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East Asian Brush Painting

East Asian brush painting consists of many styles of painting that originated in China centuries ago and spread throughout Japan and

Korea. Blue Heron Chapter member artists use a variety of styles, from representational to abstract, and from traditional East Asian to a combination of Western and Asian.

All East Asian brush painters, regardless of style, use the same tools and similar techniques. The tools that are essential to the art form are called The Four Treasures: brush, ink, ink stone and paper. Special brushes made in Asia are used. The ink is not ink at all, but consists of a secret formula of soot and glue made into a hard block which is then ground with water on an ink stone. The paper is generically called rice paper, but is made from other ingredients. 

The artists must learn to use ink freely with a controlled brush stroke and must be able to capture the essence of the subject in their paintings. Brush painters express nature using varied techniques and methods to bring life to the subject.

The flow and spread of the black ink in many shades, from black to light gray on rice paper represents the subject. The addition of color may be employed. Sources of color are varied, including powdered jade, white pearl and other natural elements. An integral part of the composition is the red chop, or seal, which is the artist's signature. It can signify the artist's name or home village or a bit of philosophy.

Brush painting speaks simply from the power of its basic inspiration. Themes from nature are the usual subject matter, but brush painters do not try to imitate, control or master nature. Rather, they appreciate every aspect of it and enjoy the natural process.

Artistic beauty most often lies in that which is natural and has personality. As one looks at these paintings at leisure, with a thoughtful and open mind, they sink into one's imagination.

All images are under Copy Right@, contact artist for further information.

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