Elizabeth Yu Ellsworth
I am a Chinese brush painter living in Long Island, NY. Chinese brush painting is one of my many part-time pursuits. On this website I would like to give you a short introduction to Chinese painting and share some of my own paintings with you. There is also a simple step-by-step painting lesson for you to try. Have fun and good luck!
What Is Chinese Brush Painting All About?
"Guo Hua" is the term for Chinese painting.
The word "guo" means nation or country, referring to China. The word "hua" means to paint, or a painting. Chinese painting together with Chinese calligraphy "shu fa" are among China's greatest and most enduring forms of artistic expression.
There are several different genres of Chinese painting. These are:
- shan shui hua - landscape paintings
- hua niao hua - flower and bird paintings
- dongwu/renwu hua - paintings of animals/people
- shi nu hua - beautiful women paintings
In my brush paintings I use the painting style called "xie yi" (pronounced shieh yee), which means "idea writing". Spontaneity, freedom, and honesty are some of the most important principles of this style. The painting is done without a sketch; the brush movement completed in a simple, powerful and speedy way. The artist is allowed no time to think, no chance to pretend, no room to hide, and no way to correct. Less attention is payed to the exterior detail with the focus mainly on the inner spirit. The search is to reveal not the form but the essence of the subject. Chinese brush painting places a heavy emphasis on nature. Throughout the centuries it is nature which endures, while man's stay on earth is only temporary.