In Yangshuo, you can get all your Chinese culture lessons. Pretty much anything is on offer. Mary took an afternoon cooking class. I saw tai chi and kung fu lessons offered. Joel and I decided we wanted to try our hand at traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy. The artist, Zeng Song, came right to our hotel with his supplies.
First, he taught us a little calligraphy. I have to say, I found the mechanics difficult. The paintbrush has such a fine tip and if you press to heavily, you just get a smoosh of ink instead of the graceful lines that are treasured. Actually, I kinda felt like I was in third grade, learning cursive all over again. That was a painful experience. This was fun but every bit as frustrating!
The teacher would show us a character and then ask us to repeat on our paper. After they were drawn, he’d look at our papers, point at Joel’s, and say “better.” Yep, that’s just how I remember cursive practice.
The master’s writing. The bottom right three characters say “Xiao Pianzi,” Simon’s Chinese nickname.
Then it was time for the painting.
First up were the pandas.
If you look closely, you’ll see that my panda is hovering mid-air. I’m awesome at this.
Next was the landscape painting.
Do I look happy?
Hey, they didn’t turn out half-bad. My mountains are too stubby, but I thought Joel’s looked as good as the teacher’s!