понедельник, 27 февраля 2012 г.

Wu Xing themes: pandas

Panda is the kindest animal in the world, its look by itself make people smile and feel joy and tenderness.
Look how cute they are!
Authors: Wu Xing artists and teachers from Moscow School of Wu Xing Painting


Wu Xing themes: cranes

For some reason, I like this theme in Wu Xing painting the most, though I've painted a crane only once on a lamp, I adore watching pictures with them. Want to share some with you. Authors: Wu Xing painters and teachers from our school in Moscow.

четверг, 23 февраля 2012 г.

The Interview with Andrey Scherbakov, cont.

The Path-walker: What art materials do you use? Paper, of course, but what else? Ink, China ink, gouache paint, water colours? If using various materials, could you say in what ways they are different? Do you associate paint colours with Wu Xing? Is it important to use special kinds of brush and paint in this work? Which ones do you recommend?

AS: This kind of questions always reawaken me to the metaphysical nature of Wu Xing painting that is above all form. That’s why Wu Xing painting doesn’t require any special tools or materials. The more I practice it, the more evidence I find to support this point of view. Having said that, Chinese calligraphy brushes are best suited for applying swift brushstrokes. As a result, it looks more ‘Chinese’, so at the beginning it might help develop the right skills. Otherwise, there is a full creative freedom.
For example, in our recent master class we decorated plates and dishes:
Chinese painting, feng shui, Guo Hua painting, Japanese painting, sumi-e painting, wu-xing, Сhinese traditional painting
We also gave a master class where we taught the skills of painting on clothes:
Chinese painting, feng shui, Guo Hua painting, Japanese painting, sumi-e painting, wu-xing, Сhinese traditional painting
At another recent master class we painted on Chinese scrolls, fans, and paperboard:
Chinese painting, feng shui, Guo Hua painting, Japanese painting, sumi-e painting, wu-xing, Сhinese traditional painting
We also did some decorative wall painting as you can see above.

I would like to repeat that you can use all sorts of art materials. It can be Chinese ink, acrylic, or anything you like. Of course, there are some tricks to using various paints on various surfaces but eventually it’s all about form whereas the essence of the process remains the same. Perhaps you would like to read another of my articles that describes four types of viewing creativity.
We know that Wu Xing is linked to various colour paints. For instance, Wood is turquoise, Fire is vermillion, and so on. Some modern practices like Zhong Yuan Qigong use colourtherapy based on Wu Xing. But I prefer conscious awareness to blindly following in someone else’s steps. In my experience, I haven’t yet detected the objective links between these things. Personally, I sense that here it works the other way round. First, someone convinces himself that liver is connected to the turquoise colour, and then he starts applying it as a kind of self-hypnosis.
There might be a connection between Wu Xing and coloristics, but then we should attempt a more comprehensive approach. For instance, Gauguin’s paintings offer a rich contrast of cool and warm hues. They stir up a cauldron of emotions in the heart of a viewer, that’s why contrasting cool and warm hues is ‘Fire’ energy. But when you look at monochrome Japanese Sumi-e paintings, they often evoke a sense of peace and even sadness. That’s why contrasting dark and light colours can be associated with ‘Metal’ energy, and so on.

воскресенье, 19 февраля 2012 г.

So different. All brilliant. Flowers.

In Russia it's snowy now and we all are dreaming about spring.
Today I decided to share flowers drawn in Wu Xing style with you. To make your day brighter!
Authors of the pictures are Wu Xing school teachers,

Elena Kasiyanenko

четверг, 16 февраля 2012 г.

Spring flowers. Wild cherry plum.

Wild cherry plum May starts blossoming in Chine earlier than all other trees. It opens flowers while the snow is still there and is not afraid of frost, announcing that spring is coming. 
The image of this blossoming tree is full of senses and implications. It is a symbol of nobility and resilience no matter what the circumstances are.
Old branches of this tree resemble the body of dragon, which is considered to be strong and wise. Also old stalk with young branches mean the consequence of generations and support among them.
But in China there are many more other blossoming trees and plants, as you can see in the video above.
Here are some pictures in Wu Xing style to enjoy.

воскресенье, 12 февраля 2012 г.

The interview with Andrey Scherbakov (cont.)

The beginning was published here

The Path-walker: In announcements about Wu Xing painting this technique was described as having the benefits of art therapy. Could you tell us more about this?

AS: Yes, it really has a similar effect. Professional psychologists like Julia Ziema have also noted it. Many psychologists now employ this technique. I know that in Kiev the local art therapy association uses Wu Xing painting in their professional work.
The first level of influence provided by Wu Xing as a tool of art therapy is a correlation between the body and psychology. Relaxing physical tensions helps to relax psychological tensions. This has been well-established in theory and practice of the body-oriented psychophysics.
The second level of influence is movement. When we loosen up, our movements become less constrained and so we learn a new of interacting with reality. This is where the effect of Wu Xing painting can be easily identified and traced. For instance, some people can be too direct and so they end up slapping others in the face with their comments and opinions. It might be that they’ve never heard of flexibility, or perhaps they’ve long forgotten what it is. This often happens to women who have abandoned their femininity. Such a person can only use the “Wood” brushstrokes, tough and direct, whereas the flexible “Metal’ might be something new for him or her to try. If mastered properly, it could become a big step forward.

четверг, 9 февраля 2012 г.

Main themes of Chinese and Wu Xing painting: bamboo

 Video from art-trip to China held in spring 2011

Author of the picture: Olga Kinyova

Bamboo is a constant hero of Chinese painting. If you go to China the variety of bamboo types amaze! You can find thick tall bamboo up to 20 meters high. Such bamboo forms forests on the hill-sides. There is another type of bamboo with thin stalk and wide leaves, it is not taller than a usual bush. You can also find bamboo with violet-black stalk or with leopard spots.
Bamboo is a cult plant for Chinese painting and for people who live in Southern China. 
Bamboo is a symbol of a noble man, a symbol of Confucian gentleman: it is straight, empty inside, if heavy snow falls on it sooner or later it becomes straight again. Bamboo is very useful for people, it is used to build houses, to make brushes and tools, to sew clothes and so on. It is also a great bactericidal agent, that’s why in China you can find a lot of dishware made of it. Moreover bamboo is very tasty. There are a lot of dishes based on bamboo. Young cops of bamboo are cut and fried straight away or dried and then used in cooking. There is a special bamboo which is hold in water and then fried with pork. The further you go to the South of China the more dishes with bamboo you’ll find.
In traditional Chinese painting bamboo is one of the main themes for 1000 years! At our school bamboo is the theme of the first lesson, we paint its stalk using strong straight movement from the Wood element and leaves using the element of Fire.

Author of the picture: Olga Kinyova

Author of the pictures: Elena Kasiyanenko

  Pictures of our students at Wu Xing Painting School (Moscow, Russia)

понедельник, 6 февраля 2012 г.

An overview of Wu Xing painting - from the interview with Andrey Scherbakov

Chinese painting, feng shui, Guo Hua painting, Japanese painting, sumi-e painting, wu-xing, Сhinese traditional painting
Today I’d like to offer you a big interview jam-packed with information. Much to my surprise, it has turned out to be much bigger than I planned. In fact, it’s simply huge. Still, we’ve decided to keep it as one piece because a single posting usually works best. If you are not familiar with the concepts of “Chinese painting” and “Wu Xing”, I suggest you read the previous article called “Wu Xing Painting” where you’ll find lots of useful information, images, and a video presentation. But if you have already done that, make sure you don’t miss this one. Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee or whatever you would like to drink, find a comfortable place to sit and go for it.
The Path-walker: Andrey, could you please tell us what appeals to you in Wu Xing painting and why you practice it? What value does it have, and why do you prefer it to other techniques?
Andrey Scherbakov: It’s an interesting question. First and foremost, Wu Xing painting guides me on the path of spiritual growth. I see it as a tool for self-development. It’s also a way of self-expression and an art technique, but that comes second. Wu Xing painting is a vivid illustration of the fundamental principles of Buddhist and Taoist philosophy.
It’s important that we see the difference between a personal development practice we engage in and basic self-expression. Self-expression is an act of spilling all you’ve got inside or outside onto a sheet of paper whereas practice is a non-stop process of self-improvement, a dedicated effort to overcome your limitations, to forward your progress, and to expand your vision. Self-expression is directed outwards. A practice always deals with what’s inside.
The Path-walker: But what about teaching? Isn’t it directed outwards?
AS: Well, this really depends on a specific point of view. Formally, painting can also be said to flow outwards. Anything can become a personal development practice: teaching, business, personal relationships, and lots of other things. All you need to do is find a well-positioned point of view.

Chinese painting, feng shui, Guo Hua painting, Japanese painting, sumi-e painting, wu-xing, Сhinese traditional painting 
(to be continued)

четверг, 2 февраля 2012 г.


Can you imagine that all the hyiroglyphs on this picture mean one and the same word - "painting(a noun)"?!
But they do!

These are several different writtings used in Chinese calligraphy at different times.
In few days I'll write more about each of them.

Why is calligraphy connected with Wu Xing painting? In Wu Xing painting as well as in traditional Chinese painting the artist usually indicates what is shown on the picture by signing it with an hyiroglyph or several hyiroglyphs comprising a phrase. For example, he can write hyiroglyph "flower" if he paints a flower. Or hyiroglysh "dragon" if he paints a dragon. But as in Wu Xing painting you operate with different types of brushstrockes you may need different types of writing for the hyiroglyph you use to make it suit the general style of your picture!