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What's on your bench this spring


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I have a commission to illustrate a Chinese & Japanese bit of wisdom or lore. Monkeys hanging from a tree, hand in hand. The bottom one is reaching towards the reflection of the moon on a puddle or pool. To add a twist, the monkey at the top should be looking directly at the moon in the sky. Such an attempt by the monkeys "so perfectly reflects the deceptiveness of so many of our desires" by reaching towards the unattainable, said my client.


This has not yet been worked out on paper, and it need not be a fully 3D piece. It could be a panel. I have been contemplating it, considering the possibilities, scale and material which might be used. Also, I am gathering images of the particular sort of monkey which historically was used with the renderings of this lore in the past.


So, in this lovely transitional season of spring or autumn, what is on you work benches? The weather draws us away from the work, what pulls you back to the carving?

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Guest ford hallam

Hi Janel,


have a look for paintings of Japanese macaque monkeys, the ones with pink faces and very fine fur, done by Mori Sosen. they are quite classic Japanese renderings, he actually spent a lot of time living in their habitat to really get to know them. As they say; if you want to paint bamboo, you must become bamboo.


The motif of a monkey reaching for the moon or it's reflection usually shows a gibbon. Like this little chap.


So, time to go ape then! :)




P.S. I was bitten by a baboon when I was a boy! Don't know if it was radioactive though, I haven't noticed any super baboon powers...yet.

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