But for a change of pace, instead of a landscape it’s a fetching scene of two giant pandas at the Beijing Zoo. These are national treasures in China and a powerful symbol of species conservation for the World Wildlife Fund since its creation in 1961.
The panda on the upper left may be pondering the meaning of life, or when the pandemic will end so that the visitors can return. The smaller panda eagerly awaits those sage words and decisions. Or maybe it’s just a pause in play time…
At the Beijing Zoo the giant pandas are kept in both indoor and outdoor enclosures. The setting of this painting with dramatic rock slabs is inside the Giant Panda House, which I liked far better compared to the outdoor photos that I’d taken. I’d waited several minutes with my camera until the pandas assumed interesting poses. But the background was a faded mural, which I’ve replaced with blue sky and clusters of bamboo. It now looks like they are outdoors where they belong.
I took the reference photo in 2010, and other photos from that trip have resulted in paintings featuring a pair of swans in Swan Lake, and the Great Wall of China in Wall of Souls. I will no doubt do other paintings of China because I have many interesting photos from that trip.
I’m often asked whether a painting is based entirely on one photo. Sometimes that might be the case, but I often use close-up photos for additional details. And in this instance, I used several additional photos of bamboo from the outdoor enclosures in order to enrich the background. In the recent painting Ciao, Venezia!, I added the gondola on the left, shifted the second one further to the right to make the composition more balanced, and deleted some smaller gondolas, boats, and people so that the scene wasn’t too crowded.