When my grandpa lived here, he raised a garden in our back yard.

For eleven years he tended to this garden. And when his body was too tired from fighting cancer, my grandma tended to the garden. After they returned to his homeland for him to pass away, my mom now tends to this garden. I try to work on it some, but I always seem too preoccupied with schoolwork and other things to do much. But I still remember in early spring as the birds woke up, he would take out a makeshift plow and start tilling the ground until the sun went down. Then when the flowers bloomed, he would scatter the seeds about the ground. And finally, my favorite time of the year, when orange and yellow leaves rained from trees, I would skip down to the garden and pick the biggest, reddest, juiciest tomatoes and, squeezing them in my fat baby hands, run back to my grandfather. I would hold each one up between my fingers and say, “Look grandpa! Look what I have grown, aren’t you proud?” He would laugh and say yes even though he was the one who worked year-round for them.

My grandpa gave everything to me. I often think that I am a different garden that he grew. That he invested eleven years in. That he poured his heart as soil into and watered with his knowledge and his kindness. Washed with his warm kind hands and kissed with wrinkled lips. I hope that one day, I will be able to run to him once more, carrying nothing except myself and say, “Look grandpa! Look at what you have grown.

Are you proud?”

My Concentration Pieces

Copying His Work

I used to try and copy his works, but my pieces often came out wonky and not
even close to the skillfulness of his. I would usually get frustrated and go
play outside instead. He saved each and every one of my drawings and taped them
next to his. Now his artwork combined with mine, though mine are uneven and 
misshapen, are some of my most prized works.

Below are some examples of my grandpa’s and my copy of his work side by side.


May 3rd, 2010

Baby Chick

May 6th, 2010


May 10th, 2010


May 14th, 2010


June 18th, 2010

Bird Eggs

September 1st, 2010

外公’s Gallery

Due to the Cultural Revolution and conflicts in my grandfather’s life, he wasn’t able to pursue a career in the arts. He never received any art training nor had time to pick up a paintbrush until his later life. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2004 and one day he said that he was going to draw one picture every day for the rest of his life. He died in 2014. Below is his first gallery featuring pieces of an untaught yet beautiful artist.


  1. Dear Melinda,
    Congratulations on this wonderful website and your impressive portfolio. Thanks for sharing your relationship with your grandpa and his art pieces.
    All the best to your college plan. I am sure you will be very successful in your endeavor.
    Kheng Joo

  2. Hello Melinda,
    What a beautiful story of you and your grandfather you are sharing!
    I feel sweetness, gentleness, kindness, warm and positivity from both your grandfather and your paintings. Youre paintings are so amazing. I hope that your project inspire people who want to learn and to study art.
    I believe that you can achieve anything that what you set your mind to, because you work hard.

    1. Hello Melinda, Your relationships with your grandfather and the world around you are so beautifully illustrated in the luminous and colorful art you have displayed for those of us fortunate to have found this page! May you continue your beautiful work and be successful in college!

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