Sunday, April 3, 2011

Does anyone know what this character means?

So, at Saturday's market - nearly 300 cranes down, 700 to go! - I got a real, live customer who wants to buy this little still life in oils that I did some years ago. The thing is, she'd really like to know what she's buying, and sadly I have no idea. The candle was a present from my friend Lauren (hi Lauren!) and is labelled "Chinese pyramid small candle" which may help. Or not.

So... does anyone out there know what that character means? Of course I may have copied it wrong, but hopefully not egregiously so. Anonymous (whose mother is the customer, hi Anon and Anon's mom!) thinks it would be really funny if it means "candle".

I like this still life, it's got some of my favourite things in it - a shell bought in Cape Town when I was eight, the candle from Lauren, an amethyst candleholder given to me by my husband (then boyfriend), and jasmine, the very best smell in the world, in a vase belonging to my mom. All arranged on one of my nighties. Oh, the things that inspire us.


  1. Hi Lesley - unfortunately couldn't make the market as I had the BAASA meeting.
    I think the symbol is for peace - 3 horizontal line through a vertical with a tail. Check out Chinese symbols on Google images.
    How can you sell a painting of all of your favourite things?! (and of your nightie!) ;)
    Good progress on the cranes!

    ~ Sam

  2. Well, that was quick haha...searching the actual Chinese, instead of the Japanese kanji for peace, and found a few chinese characters on one picture: the one on the candle is for life. The peace one doesn't have quite so many strokes/radicals. Thanks, Sam! Also, my mom is okay with that, Lesley :) .

    Those cookies are amazing, by the way :D .

    Thanks so much for the post though haha.

    See you at the next market then, I guess - sorry for the extra work my mom is making you do!

    My blog, as you inquired about, is at

    Thanks and take care

  3. Noes! I lost my anonymous status haha. Oh well. Hi haha.

  4. Hey Sam, thanks for your help! I was very sorry to miss the BAASA meeting, it sounds like it was extremely interesting.

    Any sadness caused by parting with it is swallowed up in a huge wave of I sold a painting!

    I'm sending you an e-mail to ask you to redesign the BAASA site just for me. Kidding, sort of - but I need to ask you a massive favour, matched only by the massiveness of the missive in which I argue my case! Watch your inbox for the essay that's coming your way :)

  5. Anonlisa! Sorry you lost your anonymity, but this way I can stalk your blog as well! Which is awesome by the way.

    I'm glad the cookies are good.

    Nooo, don't apologise for the extra work, I sold a picture! I owe you for that one :) Also, I can see where the character is a bit wrong, I'll fix that up as well as lightening it.

  6. Love the crane idea - catching up with its progress. xx