Chinese Painting and Calligraphy

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.

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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!

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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.

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The master’s writing. The bottom right three characters say “Xiao Pianzi,” Simon’s Chinese nickname.

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Then it was time for the painting.

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First up were the pandas.

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If you look closely, you’ll see that my panda is hovering mid-air. I’m awesome at this.

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Next was the landscape painting.

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Do I look happy?

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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!

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