Year of the Monkey

chinese monkey king s

OK, it officially starts on Monday, February 8, but that’s “Draw-a-Bird-Day” (and I know everyone is busy preparing their bird art!)  So I thought I’d celebrate Chinese New Year a bit early.  The above collage is a combination of a bunch of King of the Monkey masks I found online.

wooden monkey mask s

My original  collage was done from a photo of a wooden monkey mask I had in my files.  I didn’t make any notes as to it’s origin, but I liked its goofy face.  When I finished though, I thought the New Year needed something a bit more celebratory, which is why I did the more colorful one above as well.

The Year of the Monkey is the 9th of the 12-year cycle.  It’s a year when “anything can happen”, and a year when you are supposed to be as daring and inventive as Monkey people are.  They are the tricksters of Chinese astrology.

Bhutan monkey mask s

I also managed to make it back for one more look at the Rubin Museum’s mask exhibit, and they had quite a few monkey masks from various cultures.   The pencil drawing above is a festival mask from Bhutan.

monkey mask comp 1

I switched to ink both because it was dark in the exhibit, and because I didn’t want to stand too long in front of each mask as the passage was narrow and there were other people wanting to see each mask.  Above, on the left, a wooden mask from Nepal, and on the right, from India, Valin the Black Monkey, a helper of Rama.

monkey mask comp 2

From Japan, on the left, a solemn monkey, and from the Northwest Coast, on the right, one that looked fierce but friendly.  Evidently Native American sailors occasionally brought monkeys back from their travels.

Happy Year of the Monkey!
(and don’t forget your birds for Monday)

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About memadtwo

For more madness, follow me on Instagram @h_zimel

25 responses to “Year of the Monkey”

  1. Laura (Createarteveryday) says :

    Love the colors and creativity in the collages, particularly the top one! And terrific, expressive sketches, as usual. Capturing the essence and the life. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jodi says :

    Gorgeous! Love your inspiration. Happy new year!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cathe says :

    Great monkey faces/masks. They really embrace the idea behind the year of the monkey!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Claudia McGill says :

    Interesting, what I learned about this monkey year, and the colorful one is especially BEAUTIFUL!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sand Salt Moon says :

    I adore your monkey collage! Great mix of color and shape ~ love!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sharon Mann says :

    Oh boy Kerfe, you are bringing in the new year with a loud monkey screech! I love your post today. The masks and sketches are wonderful. Thanks for posting the extra information as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Teresa Robeson says :

    That is a fabulous collection of your monkey art! 🙂 I love that top one since it reminds me of Chinese opera (and despite Chinese opera’s bad reputation for sounding screechy, I love it since I grew up with it). ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. tedgiffin says :

    I should monkie around! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash) says :

    This is an awesome post!! Love it all!! Was hoping see monkeys pop up. These are amazing. Very nice work! ❤️😃

    Liked by 1 person

  10. artandmoondreams says :

    These are fantastic. Love the variety in both design and medium. Thank you for sharing all of these beautiful works of art.

    Liked by 1 person

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