Start from Zero-- Shirley's 326th Friendly Greeting, Nov 8, 2011

How are you? Have you started a good new week? I do hope you have and enjoy your time.

Today is the 31st day that I am a graduate student in Chinese National Academy of Arts.

The good news is that my eyesight has totally recovered after the treatment for 1 year and 8 months by my doctors in China and in USA.

When I still worked on my 7th Song Dynasty (960 ~1279) Gongbi Painting in CNAA, my tutor required me to paint a bit bigger size Gongbi Painting. With much effort, I have made 12 new frames with different sizes for my new Gongbi paintings. I will work on it as soon as I complete the Chinese Xieyi Painting in my hands.

Every day, when I paint with the thin lines as hair, you cannot imagine how happy I am. Except I have so much appreciation to my doctors, in my heart, is full of the endless gratitude to Missouri State University, Ozarks Technical Community College, Springfield Regional Art Council, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Seymour R-II Public School, Missouri, USA and our company in China. Just for getting their good help -- to offer me the opportunities to go back to USA to have my art exhibition, to take part in the local Art Festival, to show and to demonstrate my comprehensive art with Chinese painting, poem and music, to see doctors and to store a part of my paintings in USA... All of these made me feel so warm, re-saw my value to be alive in the world and re-found back the courage to fight with the sickness while to keep studying and creating something beautiful for the world and so many kind people, after I had given up the treatments and stopped to take any medicine for about 3 months...

So, today, when almost every classmate and tutor who looked at my new works surprised my working efficiency and progress, when I get so many good comments and be advised to have more rest, I just simply respond them " Thank you, I will" . After all, they do not know why I am in an art college ahead my original plan and why I cherish as much as time to paint a Chinese Gongbi Painting -- I had lost my eyesight to paint it for 1 year and 8 months. Just on May 14, 2010, in USA, when my tutor helped me to adjust the PPT file on my computer to prepare a speech in my reception, no matter what effort I did, no matter how near I moved to the screen, I could not see anything on it at all; and just on May 6 or 7, 2010, when 4 professors who had taught me came to my art exhibition in Missouri State University, except weeping for we mentioned my eyes, even, I forgot to take a photo with them together…

Therefore, now, when I can re- paint a Chinese Gongbi painting and re-work out thousands and thousands of the thin lines, you cannot imagine how happy I am, how many thanks to so many kind American and Chinese people who have helped me, supported me and encouraged me when I was in the most difficult time.

With so much appreciation and a grateful heart, I would really like to cherish the lost-and-found eyesight, luck and opportunity, to paint Chinese Gongbi Painting as many as possible, after all, even if a normal person, along with the age, he or she will lose the ability to see and to paint the so thin lines...

With this idea, every day, I work in the classroom as long as possible, even though it is quite difficult for me at the time I stand up or sit down for the sharp ache on my legs, even though I need to take medicine to control my sickness still.

I am working hard with a happy and optimistic heart to prepare my new international travel in 2012. I would really like to improve myself as much as possible, for my dream to return this world and those kind people via helping these teenagers and people who are interested in Chinese art and cultures with what I have learned and studied.

Do you know? Until now, I still remember how a lady who is a retired bank manager followed me from Ozark Technical Community College to Missouri State University in May, 2010, she would like to learn how to paint a Chinese Gongbi painting and she had bought all of the tools for her study. Also I still remember how an American girl who sat in the wheelchair happy for her first Chinese painting; how an American ? Indian girl who had no hands, held her brush with her teeth to learn to paint a Chinese painting in Sep, 2009.

With these beautiful recalling and dreams, overcoming so many difficulties, right now, I am studying peacefully and with a principle ? to learn and to work from 0, just like a bamboo, to keep empty inside, then I can truly learn from the others and treat the others with a sincere heart. With this idea, I have not sent any of my album to anyone in the new school and I have not mentioned anything about my art exhibitions to anyone in the school. Just I would like to learn from anyone who has anything better than me, while to do something to help the others.

Then I find:

Except I have had more and more classmates as my tutors ( Mr. Xu Maowang who is about 70 years old and a famous artist on peony painting has started to direct me on peony painting; Mr.Peng Mingli who has gotten 8 national rewards has been my tutor on Chinese Gongbi painting as soon as we knew each other), I have had many new friends:

-- Every security guard has known me and greets me with smiles. Very often, I am looked after by them, sometimes, they tell me how to go here or there, sometimes, they find the only English newspaper in their office by a wrong delivering, they would tell me to take it away;

-- The cleaning lady, which duty is to take charge of the aisles and the washrooms in my building especially comes to my classroom to do some cleaning jobs for me in her free time, when the other students who are working in their second year went to paint from the nature. Every morning, she carries the garbage bin for us ? that is the job belongs to the students in the classroom.

-- As soon as I go into the super market by the school, the girl clerks will bring me two bottles of mineral water from the paper box instead of the refrigerator; as soon as I go through the restaurant car, the man clerk will ask me whether I want fish with a big smile… : -)

Now in Beijing, I have also found back the sense of security and the warm feeling as I did in Shenzhen.

How about you? Do you have anything special to share in your life?
I am just a student on Art of Painting, Music, English and Management, to work on the web site in my free time. I would really like to do a few things with what I have learned to make this little web site to be an Electronic Bridge of Inter-Art & Cross - Culture Exchange, Chinese Language Learning & Friendship Making. To help the others while to improve myself.

I would like to appreciate you for your understanding, directions, supports and help.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, you are welcome to write to or leave your message on Message Board.

Shirley Yiping Zhang
Nov 7, 2011(Chinese Time)

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