Today I am thinking about traditions and how the past can form and/or inform our present. I like the fact that the word present has two meanings, “now” and “gift” and I wonder, do I treat my present as a present in my life? Each moment becomes a bead on a string and that is where tradition comes in, it is a string of moments that in hindsight are seen as valuable and worth keeping. This watercolour of a hibiscus flower and leaves is from the 1980’s when I was studying Traditional Chinese Brush Painting. I was taught the Six Canons and canon # 6 is that techniques and style are learnt by copying the old masters. In this way the wisdom of the past is not forgotten but becomes the traditions that each generation builds upon. As an artist sometimes I need to stop and reflect, stop doing my own thing, and to spend time relearning and reconnecting to what I think I already know. In this vein I have taken out a library book, “Principles of Chinese Panting” and will spend time over the next month reading and practicing some of the traditions presented in the book.