Garden Lovers

This clay work was inspired by the book of ” Song of songs.”

” Behold, you are handsome, my beloved!
Yes, pleasant! My beloved is a bouquet of flowers in the gardens of Engedi. How beautiful you are, my love, how beautiful! Your eyes are soft as doves’.   What a lovely, pleasant thing you are, lying here upon the grass,  shaded by the cedar trees and firs. “

(Selection from TLB, song of songs C1:V15-17)

Wet Mounting Technique and More

East Asian brushwork includes Brush, Ink stick, Ink stoneand Paper. These four are known as “The Four Treasures of the Studio” (for painting) and “The Four Treasures of the Study” (for calligraphy).

Traditionally, two types of paper are used in brush painting. One type is “raw paper”, and the other one is “sized paper”.

In the West, raw paper is known as “rice paper or Xuen paper”. Although it is called rice paper it is not made from rice at all but is rather derived from one of two shrubs – bamboo pulp or mulberry pulp. This kind of paper is not sized and it is extremely sensitive and absorbent. Ink and colour used on unsized paper are difficult to control and apt to blur until you have had experience using them. Sized papers have added alum and glue, and are less absorbent. Traditionally, the painting is done on rice paper with skillful practises.

The final painting is wet mounted onto another sheet of rice paper. “Wet mounting” is one of the special techniques used to mount East Asian calligraphy or painting.
It will take a few days to complete.

Wet mounting tools and materials:
– a bowl
– a measuring cup
– a wooden spoon
– some wheat starch
– archival spray fixative
– a clean and smooth waterproof workbench
– a water spray bottle
– a wide, soft-bristled brush for applying the mounting paste
– mounting papers
– a knife
– a stiff-bristled brush to smooth the mounting paper after pasting
– a huge glass window or a large wooden board to hold the mounted painting for drying
– a needle to remove dust from moist artwork

Mounting steps:
1. Making the paste/glue.
The paste made from wheat starch is a high-quality glue which is free of acid and protein. It is better for the long-term preservation of the painting. It is made by combining one part of wheat starch to four to five parts of pure water (e.g. 100 g wheat starch to 400 to 500 mL purified or distilled water). First boiling 200 mL water with wheat starc, then add another 200 mL to 300mL water to wheat starch and water mixture. Using a very low heat, heat the mixture, continuously stirring it either anti-clockwise or clockwise, in the same direction , to prevent burning the glue. Continue heating and stirring until the paste is a consistent thick texture, and is a little translucent. Then allow the paste to cool down before using it later that day, or the next day. The paste can be stored in the fridge for a week to ten days.

2.Cutting out the mounting paper.

The mounting paper should be wider than the painting itself. Allow at least a 3 to 4 cm border all around.

3. Preparing the painting.
– Keep the work surface clean and mounting tools ready.

– Note that some colour will bleed during wet mounting. To prevent it happening, spray the painting with archival fixative and allow it to dry before starting the mounting.
– Place the painting face down on the worbench.

4. Spraying water on the back of the painting and use the brush to flatten it.

5. Applying the paste with a soft-bristled brush.

6. Attaching the mounting paper. The rice paper has two sides – one is rough and the other is smooth. Centre the paper with the rough side face down. Allow a border all around the painting.

Repeat steps 4 to 6 to attach a second layer of paper. This is not absolutely necessary for wet mounting, but it strengthens the back for framing.


7. Preparing the margins
– Apply the paste/glue to the outer edges.

– While the paper is still wet, gently lift the painting from the workbench.

– Place the mounted painting on an upright piece of glass or wooden board, to dry.
– Firmly but gently brush the surface to flatten it and brush out any air bubbles.
– Make sure that every edge has been glued properly otherwise the painting will warp during drying.

-While the painting is still wet, gently and carefully remove any dust or any small hairs, using a needle.
-Allow the painting to dry completely. This will take at least 24 hours.

8. Removing the painting
– Remove the painting from the glass or board by cutting around the edge.
– Inset a blade behind the painting and gently remove the painting in the following way: starting at the top corner lift and pull it slowly from top to bottom.

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Voila!! The wet mounting process is finished!
It looks very easy, but it requires a lot of skill and experience to produce a painting which is flat and which will be preserved for a long time.

The lamb and the lion

This traditional Mandarin Chinese character of RIGHTEOUSNESS is ““ , which is made up with ” 羊 (LAMB) “ above “ 我(ME) “. In other words, when you set the lamb above me, it’s called righteousness. In the Bible, Yeshua (Jesus) came as the sacrificial lamb without blemish to substitute and die for our sins.

In Romans 3:22-26 (CJB) that ” it is a righteousness that comes from God, through the faithfulness of Yeshua the Messiah, to all who continue trusting. For it makes no difference whether one is a Jew or a Gentile, since all have sinned and come short of earning God’s praise. By God’s grace, without earning it, all are granted the status of being considered righteous before him, throught the act redeeming us from our enslavement to sin that was accomplished by the Messiah Yeshua. God put Yeshua forward as the kapparah( atonement) for sin through his faithfulness in respect to his bloody sacrificial death. This vindicated God’s righteousness; because, in his forbearance, he had passed over( with neither punishment nor remission)  the sins people had committed in the past; and it vindicates his righteousness in the present age by showing that he is righteous himself and is also the one who makes people righteous on the ground of Yeshua’s faithfulness. ”

Romans 3:22-26 in other translation versions can be looked up here.

In John 1:29 (NIV), the next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ” Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

In 1Corinthians5:7(MSG), So get rid of this “yeast.” Our true identity is flat and plain, not puffed up with the wrong kind of ingredient. The Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has already been sacrificed for the Passover meal, and we are the Unraised Bread part of the Feast.
About the passover lamb, it’s described in the book of Exodus chapter12.
Yeshua as the passover lamb the Israelites were redeemed from Egyptian slavery by an unblemished lamb, now men could be freed from slavery to sin by the Messiah, the Lamb of God. The more about Yeshua (Jesus) as the passover lamb can be read in this article ” Why Jesus is our passover lamb ” 

In Isaiah 53, talked about the Messiah as the sacrifice lamb who took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. The Lord makes his life a guilt offering, after the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied, by his knowledge the Lord’s righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.

In Revelation chapter 5, it talked about Yeshua is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, as well as the sacrifice lamb that ” Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise! “. In Isaiah 11, talked about the Messiah as a shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse, Jesse was the forefather of David. The second coming of Messiah, His character and majesty.

So this picture is referring to Yeshua our Messiah.

lion and the lamb