You know those red placemats in Chinese restaurants that list the qualities of the animals of the Chinese zodiac and their years? Maybe they were the spark for some lighthearted conversation while you waited for your Salt and Pepper Shrimp, Ma Po Tofu, and Chinese greens to come to the table. Frankly, I never thought of it as more than entertainment, that is, until I took a trip with Felix to China. There, when you meet someone new, it’s not the usual American question, “What do you do for a living?” It’s,“What animal (year) are you?” When I visited people’s homes, I saw the animal year presented in art or sculpture along with their own animal year, sometimes as little tzochkes and sometimes as more substantial works of art and sculpture. I began to feel a special kinship with my fellow animal friends (I’m a tiger) and to the animal of the year that is celebrated each lunar new year.
It’s the Year of the Horse! Are you a horse? They’re animated, energetic, positive sorts who are excellent communicators and love to take center stage. It’s a year that should be good for travel as well as fast victories, unexpected adventure, and surprising romance according to astrologer Susan Levitt ( a nice Chinese name!).
Whether you’re a horse or not, having depictions of horses this year is said to bring good luck!
Here is a small gallery of some of Felix’s horse drawings perfect for The Year of the Horse:
Felix has always loved to draw horses and the sports they’re involved in. He actually doesn’t ride or visit stables, he just has a deep appreciation of their beauty, form, strength, speed, nobility, and perseverance. You would think that Felix grew up on a horse farm, he is so inspired by them, but Felix grew up in bustling subtropical metropolis of Hong Kong! Horses do however have deep and important roots throughout Chinese history. Maybe he’ll do some Chinese inspired horses this year with pen and ink or in that more exacting style with subdued colors. I’ll keep you posted!
What animal are you? Do you feel like the descriptions match your persona?
May it be a very happy Year of the Horse ahead!