Three years ago, a 73-year-old illiterate woman named Chang Xiufeng began to paint and soon garnered the nickname "Van Gogh Grandmother." This talented elderly woman is now preparing to publish books of her artwork.
During her life in the countryside, Chang Xiufeng never learned to write, let alone paint. By chance she became interested in painting after trying out her granddaughter's crayons. Chang's son was amazed by his mother's talent and posted her paintings on the Internet.
Within just one month, Chang's artwork had attracted over 80,000 viewers.
Chang's post-impressionistic painting style earned her the nickname "Van Gogh Grandmother," though Chang only learnt late on that Van Gogh was a famous Dutch artist, and that his painting Sunflower was sold at auction for an amazingly-high US$70,000,000.
Now living in Guangzhou with her son, Chang is a little lost among the big city streets, so she mostly stays at home to paint. Once in a while when going out, she is surprised and confused when strangers recognize her as the Van Gogh Grandmother.
This modest lady also doesn't believe that her blog has obtained so many visitors, as she quipped, "I think only 40 people maximum read my blog."
Now watercolor pens and crayons are this grandmother's best friends. Her prolific workrate has seen her paint over 100 pieces of artwork in three years. Famous France-based photographer Klavdij Sluban even obtained Chang's Guava Tree, and said, "Just like me -- Chang and I both are showing art with heart, not with machines and pens."
(CRI.com November 28, 2006)