Friday, June 12, 2009

magic tiiiime

OK, so here I am on the verge of nuptial bliss, smoking a cigar and drinking good whisky (Stranahan's Colorado). I am about to go back east to Vermont to get married in a couple of weeks, in case my dear readers did not know, so I thought I would post a little bit of Chinese-related marriage stuff!

But first check out this pencil sketch I did recently of an alien chasing a dude on a hover bike!! (No relation to how I feel about getting married, mind you, it is just something I drew recently and would like criticism on. Click for larger image)

OK. The first thing I can say is that I am glad we are getting married in 21-st century USA instead of feudal China. Back in the day, you would not even know your bride/groom or what they looked like/enjoyed eating/preferred activities/favorite color. It was all arranged in advance by the families. Michala and I have been dating for several years, with the engagement and wedding planning lasting for about a year and a half on its own! And no matchmaker!

The Chinese word for marriage ceremony is 婚礼 (hun1 li3). The second part of the character means simply "ceremony" or "rite." But the first part is interesting because it has the radical for female: 女 (nv3) and for dusk: 昏 ( hun1). Apparently this is because marriages in olden times used to take place in the evening. (according to

There are a million details on how marriages went down in China, but I think one thing that is quite interesting is that pretty much all of the characters associated with marriage have the female radical 女 in them. Here is a brief list of those words:

婚 (hun1) marriage, get married (woman + dusk)
姻 (yin1) relatives by marriage (woman + reason)
嫁 (jia1) to marry to a man (woman + home)
娶 (qu3) to marry a woman (woman + retrieve)

I am very excited to get married! I keep getting asked "are you nervous?" But I don't feel nervous, rather I feel a sense of destiny, a feeling of impending fulfillment, and a sense of connection with the millions of other beings (humans, obviously, but also our animal cousins, whose psychological and emotional dimensions remain largely unplombed by us) who have entered into similar committments, in whatever form, with whatever combination of individuals.

Next post: I will be a married man!


Tom Gordon said...

Hey Ben, congrats on you and your fiancee, and nice job on the drawing! The thing is, since you're working in one-point perspective (which you actually followed here quite accurately), you may've noticed things gets somewhat distorted the further away they get from the single vanishing point, kinda like a camera's fish-eye lens. And while this imparts the droog and his floatbike with an exaggerated sense of Warner Brothers cartoon-style motion, it also flattens it in space and affects the whole 'object coming towards you at dangerously high speed' drama.

This helpful webpage/site has the fundamentals on two-point (plus a nifty 3D Java applet that shows you the effect moving vanishing points has on an object's appearance). Fortunately, that's probably all you'll need to learn, perspective-wise. Three/four point only sees limited use for extreme views from skyscrapers, crazed M.C. Escher landscapes, etc. -- where VPs are placed on a vertical axis and every line becomes a subtle arc.

('Course, then there's still the matter of 'foreshortening' the human figure, which even I still can't... well, urgh. )

Siew Gin said...

Nice drawing and sweet words about how you feel about your wedding.

Anyways, have a great wedding(i'm sure it will)!!!

Susan said...

HI Ben, Reading this post-wedding is great--it happened!--now your destiny is well underway--love your sense of joining with all the others human and animal who choose partners and commit.
I am home now and love you both so much!
Love, Mom

Ben Moger-Williams said...

THanks guys! The wedding was great. So fun to see everyone and celebrate - in the rain!
Tom - thanks for you advice! I did check out the 2-point perspective site and have since practiced it. HArder, but more lifelike I suppose. Hopefully I will post more drawings on here in the future. I have a good one of Conan The Barbarian I am working on.