Friday, November 9, 2007

Chinese Leather Brush Painting



The woman who I did these for sent me a personality description for her kids and I used characters that met those traits. Catie is strong and very peace loving, so I used the pandas and bamboo for her. Anything can be done with names!
This is something I've been working on for about a month now. Leather Brush painting comes from Chinese calligraphy. In ancient times people thought it was good luck to have their name painted. They were given at special events and occasions such as birthdays. It evolved into using symbols to make up the letters, each standing for a trait. Bamboo trees signified strength. Phoenixes stood for birth, and swans show gentleness and kindness. Dolphins are a purely American innovation. They didn't appear until the art showed up in the states. I first saw it at Busch Gardens when we went there a couple of months ago. I have a friend who is teaching my oldest son Japanese in exchange for me teaching her daughter art. We were walking along and passed a shop where they had a group of artists doing these paintings. My friend said her daughter wanted to learn how to do them. I went in and took a look around and thought, how hard could it be? lol! That was an understatement! I came home and searched the net to no avail. This must be the best kept secret. I ran across employment listings for the amusement parks looking for artists, but I couldn't find anywhere to learn it or for supplies. Finally, after looking around on WC, I found someone else who had been looking for the same info and someone had posted a couple of links. I got a kit, complete with books showing the technique and let me tell you, it takes some time to get it down. I'm still working on it. There is an event every year in our town called the ArtStock Studio Tour. The artists put out red balloons and maps are given out to people so they can find the studios, and all weekend long the artists work and people come to see them and sometimes buy a piece of work. I was sitting at a friend's coffee shop just playing with my new art form and people kept asking me if I could do their names. I had just gotten the kit 2 days before and I sadly had to tell them I wasn't ready yet. So, I'm not completely there yet, I still have a long way to go in perfecting these skills, but tomorrow I'm going to my friend's coffee shop again (at her suggestion) and we'll see if anyone wants their name painted. It's actually kind of fun. Can be done pretty quickly and with the holidays coming up, I thought they might make fun gifts. lol! Let me know what y'all think about this. I've mostly been doing individual letters, but I've been practicing with my oldest son's name because it's short. I can finally get the letters uniform in height and they don't slant upwards to the right anymore.

20 comments:

Wendy said...

I have seen Korean artists doing this at tourist spots in Sydney.
Good luck with it. I think it will be a matter of keeping on keeping on. The colours are lovely
I have a big chinese FEATHER brush I haven't used yet!

Dee said...

Very interesting brush work. I love the colors. Have lots of fun with it!

Ann said...

What elegance! I bet you get lots of customers with this! Although it doesn't look easy to me :)
Ann - who is also homeschooling and trying to find time for art

juj said...

This is beautiful and I really appreciated your posting the story behind it. Very interesting. Good luck to you! I'm sure people will love it.

Linda T said...

Wow, this is neat!! I think I have seen people doing it and never knew. I like it and wish you the best. Let us know on EDM, ok?

Ella said...

The colors and shapes are beautiful. I can imagine it is not easy at all to get the letters right. Maybe you could post the links that were helpful for you to get the kit and the books.

Linda said...

This is really neat -- I've never seen it before, but bet it would sell like mad. And it doesn't look all that easy to me....
:-) Congrats on tackling something new and learning it so well!

bec said...

wow! This looks really fun... such a nice personal gift too. Please let us know if it takes off for you! best of luck!

Greg said...

I have seen this work before, and since I am influenced by Asian art I have always been intrigued by this form of art. Your work is coming along nicely, I am sure it will bring lots of business your way as it is very unique and special. I have been doing Asian calligraphy for the last year and still have a list of names for customers that need to be completed. I love the colors and the expression that can be had through this art form, keep up the nice work! Greg

Meinhild Selbach said...

Thanks for your comment on my old blog. Yes, it was scaring, but my philosophy is to try stuff.
If you want to see more recent stuff, come and visite my new blog at
http://meinhild.wordpress.com

Africantapestry said...

This is such an intricate and delicate art form and has all my admiration! Beautiful.
ronell

Anonymous said...

I have been trying to links that sell these kits would be able post the name of the website that you got yours from.

thanks I love this type of art with the vibrant colors & stylization of the animals.

Anonymous said...

I really want to know the link for getting supplies (brushes and inks) for this type of art. Some of the inks I've seen are not rich or strong enough. Almost seem dull. One artist had incredibly vibrant colours, but could not speak english :(.....
If you could supply the link that supplied you I'd really appreciate it. Thx.

Deloris said...

Would someone please share where to purchase the supplies (brushes, ink, kits, etc.)

Thanks

Deloris said...

I too would like to know where to purchase these supplies.

Anonymous said...

I found these websites
http://www.korean-kang.com/english/introduction.htm

http://www.korean-kang.com/english/artwork.htm

http://www.brush-art.com/locations.htm

http://papermoon-phthalo.blogspot.com/2007/11/chinese-leather-brush-painting.html

Anne said...

I´ve tried to do this with watermixed Acrylic and a simple cutted sponge. I doesn`t work that well. Where can I buy the professional supplies and which kind of tool do you used?

lisa said...

I have searched all over the internet for supplies, but can't find a place to buy them anywhere.
Please let us know where you got your kit.

Bob said...

I saw some of this type of name art that looked really nice. Lots of other types of chinese calligraphy to be found too. As fast as the new world moves, the slower chinese ways become more attractive.

Anonymous said...

It is rather interesting for me to read this post. Thanx for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.