Author Archives: Reluctant Rat

Different strokes for different folks–painting the maple leaf

When our children were young one of them misheard the expression ‘make believe’ while reading bedtime stories as ‘maple leaf’. To this day at our house fantasy stories are referred to as such. When I double load a paintbrush to … Continue reading

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The owl that winked at me

I just love it when I’m on the hunt for something specific, say a bamboo grove, and my searching leads me to a website with other items (fine figures) that simply command my attention, things I would have looked for … Continue reading

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Branching out, plum plus

So many of my CBP books are in Chinese that I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve got into the bad habit of not always reading the instructions even when they are in English! With some time on my hands recently … Continue reading

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Painting perfection: the persimmon

You have to understand some principles of abstract art before you can ‘get into’ what Picasso was doing with his ‘cubist’ approach, breaking up subjects or objects into pieces and re-arranging them to suit his own mind. You may need … Continue reading

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All in the eyes: painting sparrow

Shuttlecocks. That’s what many of the sparrows appearing in Chinese brush paintings look like to me—just extremely round heads with a trailing splay of feathers. Their heads are too big for their bodies. Sorry, I don’t think the effort to … Continue reading

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Wiley and beguiling: painting Wisteria 2

Stymied by where and how best to begin a wisteria composition I realized I needed to understand more fully how the plant’s parts grew and fit together. Now I’ve pulled many a dandelion, picked the flowers, braided the stems, scrubbed … Continue reading

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Hoary brushwork and other surprises: painting wisteria

My study of wisteria all began with a single word, but it took me to many different sites and various writers, and even down a mysterious and fantastical tunnel. The starting word was ‘hoary’. When I first read that portrayal … Continue reading

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