Catherine Lecce-Chong

Rose Colored Glasses. The Children.

Lighting

Moonlight

Medium

Acrylic mixed media

Representation

Louis Braille

Bright Silver Louis Braille, shown

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Artwork

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Bright Silver Louis Braille
Malala
Light Cerulean Blue Greta Thunberg
Titan Mars Pale Anne Frank

Artist’s Statement

Rose Colored Glasses. The Children.

When we say someone is looking through rose-colored glasses, it is usually a sarcastic statement. It sounds beautiful and cheery, maybe even Pollyanna-ish. But children who are socially engaged, actually believe that the world can be a better place. They are not jaded by history or negative thinking adults. Most children who have done heroic deeds also had adults or parents that encouraged them.

In these tactile paintings, I celebrate brave, truth telling young people who have or are affecting our world for better health and connection in life.
Their haloes are earthy globes. Vertical and horizontal tactile lines are used to show their longitude and latitude coordinates. The children seem to float in dark cosmic space. Their painted environments are cosmic, with orbiting planets made from letters, objects, animals, and toys. I finish these paintings with large round rosy washes, because I want to see the world through rose-colored glasses. In fact, rose-colored lenses are actually soothing for my eyes.

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Rose Colored Glasses. The Children.

Bright Silver Louis Braille

36” x 36” Acrylic mixed media. Painting photographed in moonlight.

This image is of Louis Braille who at age 15, created the raised dot patterns that assist the visually impaired to read and write….

The base layer of this painting is bright silver which appears only at the 2” borders. Our subject in the center of the painting is 15 years old Louis Braille. He created a system of raised dots that allow the blind and blind/deaf to read and write. I am not only grateful for this practical communication system, but its texture and patterns led me to consider making textured art.

Louis is seated cross-legged with fingers on a sheet of braille in his lap. The clear plastic sheet of braille is upside down to us, since he is reading it. It is a meditation on wisdom and compassion. The shiny clear braille has rays of yellow and white light illuminating his lap and the bottom of the border of the painting.

Louis has long curly gold locks of hair. His skin color is light blue and he is wearing typical clothes of his time, the early 1800’s in France. His dusty black jacket is short with large lapels and cuffed long sleeves. He has a bright white bow tie and a white cummerbund. His halo is an abstract earth of green, blue and white. The background has a tactile grid of longitudinal and latitude lines. In the top squares is 48.8566 degrees north and going down the squares on the left side, 23522 degrees east. These are the coordinates of Paris.

The background has dark and light paths swirling around Louis. Large rosy transparent round shapes also cover parts of the background and Louis.

To complete this effect of cosmic space are the orbiting of tactile letters and large buttons as planets. The entire painting and silver border have random starry white splatters.

The uncontracted braille meditation at the middle bottom of the painting reads,
Wisdom without compassion becomes a cold isolation. Compassion without wisdom becomes useless, unable to help in the best way. A bird cannot fly with one wing. We need the two wings of wisdom and compassion or loving awareness and empathy. Clear mind and good heart.

Bright Silver Louis Braille

Click on image to view Louis Braille under moonlight in lightbox mode.

Rose Colored Glasses. The Children.

$2,200

Bright Silver Louis Braille

36” x 36” Acrylic mixed media. Painting photographed in moonlight.

This image is of Louis Braille who at age 15, created the raised dot patterns that assist the visually impaired to read and write….

Learn More About Bright Silver Louis Braille
Bright Silver Louis Braille

Click on image to view Louis Braille under moonlight in lightbox mode.

Rose Colored Glasses. The Children.

$2,200

Light Violet Malala

This Pakistani activist, Malala Yousafzai, is a champion for the education of girls. At the tender age of 15, the Taliban attempted to assassinate her on a school bus.

This took place in her home region of the Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan. She survived to become the youngest Nobel Peace Laureate. She recently graduated from Oxford University in England and married.

This heroine is in a green dress and a long pink headscarf. You can see a little of her black hair. Her skin is a deep golden red. She is sitting cross-legged in the center of a 36” x 36” stretched canvas with light violet underpainting.

In front of her body, she holds a sign about 12” x 18” with thick white letters. It says, “I AM STRONGER THAN FEAR.” The background of the sign is a lotus pond of light blue, pinks and greens. Some of the lotus petals float out of the sign.

Malala has an earth globe as her halo. Sitting with her on the left side is a black lamb and on the right side of the painting are two lambs, one is brown and the other is white.

There are two large wings of clear plastic braille on either side of Malala. The meditation is on impermanence. The dark cosmic space of the background has swirling white and pink light. Her planets are symbolized by floating silver glitter letters and large green, pink, or turquoise round crystals. In the dark space above her, float 10 small, shiny sticker images of crowns. They represent the 10 Guardian angels listed in Islam.

The entire background has a tactile 4” square grid of longitudinal and latitude lines. The coordinates of her childhood home are on the right side and across the bottom in thick white numbers. Going down the right side is 72.3602 degrees east. Across the bottom is 34.7717 degrees north.

The entire painting including the light purple border are covered in random starry splatters of red.

The meditation in the wings:

What is impermanence?

Thich Nhat Hahn was doing a walking meditation with children. He noticed they were not serious, but were enjoying the walk. They seemed to experience the walk as as if they were in paradise or a Pureland. The Pureland was not in the future or somewhere else. Thick Nhat Hahn says that children can also understand the Buddha’s teaching on impermanence. They can see a cloud does not die, but only transforms. The cloud becomes rain. That water becomes a cup of tea. Drinking clouds. Playing in the river is playing in the clouds.

Malala

Click to view candlelit image in lightbox mode.

Rose Colored Glasses. The Children.

$2,200

Light Violet Malala

This Pakistani activist, Malala Yousafzai, is a champion for the education of girls. At the tender age of 15, the Taliban attempted to assassinate her on a school bus.

Learn More About Light Violet Malala
Malala

Click to view candlelit image in lightbox mode.

Rose Colored Glasses. The Children.

$2,200

Light Cerulean Blue Greta Thunberg

At the age of 15, Greta, a Swedish ecology activist, started a school strike for environmental action and justice. Her simple action of sitting outside the Swedish parliament caused millions of children from around the world to march for government responsibility to address the global climate.

In this 36″ x 36″ acrylic mixed media piece, Greta sits in the middle of this large square canvas with an underpainting of light blue cerulean paint. It could be the sky or the sea. She is loosely sitting cross-legged in a bright yellow raincoat and you can see a large yellow rubber boot protruding in the dark foreground. There is a yellow hood attached to the coat. The inside of the hood is blue, like a blue cup. I chose this outfit because Greta traveled across the Atlantic Ocean by sailboat to address the United Nations. Greta chose to sail rather than using air flight pollution.

Greta has rosy pink skin from the ocean winds. She has long golden braids and her halo is an earthly globe. In front of her body, she holds a 10″ x 12” sign with bold, dark blue letters that says “Skolstretk for Klimatet” or “School Strike for Climate” in Swedish. On the background of the sign are huge waves like in a Hokusai Japanese print. There is a tiny boat caught in the waves, a symbol to me of the the dangerous fragile nature of our environment. There is also the skeleton of a shell in the bottom right corner.

Hanging off the left corner, upside down, is a blue seahorse against the yellow of the rain coat. This is a nod to the many times that I enjoyed the San Francisco Aquarium with my son giggling over the upside-down sea horses.

Behind Greta are white, pink and blue clouds and a tactile rainbow in a very dark blue background. Her swirling planets are sea animals and shells, mostly light blue, orange and white. Small white pearl stars are scattered at the top. Rosy transparent circles of light circle around Greta.

We also have a tactile four inch square grid of longitudinal and latitude lines for Stockholm, Sweden. On the right side is 18.0686 degrees east. On the bottom, there is 59.3293 degrees north.

The cosmic space of Greta is finished with random splatters of gold over the surface and the light blue border. In the clouds in the upper left in uncontracted braille is a meditation on breathing:

Feel the body breathing.
You do not need control it.
Breath connects us to everything.
We have the breath of volcanos, oceans, and of history in us.
So breathe in vitality for yourself and breathe out well-being to the earth.

Light Cerulean Blue Greta Thunberg

Click on image to view in lightbox mode.

Rose Colored Glasses. The Children.

$2,200

Light Cerulean Blue Greta Thunberg

At the age of 15, Greta, a Swedish ecology activist, started a school strike for environmental action and justice. Her simple action of sitting outside the Swedish parliament caused millions of children from around the world to march for government responsibility to address the global climate.

Light Cerulean Blue Greta Thunberg
Light Cerulean Blue Greta Thunberg

Click on image to view in lightbox mode.

Rose Colored Glasses. The Children.

$2,200

Titan Mars Pale Anne Frank

This 16-year-old, German-Dutch Jewish girl was a victim of the Holocaust. Her family successfully hid from the Nazis for 2 years. She died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Media: Mixed Media Acrylic on canvas

Size: 36”x36”

This 16-year-old, German-Dutch Jewish girl was a victim of the Holocaust. Her family successfully hid from the Nazis for 2 years. She died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. In the upper right corner, and the lower left corner, you can see the light pink painted number coordinates of her death place: 52.7547 degrees north and 9.9047 degrees east.

Anne sits in the middle of this square canvas in a dark lotus pond on a large lotus leaf.  Three large lotus leaves with stalks surround her and extend out of the upper border and lower border of the painting. Her legs cross under her black dress.  Her hands are in a meditative pose in her lap at her waist. She is also holding her red and white checked cloth diary collaged from beeswax covered cloth.  It has sparkly turquoise letters at the top that spell in capitals, “DIARY.” There is a clear plastic braille label over the letters, that says,

THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL

Anne Frank.

There is a green jade key from the artist’s mother-in-law on the right side of the diary. At the bottom left of the diary in Anne’s cupped hands is a 1’’ raised pink circle painted like a red and blue marble. There are 9 other marbles made of glass beads of similar sizes whirling around the painting. These marbles simulate orbiting planets in Anne’s underwater world. Before going into hiding, Anne entrusted these precious toys to a neighbor friend until she could come home.

Also flying through space around her, you can feel the alphabet made of sparkly turquoise ½” capital letters. Anne wanted to be a journalist. She revised and edited her diary to purposely be shared someday. She wanted to join the Nazi resistance call to document the public’s experience of war and life under Nazism. Anne inspires me to continue making my artwork descriptions to be accessible, and journalistic.

On the right side, standing on her lap is a kitten that is tiger striped for the present Asian year of the tiger. Anne addressed many of her diary entries to a “Kitty,” a fictional character, possibly from a German children’s book series. She also had to give up her cat before hiding.

Anne’s large globe halo shows a parched earth and blue ocean. Her black dress has a wavy white collar and white accented short puffy sleeves. I took her dress design from a show on Japanese girly black dresses with white accents. In the bottom of the dress, the folds are very thin wavy pink lines. Anne’s hair is wavy shoulder length black. Her blue face is accented by tactile black eyebrows and red lips.  Ms. Frank’s outfit is completed with red, sparkly Wizard of Oz Dorothy shoes. It is difficult to paint tragic stories. I wanted Anne to be able to click her red shoes together to go home.

Anne’s skin is painted a medium blue. Her underpainting color is Titan Mars Pale; an earthy light pink. Why did I choose these colors? I do not know. Please don’t expect artists to know why they make every decision. We are not the solitary creators of our visions.

Pink shafts of light penetrate downward through the black and brown background, flowing over Anne.

Titan Mars Pale Anne Frank

Click to view in lightbox mode.

Rose Colored Glasses. The Children.

$2,200

Titan Mars Pale Anne Frank

This 16-year-old, German-Dutch Jewish girl was a victim of the Holocaust. Her family successfully hid from the Nazis for 2 years. She died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Learn More About Titan Mars Pale Anne Frank
Titan Mars Pale Anne Frank

Click to view in lightbox mode.

Artist

Catherine Lecce-Chong

In the blink of an eye, in 2018, my life and art changed; I lost much of my vision. Decades of classical western painting or traditional Asian painting and calligraphy, would fade away…  But not the passion or the essential drive to create.

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