It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chinese Brush Painting

(Sally Yu Leung instructing a student)
The traditional Chinese painting goes back to at least 4000 before our era and it has always been very closely related to the other crafts, history and traditions in China. Flower painting was separated from decorative art to form an independent section around the 9th century. Reflecting the ideals and character of the individual scholars, the motifs traditionally painted were plum blossoms, orchids, bamboo, chrysanthemums, pines and cypresses. There is always a great deal of symbolism in Chinese painting. The traditional media was ink and ink washes, in the modern times the painters have mixed several colors with black inks resulting to more natural and richly varied colors.

Denver Botanic Gardens' Botanical Art and Illustration Program has included Chinese brush painting in its elective curriculum already the third year in a row. This is an excellent way to get familiar with this old unique technique and explore the abiding rhythms of nature and human culture in China. In all these years we have invited Ms.Sally Yu Leung from San Francisco, CA to teach us and her classes are always immensly popular and sold out. Ms. Leung specializes in Chinese culture and folk art, often producing and curating cultural exhibits. She has many active roles at the San Francisco's Asian Art Museum - including Mayor-Appointed Asian Art Commissioner, Board of the Society for Asian Art, and Senior Docent - and has served on the boards of the Asian American International School and the Chinese Cultural Foundation. Sally also teaches Chinese calligraphy and brush painting at Pixar Animation Studios. Please see more photos from the class in the BI-Facebook.

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