I did a Chinese painting workshop yesterday in Ross-on-Wye near me, it was interesting and I brought two of the brushes, a larger wolf hair one and a smaller squirrel/raccoon haired one – the teacher couldn’t remember as the smaller one was one used in classes but I fell in love with it and she let me purchase it, these brushes will be brilliant with my pencils – despite being told they wouldn’t! Was an interesting day, I was talked into it by a lovely friend as I didn’t really want to go but it was nice to do something different. I am not a fan of the highly stylized art, there isn’t too much room for being different in the craft in its purest form, it focus’ very much on copying old masters – so old their names are lost in the mists of time. That said, I loved working with ink, hence buying a couple of brushes to see how i can use them with my Inktense pencils – the teacher said the inks was probably not the same.. but I disagree, you grind the ink for Chinese painting as it comes in a stick and you would have to grind the ink from the pencil in very much the same way. Was rather pleased with my hummingbird and lotus flower, you had to go directly onto the paper with the brush, no drawing or practising first! and the paper was soooooo thin!! I used two types of paper, grass paper and bark, the bamboo and minnows are on grass the other on bark, grass is the beginner paper and I liked it you had more control over the ink the bark is a smoother texture and therefore more difficult to control the bleeding. All in all I loved the day and it was with a great group of lovely ladies, all older ladies but they have the best stories.. one lady was telling how she was in a Russian hospital and how much vodka was consumed as she wanted to have a local anesthetic rather than a general as she didn’t quite trust she wouldn’t wake up with her arm not removed – she had an arm injury – after the local hadn’t worked the staff resorted to giving her vodka and she was most alarmed that the surgeon partook in this too! This was many years ago, I was the youngest in the group by quite a few years and I imagine this lady had a good 35 years on me! She was a delightful person with a twinkle in her eye, I would love to hear more of her stories.
The teacher for the class was Katrina Stephens and you can see more of her work HERE
It was a lovely day and Katrina was a good teacher with a rather impressive collection of fabulous inks, the Chinese really do know how to display their products, everything is so beautifully packaged.