Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Chinese Painting

I started Chinese painting about a year ago. My mom wanted me to try it out and see if I would like it. I agreed because Chinese paintings are very beautiful and I wanted to try something new. She took me to a famous Chinese painter who happened to live very close by. He wanted to meet me first before starting any lessons. I remember that he didn't want to accept me at first because he thought I was too young. He also thought that it very unusual for a young person such as myself to take an interest in such an old tradition. But he accepted me in the end with the help of another one of his students who happen to be my mom's friend, Mr. Li.

A year has passed and my teacher very much enjoys having me as a student. (whe
This November, I will be displaying 3 pieces that I painted in my teacher's annual exhibition. I'm pretty excited about it. At first I thought it was going to interfere with my Cal Arts application process because I would be overwhelmed with art. But actually I already have 2 of my pieces done. The exhibition is in November but I am required to have my pieces done at the end of September. So there will be no problem at all with Cal Arts. Which is really good! (It must be a sign!!!)

I really just wanted to write about how I feel about Chinese painting. I feel as if Chinese painting isn't really painting. It's more like drawing with a brush. Perhaps it is between drawing and painting. Every stroke counts and mistakes must be minimal to none. You feel as if this form of art is about perfection. But it really isn't. My teacher constantly reminds me to make these strokes messier, or to vary the sizes of the leaves and such.
Chinese painting has taught me a lot of patience and discipline of the hand.
Another important thing I learned from Chinese painting is the ability to bring feeling into a painting. Like figure drawing, Chinese paintings need a sense of life of gesture. I find this to be a challenge in my art making process but I enjoy it.

I hope to become a lot better. Because the pieces that I will be displaying are noth
ing compared to my teacher's other students (who are all middle-aged and had at least 2 years experience...wow...I'm telling you they are gooood.)
I hope they let me take pictures at the exhibition because I want to show the work of my peers.
Hopefully next year I show my work, I won't be known as the teacher's little ABC stu
dent :)

I'm very grateful for taking up Chinese painting. It really is a treasure that I hope everyone can share and like.

Here are just a few of the pieces that I have painted just for practice. Every week, I paint about 10 pieces and I show it to my teacher on Fridays. My teacher will correct my pieces and if he feels like I can move on, then he will teach me something new.

I will try to post more and better pieces later on.
My gallery pieces are at home so they won't be ruined but I will get pictures of those as soon as they are made into scrolls so they look more official :)

1 comment:

  1. Chinese painting sounds like a wonderful experience. You've got a very experienced teacher and you've definitely got a ton of talent.

    I've used different types of brush pens, but have always been frightful to try the Sumi brush >;P
    But after seeing your paintings, it sounds fun.

    I really dig your lastest pieces. The leaves are very loose and the insects rock!

    Thanks for sharing the inspirational story.