When my family and I moved to Hong Kong, it was right after Christmas and right before the Chinese New Year Celebration, the year of the pig. We had no idea the extent of this holiday and it was a real treat to experience it while living there. There are so many fascinating traditions, celebrations, and spectacles that last fifteen days. One of my favorite things to experience was the Lion Dance. These can break out anywhere. They were performed several times in our apartment complex, and whenever we heard the loud gong, cymbals and drums we would rush down to watch. The dance is to provoke good luck, and is performed by two people usually trained in martial arts, one person performing the head and the other the body. They dance along the route to a gong, drums and cymbals. Sometimes following a laughing Buddha, dressed in monks robes wearing a mask. Above the doorways are placed heads of romaine lettuce or some type of greens. The lion eats the lettuce and scatters the leaves on the ground for good luck. There is mirror on the head of the lion so that evil spirits can be frightened away by their own reflections.
This painting Lion Dance depicts a lion head-piece from a performance that I saw. I loved working on this painting, the bold color, the subject matter and the size really spoke to me. I almost feel as if it painted itself! I love it when that happens! This is the largest painting I have done in watercolor it measures 36” x 36”. I really enjoyed working big!