My husband Tony is crazy about tigers, so I was delighted to see that according to the Chinese Zodiac, 2022 is the Year of the Water Tiger. We’ve also traversed some rough seas lately, metaphorically speaking, & I wanted to express my gratitude for how he’s carried me through these challenging times. So this is the Lunar New Year painting I created in his honor. The little calligrapher mouse in the houseboat is my avatar, so to speak, as the steadfast tiger is his.
The mouse’s hat & curious whiskers were loosely inspired by a portrait of the Yongle Emperor, Zhu Di, below, which I discovered while researching Zheng He, a great Chinese explorer of the early Ming dynasty. I’m a hat person & the resemblance of the emperor’s headgear to the iconic Mickey Mouse ears was irresistible.
The Chinese character that mousy-me is writing is one of several that translate to tiger. I’m not really sure if it’s the most accurate translation, but it is the simplest to draw!