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The Sound of One Hand: Reaching Beyond the limits of Traditional Ink Painting

Sunday, January 6, 2013

First Brush of 2013

There is a lovely tradition in Japan to make your first brush of the New Year on January 2nd, whether your brush is for calligraphy or sumi-e.

First Brush by Casey
Sumi-e titled 'Magical January'

This sumi-e was a delight to create. It is done in a new style that I am just trying out. It is a landscape in a new modern and free 'Fu Baoshi' style painting.  I will be doing a blog article on the Master Painter Fu Baoshi soon. So stay tuned!

.Materials that I used to create this painting are: Ink, Watercolor, and Mulberry paper. The major brushes that I used were a Biff Brush, Rooster Feather Brush, Fu Baoshi Landscape Brush plus other brushes. I had never worked much with Mulberry Paper before this but found it to be wonderful to work on as it is a tough little paper that stands up to very wet work and repeated layers. It resists bleeding too much and shows color brilliantly.  And the Rooster Feather Brush is really fun to paint with! 

Mulberry Paper
This paper is made of mulberry tree leaves and inner bark.  It is also called PI paper in China or Kozo paper in Japan. This paper has semi-sized absorbency, does not smear like Xuan paper. It is soft but strong like a fabric and it works well with most water-based art media. This paper works well for mounting. It is available from Blue Heron Arts.
Biff Brush 
These combination brushes are great for doing wet or dry style tree trunks, thick vines, and, texture strokes for mountains, rocks, and cliffs. They feature a compact multitude of short stiff hairs that give the brush a lot of body. When the bristles are separated and spread, you can strike your paper to create spectacular foliage, moss, and all kinds of coarse textures effortlessly. Biff Brushes are available from OAS Oriental Art Supply.
Rooster Feather Brush
Now this is one heck of a fun brush to paint with! This brush is made of rooster feather, which is special ordered by the seller from China. Unlike regular brushes with round pointed hair, this brush is so different that it can produce very rich textured strokes. It is perfect for the "free" or "loosening-up" style of Sumi-e painting, especially suitable for landscape paintings. This brush is available in three sizes from Blue Heron Arts.

Fu Baoshi Landscape Brush
This limited edition specialty brush is designed to deliver  the split bristle brushstrokes in Fu Baoshi style landscape painting. This versatile brush is good for painting rocks and various kinds of tree barks.  These limited edition brushes are handcrafted by Master Xu, Laosan. Fu Baoshi Landscape Brushes are available from Blue Heron Arts.


Director of the North American Branch ~ ICCPS
International Chinese Calligraphy and Ink Painting Society

国際中国書法国画家協会アメリカ支部:Ms. Casey Shannon アメリカ現代水墨画家

Copyright © Casey Shannon Studio Art. All rights reserved.

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