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May 11, 2012

Happy Mother's Day - The Red Shoes

This painting was inspired by "The Red Shoes", which was first introduced to me by my mother. To me The Red Shoes has become a symbol of a career woman who has devoted her life to her job, or made some sacrifice in life. I painted this piece with my love for my mother.  Slowly I understand her more and more day after day. Happy Mother's Day!

(Please click the image to enlarge)
This piece won the 1st place in the Contest - Shoes on May 18th, 2012. 

Inside and out Mom and I are so different, only one thing I have in common with her - a fast walk. She is outgoing, can make friends everywhere she goes through a very short conversation, rich or poor, old or young, higly educated person or without any education, even in different cultures, sometimes without language communication...

She was beautiful and talented in theater arts, dancing, singing and acting. She was chosen to be an actress in a couple of movies when she was very young. Then she became a principal opera singer (western style) preformed on the main stage for a couple of years. Her beautiful voice and emotional expression touched millions of audiences back then. In her late twenties, she went back to school to learn to be a journalist. She remembered people's names and phone numbers instantly (she never needed an address book). Also being an excellent ball-room dancer, she could grab the important information she needed for her report the next day, whenever she danced with the VIPs.

In her career, she always tried to focus on the arts. She wrote, edited thousands of reports, stories about so many artists, including our national treasures and international famous ones, published and broadcast that reached millions people in China and overseas, through newspapers, magazines, books, radio and TVs etc.. Back in the 1960's, she was one of a very few female journalists to interview the most famous Russian (Soviet Union at the time) ballerina Maya Plisetskaya when preforming in Beijing, China. That was before I was existed.

After my father suddenly died in an accident when I was ten, it was not easy for me to see her world from my perspective. Quickly I learned how to take care of myself.  No matter how late I tried to read my books to keep myself awake, not many nights I could see her before going to bed. Instead of having a regular breakfast like most people, I saw her notes left on the dinning table "food in the refrigerator" constantly. So many times I needed her signatures on my home works, but I had to learn how to fake them. How many important decisions the school teachers wanted to know our parents' opinion, I had to pretend my owns were supported by my mom.  How could I bother her much, since her night light on her desk was on all the time, sometimes till I went to school. Instead of drinking coffee, she just chewed the coffee beans to continue her overnights work.

Definitely, my mom had given me the most freedom and encouraged me to gain knowledge differently. I could often see the outstanding national and international performances, movies, art gallery openings because of her job. Not always knowing how to appreciate all of them, but there was no textbook that could have taught me such a variety experience. I so much looked forward to the summer vacations, I studied hard every day for my travel allowance, which I received if I could get straight A's. I got chances visited most of provinces and major cities in China. My mother helped me to build up my strength for the exploration and adventure I love in life, and I continue my traveling to see the world she has introduced to me...

She has been retired for many years now, but she still writes, and travels even though her health is not in a good condition. But she must watch news every hour, must read newspapers ever day... My biggest expenses used to be the international phone charge, listening to her endless interests of updated news, for which I never cared much, but I missed her and I had to learn how to deal with it.  It was one of the greatest honors to become one of the most contributed women. Each of the contributor's portrait was published in postage stamps in China a couple years ago, including my mother's. Now, I feel proud of having such an extraordinary career mother, because I am part of her life, we all work hard and do our best in life.

Please click the image for viewing other artists' comments under this painting, or view more paintings at my online art gallery at: http://xueling-zou.artistwebsites.com/index.html

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