"My subject matter is forceful, yet you see hope and expectancy," artist Tai To Poon commented.
"Scenes of soaring mountains peering through gossamer clouds, while below tiny sampans slowly float their way down the winding river. An egret perched atop a jagged cliff, surveying from his lonely watch the idyllic distance scene of lush meadows abloom with cherry blossoms," he described his pieces.
These strong yet delicate scenes from this exquisite watercolorist will be showcased during Festival of the Arts on Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The show will bring around 100 artists to Oro Valley Marketplace, southwest corner of Oracle Road and Tangerine Road, and feature live performances and local food vendors.
Tai To was born in Mainland, China. At the tender age of 5, he began the serious study of art under the tutelage of China's famed Chao Shoa-An. He was considered the master of Ling-Nam school and the most versatile Chinese painter the last century has produced.
As a young boy, he quietly and meticulously learned the difficult and disciplined traditional Chinese bamboo brushwork. His progress was rapid. He won the governor of Hong Kong's favor and had his first exhibit at the palace.
"The command of the brush in my paintings on silk fabric is derived directly from the practice of Chinese calligraphy," he explained. "I have learned for many long years from the works of acknowledged masters and the exact strokes of a conventional artistic vocabulary constituted an arduous apprenticeship.
"My work employs Sumi, which means literally 'throw-ink,'" he continued. "Since the traditional silk fabric base is very absorbent, lines cannot be altered or diluted and as a skilled artist never repeats a line, it becomes impossible to tell when drawing ceases and painting begins."
Festival of the Arts has grown in popularity among artists and attendees each year, winning Best Annual Event for Tucson in 2011 at the Arizona Foothills magazine.
The free festival will entertain all ages with kids' activities and delicious food from Cowboy Kettle Corn, Fruit Shack Smoothies, Hawaiian Shaved Ice, Western Smoke BBQ, Quesadillas & More, Diamond W. Concessions, Gunnars Dawg House, Oh Wow! Fudge and Serial Grillers.
Live music will be performed throughout the weekend, including blues, rock, folk, accordions and more.
Saturday, March 2
10 a.m. TBA
11 a.m. Tommy Tucker - acoustic guitar, blues, rock
12 p.m. TBA
1 p.m. Shirley & Jim O'Brien - strolling accordions
2:30 p.m. Widow's Hill - bluegrass
Sunday, March 3
11 a.m. Chris & Rosemary - jazz trombone and keys
12 p.m. Jerome Rose - folk, rock, country, pop, blues
1 p.m. SaddleBrooke Performing Arts Group - strolling accordions
2 p.m. TBA
Spring Oro Valley Festival of the Arts
When: Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Oro Valley Marketplace, southwest corner of Oracle and Tangerine Roads
Cost: Free admission
Phone: (520) 797-3959