"Is it not delightful to have friends coming from afar?" - Chinese proverb
This December, I have been reflecting on the extraordinary opportunities of recent months. With first time workshops in locations as diverse as New Jersey, Texas, and China, it was an exciting time to say the least. Most notable in my journeys was my invitation to exhibit and teach at the 2nd Biennial International Pastel Art Exhibition in Suzhou China. It was as if Christmas came early this year with the exchange of creative gifts across many cultures.
This highly anticipated pastel event exhibited 60 international artists from 14 different countries alongside 40 Chinese artists to showcase 100 beautiful paintings at the stunning Ming Gallery of Art in Suzhou. It was a grand event celebrating a wide diversity of beauty, creativity, and style accomplished in the medium of pastel, attracting thousands of visitors from home and abroad made up of both artists and fans alike.
I had the privilege of sharing my gifts by teaching three portrait workshops at the Ming Jia Art Education Center, taking part in public lectures and painting demonstrations, plain air outings and visits to schools and universities around Suzhou to spread our passion for pastel.
As if this wasn't exciting enough, I was honored to share the stage with pastel luminaries such as Master Pastellists Isabelle Lim (HK), Tony Allain (UK), Liz Haywood-Sullivan (USA), Stan Sperlak (USA), Desmond O'Hagan (USA), and Editor-in-Chief of the Pastel Journal, Anne Hevener (USA). It was truly a once in a lifetime experience that I'll never forget.
I wanted to share some pictures of my experiences with you that provide a glimpse into this magical time of cultural exchange and creative sharing. The Ming Gallery of Art created a beautiful video commemorating the 2016 Biennial Exhibition. Click on the image below to watch, and enjoy it even more if you speak Mandarin!
This December, during the holiday season of exchanging gifts and connecting with friends, I hope you realize what a special gift it is to share the beauty of your creative talents with others. Your unique creative expression not only nourishes your own soul, but enriches the lives of everyone around you, both near and far.