Category Archives: News

Paul’s Project

CBPS Member teacher Paul Maslowski says:
I have been asked a number of times ‘what have you been doing in lockdown?’.  Basically, I’ve been using the time to sort out as much as possible along with trying new things, some of which have come to fruition…
I wanted to flag up a project that has now reached its conclusion and is looking excellent thanks to a wonderful team.
Following a series of successful online CBP workshops around Chinese New Year I was invited to input into the Attenborough Arts at Home project.
The idea behind this was to create a complete package for absolute CBP beginners in order to get them into the fascinating and fabulous art of Chinese Brush Painting. Students can buy a beginners CBP kit.  I was able to have input into the kit which is why I was happy to have my name added to it.

In the Spring I filmed a studio quality Introduction to CBP which has been edited and packaged so that when you buy the kit you also receive the film.
It would be the ideal start for anyone who hasn’t had the chance to go through a formal introduction to the art of Chinese Brush Painting.
I must say I was well impressed with what the team have done with it.


The Ashmolean has an exhibition of the very wonderful Wu Guanzhong, free till 30 August.

If you can’t get there, then you can see many of the paintings, and more, here on the Hong Kong Art Museum website.  More paintings here.

Wu  painted in oils and also in ink.  He wrote extensively on what modern Chinese art could achieve, and his views were provocative“Brush-and-ink is misunderstood as being the only choice for life and the future path of Chinese painting, and the standards of brush-and-ink painting are used to judge whether any work is good or bad. Brush-and-ink is a technique. Brushwork is embodied within technique, technique is not embodied within brushwork, and technique is only a means that serves the artist in the expression of his emotions.”



Feelings of Mountains and Water

Feeling from Mountain and Water became the last water-ink animation

Ron Stallard (Yorkshire CBP Group): I came across the enchanting animated short film Feelings of Mountains and Water recently. It has no dialogue and is made using only traditional Chinese ink-wash painting techniques. The master animator 特伟 Te Wei (1915-2010) made the film back in 1988 for the Shanghai Animation Film Studio. Te Wei’s painting technique recalls many old masters including八大山人 Bada Shanren’s Fish and Rocks (1696). The film won an award for best animated film in 1989 and is now widely available for free on YouTube and Vimeo .  It tells the simple story of an elderly scholar who falls ill and is nursed back to health by a young boy. In return the boy is given lessons on the古琴 guqin (a traditional plucked string instrument) but the real stars of the film are the landscapes which are full of birds, fish and water. The only sounds to be heard are from traditional music instruments including the guqin, dizi and sheng as well as birdsong, wind and water.  It is an excellent example of skilful pairing of Chinese brush painting technique and traditional music. It was a bold move at the time as it reveres many traditions that had been widely castigated as representing out-dated values and thinking. It brought the ancient skills into the modern world where it stands alone as a superb demonstration of artistic endeavour.


Impress Me

Marion’s Sunflowers

Laura Boswell teaches Japanese Woodblock printing techniques.

Marion’s woodblock and proof prints.  She used her own original Chinese brush painting as the basis for the design.  Repeated prints of the same block with colour applied to different areas were used to build up intensity and gradation of colour – a very Chinese printing  technique.

Angela tried to create a print of an ancient Chinese bronze vessel, using multiple woodblocks.  It is rather important to get the registration blocks (kento) right!   More practice needed to find the best colour combinations.

Angela’s Gu

A Bit Crafty!

Book on Chinese knots, history and list of knots including ”safe and sound knot” to wish peace and good luck all year, plus diagrams of how to weave some knots.Liziqi hand-making the Four Treasures.

Met curator on Chinese hardstone carving.

Export silks (thanks Zara & Pauline).

A very early Buddha from Gandara.

Make a  Cabinet of Curiosities.

In case you were wondering Why Japanese Tigers have Flat Heads: a splendid screen painting is based on a Chinese story.

Making Beauty – contemporary Japanese crafts:  ceramic, wooden lacquer, miniature objects, printsmetal.

Restoring a Japanese hanging scroll.

Japanese Gunpowder flask with figures in Portugese dress

Japanese gunpowder flask at the Ashmolean.

The wonderful Pitt-Rivers museum shows how to make Japanese salmon-skin boots!

Met exhibition Japan: A History of Style.