108 Flowers - Book 2

108 Flowers - Book 2

Producing 108 Flowers Book 1 was a lone journey of "The Old Man and the Sea." The second phase was particularly challenging in motivating oneself to continue. But the belief that even one good lesson may inspire and spark the interest of someone across time and space kept me focused. I know the Old Man was never alone. Many would share his struggle and appreciate his effort.

As one of the 007's theme songs goes, "You Only Live Twice: one for yourself and one for your dream." Fortunately for me, these two lives merge seamlessly. Painting is a beautiful dream. I have created a dream world and I am living a dream. I dream about doing better and believe I can. Through teaching, I am able to share this dream with others.

With the right instruction and equipment, I know many will enjoy brush painting as much as I do. Still, I am constantly amazed at how well folks have done with my lessons. With this book, brush painting is indeed "a piece of cake."

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108 Flowers - Book 2
  • Corn

    Certain subjects seem to be made for brush painting, and corn is tailor made for it, offering so many intriguing elements-crooked trunks, torn leaves, multi-colored cobs, silks and tassels!

  • Cotton Rose

    Cotton Rose blossoms with flowers of several colors on the same tree, and sometimes even within the same cluster! Flowers may be white or pink during the day and become a deeper reddish pink at night. Learn to capture the enchantment of this flower by painting along with Ning as you follow his si...

  • Cyclamen

    In China, Cyclamen is the floral symbol of hospitality. Before it opens, the bud turns downward as if in a welcoming "bow'. When it does finally open, its five petals flip up into a "crown". It's not unlike an official greeting the Emperor.

    Learn to paint this composition using Ning's expert si...

  • Daffodil

    In China, the Narcissus is called Water Fairy [Shuǐ Xiān] while the Daffodil is known as the Foreign Water Fairy [Yáng Shuǐ Xiān]. Over the past several centuries foreigners came to China by sea, so the Chinese began to associate foreign things to the word 'yang', meaning ocean. Because the Daffo...

  • Dahlia

    In Chinese, the word beauty and profit share the same sound: Lì. Dahlia is grand beauty or big profit. In the beautiful town in Dàlǐ in Yúnnán, I rode a horse carriage to an old temple and shared a lovely morning studying this flower. My dàlí came from Dàlǐ.

    While visually complex, with its mult...

  • Datura

    Often called Angel's Trumpet, Datura's large drooping blossoms, which can be white, yellow, pink, orange or purple, give the plant a unique floral appearance. The flowers, which are closed during the day, open at night and emit a heavy sweet fragrance. Despite its allure to both sight and smell, ...

  • Day Lily

    One feels the warmth of the sun in this flower. Day lilies and swallows are everywhere in Chinese villages. Chinese see them as constant reminders of great maternal love.

    Video demonstrates preparation of colors, brush choice, loading colors, and stroke movement.

  • Dendrobium Orchid

    The varieties of orchids are legion, and it seems that Dendrobium is the "catch -all" grouping of orchids. If seems as if when the orchid experts didn't know exactly how a particular flower fits into the orchid family, they called it a Dendrobium! That's probably why there are over 1,200 Dendrobi...

  • Dogwood

    Ning teaches one of his favorite flowers: the Dogwood. Enjoy his step-by-step narration exploring the anatomy of this beautiful flower whose Chinese translation shares the same character as what the Chinese refer to as "Juliet" in "Romeo and Juliet". In this simple composition, Ning covers instru...

  • Dragon Head

    For the Chinese, the Dragon is a benevolent creature that is in charge of water and rain. It represents fortune, power and wisdom for man. Often it is shown paired with the symbolic female counterpart, the Phoenix. While it may seem to be a daunting floral composition to paint, Ning's step-by-ste...

  • Dragon Pearl

    In the Dragon Dance celebrating the New Year, the leader holds a pearl in front of the dragon. The dragon pearl is called the Pearl of Potentiality. It is the dragon's source of power.

    This is another plant that bears the name "bleeding heart." What is the matter with you guys?

  • Dutch Iris

    A distant uncle married a Dutch lady in Holland. I never met her. My mother showed me a photo of her when she mailed a toy for me. She was the only Dutch person I knew. I like Dutch people.

    One of the terms I learned early was "go Dutch." Chinese never go Dutch. I doubt Dutch people do.

  • Eggplant

    Chinese flower painting is not about flowers. The fact that training begins with bamboo tells the story. Brush painting is about the expression of strokes, the rhythm of movement, contrast and harmony, the figure and space, the idea beyond what one sees, the joyful celebration of life.

    Under the...

  • Forget-Me-Not

    In medieval times, a knight was walking with his lady by the river. He reached down to pick up some flowers. The weight of his armor caused him to fall into the river. As he was drowning, he threw the flowers to his love and shouted "Forget me not!" These flowers were so named. Really! What a den...

  • Foxglove

    When Weyerhaeuser asked me to do a painting to celebrate the new forest after the devastation caused by Mt. St. Helen, the company took me on a helicopter to study the landscape. When we landed, tall foxgloves were my first sight. I used the flowers as the foreground for the forest painting. To m...

  • Freesia

    Freesia comes in an orderly row, like well-behaved kindergarteners on their first day of school. When I first worked on the flowers, I behaved like the parents outside the window-tight.

    Small flowers are meant to be joyful. With just a few petals, we can do whatever we want with them. Indeed, it...

  • Fuchsia

    To me, fuchsia is a ballerina with long legs and a ruffled tutu.

    My buddies and I used to row boats during our summer vacations on Taichung Lake. There was this wooden bridge. Whenever a girl was about to walk across the bridge, we would race our boat under it.

    Now I hang a basket of fuchsia. N...

  • Geranium

    "When are you going to teach us geranium? It is my favorite flower." One lady kept urging. How can geranium be anyone's favorite flower? Chinese farmers call geranium "Stinky leaf." I agree with the farmers.

    I studied the flower closely for a month and taught the lady's class. I am now addicted ...

  • Ginger Lily

    Behind the little shack en route to Kailua in Oahu, I dropped some melon juice from my shaved ice on the white ginger lily.

    To paint white flowers on white paper really is not a problem. White flowers pick up colors around them. A little injection of other colors into the white is all we need.


  • Gladiolus

    Flower painting is a combination of velvety petals and bold leaves or branches. In between grace and strength, there is that delightful sense of celebration - happy dots like children. People enjoy our painting because it is a joyful family portrait of harmony.

  • Gloxinia

    I know very little about the plant. I just love the showy velvety flowers and the spirited long ovate leaves. It is a wonderful subject.

    As with everything else in America, there is a Gloxinia Society. In case further information is needed.

  • Gourd

    Chinese deities used giant gourds to carry wine. Chinese see gourd as a token of mystery. It is hard to find out what is inside. It may not always be complimentary. Many times, a gourd has nothing inside.

    Gourd is a fantastic subject. It can be any shape. Its crinkled leaves can be many shapes. ...

  • Grape

    Grape is Pú Táo in Chinese. Pú means "crawling." Táo has the connotation of being intoxicated with joy. It is a good name for a fruit that provides so many moments of inspiration for all.

    Turpan, along the Silk Road, is China's grape capital. Turpan is 154 meters below sea level but surrounded b...

  • Heavenly Bamboo

    I pick a subject like this to teach during the holiday season. I start the class with berries and go holiday shopping. When I return, students would still be adding berries. They never notice the teacher leave.