Dec 23: An Asian cornucopia for the New Year

30 Dec

(Note: OK, i’m late in posting this but… Better late than never no?! =P)

One last still for 2012! And imho a rather apt one.

This was what we had to paint – my interpretation being that it was an Asian version “cornucopia”.

Dec 23 - Still Life arrangement

A cornucopia… seriously?

According to trusty Wikipedia –

“The cornucopia (from Latin cornu copiae) or horn of plenty is a symbol of abundance and nourishment, commonly a large horn-shaped container overflowing with produce, flowers, nuts, other edibles, or wealth in some form. Originating in classical antiquity, it has continued as a symbol in Western art, and in North America is particularly associated with the Thanksgiving holiday.”

This 17th Century painting by Rubens depicts the Roman goddess Abundantia with a cornucopia. A very classical painting no?

Which is to say, it is a auspicious symbol.  Isn’t it perfect for all the festivities and to herald a new year with?

*nod to self*

Why Asian then?

It’s “Asian”-ness comes from how the arrangement depicts tropical fruits from our region, and in place of the horn-shaped container, we have fruits tumbling out a … heh heh… a rice bucket.

How are they the same?

Well, traditionally, it is quite usual to see Chinese families pasting the Chinese character “满”, which means literally “full” or abundance, onto their rice buckets (or whichever modern day storage container that is being used). It signifies, as my mother tells me, that the family will always have food to eat, i.e. will never grow hungry.



Means the same thing as a Western cornucopia, isn’t it?


SO anyway, I thought it might be a nice idea to have  this auspicious image done up nicely for the new year. And picked up my small canvas to start.

Anyone who thought painting smaller is easier is sorely mistaken…

Despite my best efforts after putting a good few hours into it, the end result was… unsatisfying!

Presenting Still.Life 之 Asian cornucopia


It looked miserable instead of gracious and… prosperous. And lacking… in what, I’m not entirely sure.

I come to the same conclusion I always do nowadays – I am out of practise! Especially now that my weekly sessions have turned monthly (at best). *pout*

Something to work towards in the New Year perhaps? 🙂

Anyway, here’s wishing everyone a Happy and Abundant 2013!

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