New Year’s Buddha…

Laughing Buddha doodle... laughing Boodle?
Laughing Buddha doodle… laughing Boodle?

I tweeted this image recently and Tom sent me a haiku. I thought it was so perfect for the image that I have incorporated it right onto the picture. So this was partly created with Zen Brush – original drawing – and partly with Gimp – the text and signature part.

Anyway, a wonderful and inspiring 2013 to all who drop by!

image (cc) 2013 Hilary Farmer
haiku (c) 2013 TJ Radcliffe

Ho Tai, “the Laughing Buddha”

Ho Tai
Ho Tai

I thought I’d try my hand at drawing a Ho Tai, also called the Laughing Buddha. Unlike commonly assumed, this is not a Chinese representation of the original Buddha (Siddharta Gautama Buddha) but a rather different historical figure. He lived during the 9th Century and was a Buddhist monk. He worked away happily in the monastery kitchens and loved his food but he is not as famous for his prodigious girth as for his kindness and generosity. He often visited local villages and distributed food and gifts to the poor – especially children – becoming something of a Santa Claus type figure depicted carrying a sack full of goodies. After his death he was elevated to god status by the Daoists. It is easy to find all different sizes of Ho Tai figures in shops in your local Chinatown. Now you can impress the proprietor by knowing the correct name! (Note the pronunciation is ho – long o, and tai like tie)

image (cc) 2009 Hilary Farmer