Category Archives: composition

Out on a limb: pine cones

“All that exists is, in a sense, the seed of what will be born from it.” — Marcus Aurelius With pine branches being such a common setting for animals or birds in Chinese brush painting (CBP), you’d think there would … Continue reading

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Getting there…by gosh or by golly, a horsey adventure

Growing up in the 1940s and 50s in the Robson Valley we lived through a lot of transitions: from coal oil lamps to electric lights, from wood stove to central heating, from horse and buggy to cars and trucks. In … Continue reading

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Harmony and Joy, two birds on a branch

While updating my growing CBP library database recently I discovered a few books I had missed inputting. As I flipped through one to consider its most relevant coding I discovered a composition with two sparrows flitting through maple, two subjects … 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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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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True messenger of dreams: the goldfish

In the introduction to a great instructional book titled Drawing Goldfish and Golden Carp Ho Kung-Shang waxes poetically as he describes the featured artist’s skill: “Lin Wu-kui’s goldfish give us dreams, thoughts and hopes. If in life we find fewer … Continue reading

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