Four down, one more to go…..

     This the painting for the Japanese element “Earth”. Its the fourth in a series of five. I still have Wind/Air left to do and at this point I’m not quite how to represent it. I want something symbolic like a bird, butterfly, or a dragonfly. Anyway, lets get back to “Earth” no pun intended. I decided to use the fuji volcano simply because it is a good “Earth” image. I used the Bonsai tree because it is rooted in the earth. However, only the volcano is actually an acurate image in that stone is the most basic example of tsuchi or simply chi. Fujiyama, or Mt.Fuji, yama is mountain in Japanese and that  makes it a great stone. This word “chi” is a separate concept from life-force energy chi pronounced in Chinese as qi and ki in Japanese. Qi Gong the classical meditation and exercize system developed by Bohdiharma for Shoalin Monks to strengthen them physically and mentally, in order to be able to prctice his meditation techniques, contains this root word. Qi Gong is also related to Tai Chi Chuan which is a very soft form of Kung Fu or Gung Fu.( The “k” sound in Chinese is similar to the”g” sound in English.) Which, by the way as a side note, is a derivation of Confucious’ name (a Latin  translation) Kung Fu Tsu. Kung Fu Tsu was the first private teacher on record in Chinese history. People would come to him for instruction and counciling and as a result he became immensely popular. His recommendations and lessons were abstract to say the least. When being told to organize ones life for example; one might hear, “If the mat is not straight the Master will not sit”. Westerners would say, “A place for everything and everything in its place”. Going to Master Kung Fu Tsu could elicit some interesting answers: “Don’t treat your wife like a dog unless you don’t mind being bitten”. Though this is not a direct quote it sure is a good example of his style of marriage counceling. Kung Fu, therefore, could refer to the discipline of any endevour (art, music, dance, and mental disciplines such as meditation) not just a martial art. This why in we see waxing a car, painting a house or hanging up a coat as a precursor to learning a martial art in movies such as The Karate Kid. The practice of any activity could therefore be seen as Kung Fu.

     Tsuchi is representative of stability and resistance to change. Therefore the stone is a good example. Gravity would be a good example of an invisible aspect of Tsuchi. Perhaps the fan would be a good symbol for Kaze/wind. Yep.


  1. Magnificent Minimalist · January 12, 2011

    And it’s incredible. I’m really impressed! How gorgeous that is.

  2. jeremiahbriggs · January 13, 2011

    Thank you so much. I really appreciate that comment.

  3. Ahabah · January 13, 2011

    Beautiful! Now you’ll have to let us know when they all go on display so we can see them together! are you considering prints?

  4. jeremiahbriggs · January 13, 2011

    They’re going to be in a restaurant in Germantown, TN. Haven’t even thought about prints. Funding is limited at the moment.

  5. Hannah Pavao · January 13, 2011

    I’m spoiled, folks. I get to watch the behind-the-scenes formation of these paintings as he works from the family room/converted studio. Jeremiah is so at rest when he paints. I LOVE to watch him ALMOST – not quite – as much as I love the work he produces!

    • jeremiahbriggs · January 16, 2011

      You were extremely gracious to let me take over the family room. I’m glad you have found it to be a fair trade. =]

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