Saturday, January 14, 2017


* Celebrate The Chinese New Year of the Rooster

Some years ago, while learning and practicing Tai Chi, I loved best of all the movement called "Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg."  I had yet to achieve it, and it took time and patience and perseverance.  One day in class I could do it!  Excitedly and happily I touched "elbow to knee" and held it!

Much later, a Chinese Doctor told me, "When the Rooster Stands on One Leg it means Achieving Goals."   

Then, I found out that the Rooster is a symbol in Chinese Astrology.  I looked up my birth year and happily found "I am a rooster!"  The rooster stands for determination, achievement, even humor!

So I set about to paint the rooster.  How would I do that?  All painters painted the bird in a different style.  I'll create my own.

I knew the rooster painting would be light, quick, and fun.  You live for these paintings: effortless.

I grabbed a large brush and contemplated the colors: ivory black, cadmium yellow light, cadmium red, a bit of yellow ochre light.  I wanted the effect of the paint to be more of a wash of colors instead of thicker paint. 

Where to begin?  I hovered over the canvas, as I often do, brush in hand with no paint on it.  I paused, then touched the brush to the canvas forming an "invisible outline" quickly over the painting.  This pre-plans the space the finished painting will occupy, so it doesn't get lopsided in the glow of the spontaneous brushstrokes and colors to come.

Where to begin?  The head? I always start with the head.  Not right. The chest, feet?  Not right.  I sensed an intuition,

"Paint the tail first."  I never start with the tail of a creature!  I resisted. 

"Paint the tail first."

Well, illogical, but I will try it anyway.  What if the tail takes up most of the painting?

** "What If"

With bold abandon and determined strokes, I took a large brush filled with black paint and a leap of faith.  OK, the tail is painted?  Now what?  I brushed in the body, then the legs and feet.  The head came in.  So now I had painted the entire picture backwards from what I have always done. 

The eye was last.  What expression? 
Keep looking Up!

*** Dan Millman met a spiritual mentor. 
"Specializing in Humor, Paradox, and Change."

Related Posts:
Joey the Collie

* Celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Rooster, world wide

Local Celebration St. Joseph (SW) Michigan USA Sunday Jan 22, 3 PM, St. Joseph High School.  Music, Chinese Dance, Fun, Food.  Bridge to China

Chinese Cultural Center, Chicago, Illinois

** Wild Kratts, the Kratt brothers host animated creature tales including Chinese Colors, featuring a Golden Pheasant, among other animals and birds.  The Chinese Pheasant is brilliantly colored.  Some Tai Chi forms call the standing on one leg movement, Golden Pheasant Stands on One Leg.

***  Dan Millman, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, A Book that Changes Lives. Quote from Mentor Socrates' business card.

Lillian Too's Book of Chinese Wisdom, spiritual magic for everyday living.

Tai Chi and Qigong
Dr. Paul Lam, Tai Chi for Health World Wide, music for Ta Chi
Dr. Yang Jwing-ming,, books, Traditional Chinese Music, instruction
Jou, Tsung Hwa, Tai Chi Farm, books and more
Terry Dunn, Yang Long Form and more
Yang Family Tai Chig
18 Form Taiji Qigong, Master Wing Cheung

Dahlis Roy:  Visionary Artist, Author, and Tai Chi Instructor

Painting by Dahlis
A Rooster's Tale