Chinese Brush Painting, Paul Maslowski

Tuesday 8th October 2013  


Although billed as Chinese brush painting our speaker Paul Maslowski immersed us in Chinese culture for 2 hours.

Paul, a Painter, poet and Thai Chi instructor, came dressed for the part. Taking us through the 4 treasures (Ink, brush, paper and stone) and various paraphernalia required to the 8 strokes used to create any painting. These 8 strokes can be demonstrated easily but take a lifetime to master. He showed us how ink is traditionally made by rubbing the ink stick (costing a mere 1000) onto the ink stone with a drop of water. He then painted his name in Chinese characters and then created a painting of Bamboo with a bird.

Paul explained how Chinese art begins with the mastery of calligraphy before taking on more illustrative characteristics. Concluding his talk with a slide show presentation illustrating how Chinese Art has evolved over the last 8000 years.

The second half was a chance to get our hands dirty. It quickly became evident why the technique took so long to master as our artistic skills were tested to the full. From holding the brush in an unaccustomed fashion to regulating the thickness of ink and producing marks of any quality. Another example of how apparently simple things are often the most complex to achieve.

In short a perfect method for those who like control, method and meditation in their artistic practice.

Written by Cathy Read

Photos by Peter Baker