Blog #8 Non Western, Part 2

31 Jul

(No English titles or years available)

The above paintings were done using an Asian art technique known as Chinese Brush Painting.  Artist Liu Cunhui is the artist for all five of these paintings.  Born in 1955, he is now a well known painter, teaching his techniques and even developing an instructional video series.  He is also a professor at Beijing Education College.

Chinese Brush Painting is an ancient technique, dating from 4000 B.C., making it over 6,000 years old.  It involves a sharply tapered brush, and ink in cake form, which is diluted to various consistencies using water and a stone slab. The media is then applied to paper or silk.  Typically subject matter involves landscapes and nature, the components of which, such as water and rocks, hold significance.

I chose Chinese Brush Painting because it became of personal interest to me.  A few years ago, I volunteered to teach a middle school art class.  I was given no curriculum, and researched various art styles and techniques.  Chinese Brush Painting quickly interested me, and I have appreciated this ancient and beautiful style ever since. Cunhui’s paintings are beautiful– the first two shown above were the reason I chose Cunhui– the dark birds against the brambly splashes of color remind me of birds in a winter bush or in a Forsythia in Spring.


Liu Cunhui,

Chinese Brush Painting


Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Uncategorized


7 responses to “Blog #8 Non Western, Part 2

  1. casavel13

    July 31, 2012 at 4:45 am

    I really like how detailed, and beautiful the technique is yet dysfunctional looking from afar. The paintings are definitely unique, and make you want to learn more. I would have liked to hear more about your opinion of a particular piece rather than the technique as a whole, although the history behind it is very interesting. My favorite paintings are the first and the third. I really like the detail of the first, and the colors, and movement of the third. I wish they were squashed together. I feel like the subtle, floating movements of the third painting depict a better background for a hummingbird. How did you use this technique to teach an art class? What grade? I feel like this would be hard to teach to kids.

  2. emlyngholm

    July 31, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    I like how different the paintings you chose are, despite being by the same artist. The first two are very ethereal, while the landscape is very solid and expansive. I love the bright colors in the third work. The last painting reminds me of the Ming Dynasty works we saw in the course material. I like that you chose something different, modern Chinese art, and that you shared your personal connection to it, but I also would have liked to hear about your response to each piece. I wonder if he doesn’t title his works, or if there just aren’t any English translations; I couldn’t find any titles on the pages I checked.

  3. amyboardman

    August 1, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Thanks for your comments. To casavel13: The class I taught was 7th grade– and they were SO not on board with learning Chinese Brush!! We eventually voted it out in favor of drawing animated characters for that section instead. A few of the students were really interested in art technique and a few were there because they had to–made it difficult as a group to learn something detailed like Chinese Brush.

  4. jadolena

    August 3, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    I know if I sat down and tried to paint a nature scene in the style of Chinese Brush Painting I would probably give up after 5 minutes because I wouldn’t be able to visualize how the finished painting would look because of how dysfunctional and random the painting process appears to be. Its amazing how something so dysfunctional can come together in the end and create an image that the brain can process and interpret. I especially like the first and fourth paintings because of the variety of colors used, and because of dark “shadowing” effects in the paintings .You did a good job of explaining why you chose to talk about Liu Cunhui, and you did a good job of providing a summary about him, his works, and his technique.

  5. stoutbianchi928

    August 4, 2012 at 2:34 am

    Great blog! These paintings are unique to say the least, as is the method of creation as you explained. I enjoy #2 and #4, but cannot say the same of the others. Good find on your part to expand others knowledge about something that one may never had and never would have encountered in life. My question is about your obvious in-depth knowledge of how to create an interesting blog with respect to the images; how do you get the paintings / images to post as small ones, like you did, and then link to becoming larger as they do?

  6. amyboardman

    August 4, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Hi! Thanks for your comment! To create a gallery, don’t copy and paste the pics, just upload more than one at a time. I saved them to “my pictures” on the computer, clicked upload/insert media on my blog, “select files”, then when it brought up my pictures folder, I held the control key as I clicked, so I could select more than one. After they upload, hit “save all changes” and the wordpress screen will give you a button to click for “insert gallery.” Or, you can create your gallery and add pics to it one at a time– I just find it easier to save them all (by finding my pics online, and right clicking, then hitting “save image as” to save them to my pc), and select and upload them all at one time, to have the gallery created and finished in one step. (Also, I always start my new posts from my “dashboard” area– if you are viewing your own blog and just hit “new post” at the top right of your screen, it doesn’t give you all the options– hitting “insert photo” and selecting more than one will just paste them onto your blog without the gallery.

  7. awpaxson

    August 9, 2012 at 4:05 am

    Great work, I liked how you present a simple and well thought review for chinese brush painting. I liked that you focused upon the art style itself rather than being limited to one painting. Your personal experience also added a great layer and gave a personal aspect to the review. As a fan of landscapes in the romantic era art, I liked the mountain panting with the forest below. It is reminicent of the “Oxbow” that was featured in this course previously.


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