Poppy, by Menq Tsai
I am glad that the weatherman's earlier forecast of snow for today was incorrect. Granted, it is frigid as all get out right now, but the sun. . . oh the sun. . . he is casting his warm smiles upon us now. This week has been rough for me. For the first time in all the years I've lived here on the mainland, winter has finally taken a toll on me. I don't know what it is. It doesn't help much that I've got a cold either. Ugh. So, in an attempt to find some springlike visual stimulation, I went online to search for images of red poppies, one of my favorite flowers. I came across a website called fineartamerica.com, which is an online community of artists and art galleries. That is where I found what is now one of my most favorite poppy paintings ever.
The blissful painting of vibrant red poppies amongst hushed companions was created by a man named Menq Tsai, of Simi Valley, California. Wanting to know more about the artist and the piece, I found very little information about him. What I did gather was that he was an electronic engineer who had to give up his career due to a disability in 2003. It was then that he began a life pursuing art, having never drawn or painted before then. The site showcases several other pieces by Tsai. I was utterly disheartened when I found out that this man with a wonderful gift, whose painting left me in such awe, lost his battle to cancer last August. His son, Richard, left a note for many of Menq's fellow artists and fans, opening up about his father and thanking the friends who helped encourage his artwork. Grateful for having stumbled upon his painting, I felt the need to introduce Menq Tsai's work here, to all of you. With much reverance, I gaze upon the dreamy image of red poppies amidst hints of wildflowers, and I know that he must be smiling, truly at peace, knowing that he was and is an inspiration.