Sunday, December 11, 2011

'The Magic of Chinese Painting'

I'm pleased to see that the coming LAS February is about Chinese painting - I'm quoting the title of the presentation as the heading of this post. The presenter is Moira Gibbs MA and it will be good to meet her again since I was once a student on one of her courses in Ludlow.

I never completely fell for Chinese painting - the preliminary rubbing of the ink stick on a stone then the absorbant nature of the rice paper. A short time later I did a further course at Shrewsbury with a charming oriental tutor Su Ning Bailey. This took me a little further but I failed to become a devotee.

I'm grateful to both tutors though because they taught me to how to use the brush as a free expressive tool and to simultaneously load it with different strengths of ink for graduated strokes. These are methods which carry over to other kinds of work.

Painting birds has renewed my interest in Chinese painting because Chinese painters see them more as subjects to be arranged in a decorative motif. Nevertheless in the best examples the paintings express the liveliness of bird behaviour while dispensing with realistic detail.

I recently discovered Jingua Gao Dalia's blog which has some lovely examples. See

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