Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Birds and Fruits

Frolicking birds and palatable fruits conjure up a pleasing setting of nature that inspires harmony.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Waterfall painting

I continued to "read" the guidebook on Chinese brush painting on loan from Mrs. Fan, this time on various ways of painting waterfalls cascading over various rock formations. Some of these are at such a high altitude that they seem to merge with the passing clouds and then re-emerge in a torrential descent.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ink Pool and Orchid (Lan)

After a two-week hiatus, we resumed our Arts class with the return of Mrs. Fan today. While at San Jose, Mrs. Fan found time to drop by a chinese stationery store and bought for me a nice dark maroon-colored ink plate, which has a more specfiic name translated as an ink pool because of its circular shape. Its surface texture is the smoothest I have ever seen. And one other aspect that I am most happy about is that its cover bears the Chinese zodiac sign of the horse. That is entirely coincidental but it would be hubby's zodiac sign too.

The newly acquired ink pool surrounded by other paraphernalia of Chinese brush painting.

And the output of the day.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Rock- and waterscape

The combination of rock and water symbolizes the blending of the hard and soft side of nature, the seamless combination of stillness and dynamism, of seeming constancy and cyclicity, of the Yang and the Yin, of sturdiness and ductility/malleability, of immobility and flow.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Glimpses into scenes of nature in Ancient China

Today's glimpses into the landscape sceneries typical of ancient times in China have been made possible by the painting guidebook I first introduced here. It has been on loan to me from Mrs. Fan, my Arts teacher, for a while now.

I'm quickening my pace of going through the book, by painting images thereon, which is the way I know best, so that I could return the guidebook to her when she returns from vacation any time now.

Majestic mountains, statuesque trees, torrential waterfalls, simple houses nestled within the sheer cliff-like rockscape, combine to project an idyllic setting that is the yearning of city folks. One can almost breathe the fresh air permeating ...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

As steady as a rock

Rockscape on blank cards, exuding solidness, with a veneer of vegetation demonstrating its versatility in colonizing a rocky substrate.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More One-Stroke ...

It's back to the one-stroke play, featuring birds congregating and chirping away.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Safe and Sound is where the lady of the house is!

Chinese calligraphy is one of the unique traditional artforms of China. Chinese characters were first developed by the working masses to record events through pictorial representation that gradually evolved to the written forms of today. And chinese calligraphy then followed suit from the invention of writing brushes.

Narrowly defined, Chinese calligraphy refers to the methods and the rules of writing Chinese characters using writing brushes, including the holding pattern, the stroke play, the layout, etc.

Broadly speaking, Chinese calligraphy encompasses all the writing efforts to express symbols and language. In other words, chinese calligraphy builds on the uniqueness of characters and their meanings and, through structured writing forms, transforms them into an elegant artform that constitutes an integral part of Chinese culture.

Here, simplistically, I would like to illustrate the evolution and the essence of Chinese calligraphy through a single character written in different calligraphic forms or scripts. The character I have chosen for this purpose means Safe and Sound, and in Zhuan Shu (the left character in the image below), which includes ancient writings on oracle bones, is represented by a roof with side walls encapsulating a seated lady within. The form symbolizes that the home is safe and sound when the lady of the house rules.

In Cao Shu, which literally means sketchy writing like grasses growing every each way, the walls seem to have disappeared (the middle character). Then comes the Kai Shu, the block shaped characters that are most often used today, signifying a roof over the character for lady. In a way, the word kind of jives with the English term, home maker, a moniker fondly and deservedly accorded to all great stay-home moms.

This is Announcing the arrival of Spring, ushering in a time of exuberance and verdancy.

And a flower with a backdrop of streaklines to finish off the ink left over from the calligraphic effort.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Birds, insects, and flowers Intersecting

I'm on a roll now. Hence, more paintings on blank cards.

The spidey in a world of its own.

The lotuses, the buds, and the dragon-fly.

Can you see the smile in the duckies' eyes? Hubby can.

Another pair of duckies, doing different things by themselves.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Back to Painting on Blank Cards ...

I have returned to painting on blank cards, having exhausted the supply of paintings on calendars on loan from Tom. However, rest assured it will not be the last of my calendar-inspired chinese brush painting series because I still have several calendars in my own collection.

The good thing about painting on blank cards is I can finish half a dozen of them in a single evening because of their small size, but the thrill of painting feels just the same.

This is epi-phyllum if you want to know.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The One-Stroke Expression of the Birds, Fruits, and Rock

Continuing apace, I completed two more calendar-inspired chinese brush paintings, capitalizing on the relative speed achievable using the one-stroke style, aka XieYi in Chinese, literally translated as "expressing the meaning".

A pair of birds descending on the bountiful lychees.

A pair of birds, seemingly gazing into each other's eyes, oblivious to the persimmon fruits, elegantly hanging from the tree branches.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

One-Stroke Calendar-Inspired Painting

I switched to the One-Stroke mode for today's rendition of the calendar-inspired Chinese brush painting. It takes considerably less time, is broad-brushed, but seems more difficult to handle compared to the meticulous style (GongPi) because the one-stroke style is just what it is, completed in one breadth, literally, no mid-course nor post-stroke correction.