I received my painting an hour ago

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Rifleman Chris Parkes
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 3, 2011 4:51 am
Location: County Durham

I received my painting an hour ago

Post by Rifleman Chris Parkes » Jun 3, 2011 5:16 am

It is the most beautiful piece of art I've seen with my own eyes. After ordering some custom calligraphy from the site I've been getting more and more excited as it nears the 4-5 week mark, so I decided to check out the paintings available too.
After seeing a preview of a contemporary painting by Mr Ou-Yang; a beautiful women, wrapped in silk sheets, yellow rose in relief... I was absolutely blown away. I have the perfect space in my study for it and after posting this I'm taking the art into city to be framed as soon as possible.
Everything from the striking but fluid colours to the extremely fine brush work is breathtaking. The quality ivory mounting is elegant and does it great justice. I cannot say enough great things about it. I will say though after paying only 130US for such a piece of art I feel like a bit of a cheat! I will post a picture here once it has been framed.
I was inspired by Mr. Ou-Yang's story and it gave me a second wind with the way I view life. I'm also an amputee after an IED explosion in Sangin, Afghanistan so I was very touched to read it, and see you guys enjoy a good drink too!
Many thanks for the privilege, Gary. I envy your travels! Please pass on my greatest thanks and compliments to Mr. Ou-Yang. I will certainly be back for more!


Cheers

Chris Parkes
United Kingdom

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Gary
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Joined: Oct 30, 2007 11:30 pm
Location: San Diego / Beijing
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Post by Gary » Jun 3, 2011 10:27 am

Thanks for the kind words Chris.

I think the best part of meeting Mr. Ou-Yang is that it's not a case of charity. I saw his work first at the tiny gallery that his sister managed. I liked the artwork, I wanted to buy it because it was so good. Later I learned that this guy created all of this brilliant artwork sans three appendages. I'm glad it happened that way, as I know I'm representing him because of the quality of his work, and not for pity because of his disability. I hope that makes sense.

While I have all my legs and arms, twice in my life I've had to learn to walk again. The first was at age 17 as an aspiring bicycle racer, ready to head to Colorado to try out for the U.S. Cycling Team and head to the Pan-American Games (kind of like your Commonwealth Games). I got hit by a car while training and spent 6 months in leg braces.

Later, I joined the U.S. Marine Corps serving from 1991 to 2002. I was standing atop a 14-ton Light Armored Vehicle in a precarious position. The rain-soaked ground suddenly gave way, and the vehicle rolled over sideways twice down a hill. I ended up being crushed, but saved by two rocks that took most of the weight. When I saw the vehicle about to roll on top of me, I was sure I was going to die. I could not use my right leg for 6 months, as all the muscles connected to that leg were badly torn.

Life seems different after a near-death experience. I trained and trained hard to get back into shape. About a year later, I climbed solo with nearly 80 pounds of gear and food through the Andes mountains of Peru making a 4-day hike to Machu Picchu, the hard way.

My story doesn't really compare to yours, but it does allow me to say, "I get it", and understand your situation more than the businessman who goes to work in a suit each day. His only chance of injury will come from a paper cut or perhaps spilling his hot coffee in his lap.

By the way, I put money and effort where my heart is. So your purchase helps me support the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) which helps amputees get adapted sports equipment so that they can compete in various running, cycling, and other sports. I also work with another charity that sends incredible care packages to wounded warriors as they recover from severe battle injuries.
charities.php

One of the CAF athletes is missing a leg, but races bicycles against able-bodied riders on the velodrome. He doesn't win too often, but he always beats most of the field. He gets a lot of well-deserved respect for that.

Anyway Chris, thanks for your post and getting me to think about all of this stuff, and how lucky I am to still be here and able to do what I do.

Cheers,
-Gary.


PS:
I just joined the U.S. Army National Guard last year. They're giving me an all-expense-paid trip to Afghanistan in 2013, so who knows what's in store for me there. They even gave me my full rank back, but it's weird to be called "Sergeant" again after so long.

Rifleman Chris Parkes
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 3, 2011 4:51 am
Location: County Durham

Post by Rifleman Chris Parkes » Jun 3, 2011 3:13 pm

You're very welcome. I know what you're saying about disability and I agree wholeheartedly. Well done on joining the ranks again. I'm an infantry soldier like every oldest son in the family since WW1. My story in Afghan' is a typical one to be honest. I was on foot patrol carrying the heavy kit, long firefights and dirty contacts and it was my unlucky day; command wire IED blew my left leg off and my left arm, but my arm was saved but the leg was long gone. Who knows? Maybe a dog ate it or something similar. :lol:
I do a lot of work for UK based charities like Help for Heroes and Pilgrim Bandits, but I also work with the Wounded Warrior Project in the states.
I'm usually with the a group of Brits in Colorado for the Breckenridge Ski Spectacular each year. Always nice to talk to a fellow soldier.
I did take the art to a professional framer today who'll do it great justice. It will be ready Wednesday and I'll upload a picture then.

All the best

- Chris

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Gary
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Joined: Oct 30, 2007 11:30 pm
Location: San Diego / Beijing
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Post by Gary » Jun 8, 2011 2:28 pm

If you ever make it to the San Diego, California area, there's an extra room in my home if you want to save your hotel money.

Cheers,
-Gary.

Rifleman Chris Parkes
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 3, 2011 4:51 am
Location: County Durham

Post by Rifleman Chris Parkes » Jun 9, 2011 3:58 pm

Thanks Gary. I will make it to California one day and if you're around we'll have to make a point of having a good drink. Likewise if you're ever in northern England you're more than welcome here!
I got my painting back today, a day late but i'm trying to be more relaxed with deadlines while I'm at home. If you treat civvis like soldiers they tend not to like it very much.
I still haven't hung it because I need a certain screw tail to anchor it into the wall, but it's here free standing just below where I'll hang it. Pardon my not so great photos of it as well. I chose a brown frame to match the brown within the borders of the paper.
It is a beautiful painting but there is so much detail I can't even get close to capturing all of it. Her eyes, hair, lips, hands, pretty much all of her looks real and it's unbelievable in person. My not so great camera skills don't do it justice. The quality of this art isn't just good it's superb.
I picked it up from the city art store earlier this morning and the man who did it asked me where I bought it (assuming I couldn't paint something like it... well he'd be right) because he rarely sees paintings of this standard.
Once my wall scroll has arrived I'll have my photographer friend take some photos of them in the study, which has an eastern theme to it (the exemption being my bearded dragon there and my computer). I keep my antique nihonto and family NCO swords in here too but nothing is ever as it should be! I'll be getting it all in order very soon and will be sure to post better pictures later.
Thanks again Gary and Mr Ou-Yang, I'm already looking at more from the site.

Very grateful

- Chris

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