January 28, 2017, began the Year of the Rooster! If you search the internet you can find many examples of Chinese roosters but here is a little fellow that I painted a few years ago. He’s affectionately named Spunky Nugget! He seems to personify the characteristics of people who were born in the Year of the Rooster – honest, bright, ambitious, capable and independent. It turns out that the Chinese character for ‘rooster’ can also mean chicken or bird in general and in fact in both Tibet and Nepal this year is called the Year of the Bird. It’s the only year in the Chinese zodiac to have a bird as its animal.
In the last year I’ve been expanding both my painting and teaching. In the teaching domain I’ve been exploring how to teach children to paint some of the local animals where they live, e.g. foxes, raccoons, owls, porcupines, etc., in the Midwest and orca whales, salmon, herons, etc., in the Pacific Northwest. Here are some examples of student (fourth grade) efforts of woodland animals done in 2017.