|Removed all that distracted from seeing swallows first so their flight flows.|
My research details:
After thinking about George Rowley's book, PRINCIPLES OF CHINESE PAINTING, I realize ch'i is more than the simple translation, spirit of life.
|I researched my own books to find as much as I can on the ch'i principle.|
I am enthralled by this statement; Painting should be the playful pastime of a scholar, even though one should prepare to paint "as if to receive an important guest." Without diligence, painting will lack completeness so that Kuo Hsi advised working as if "guarding against a strong enemy". Could this be a reference to the disciplined martial art of Tai Ch'i? In Tai Ch'i every change of pose in the continuous flow keeps the body in the best possible balance. Keeping all joints relaxed and unlocked allows the life force ch'i to flow. Never over extending allowing an opponent to grab the arm and pull one off balance. Ch'i is applicable to Chinese brush painting and doesn't work so well in traditional oil painting as I was attempting in "Swallows." I need my oil paint creamy and buttery to have control. To achieve the flow like Chinese watercolors the brush could be stiffened with rice starch while the Chinese watercolor would be the consistency of chicken broth. I will never have that skill.
..one should prepare to paint "as if to receive an important guest." Infrequently I have the pleasant experience of my painting flowing as though a guest is directing me in all the right moves. A preparation is practice, practice, practice as in Chinese brush painting with traditional movement to become muscle memory.
I am hoping that one of the side effects of practicing the martial art of Tai Ch'i I will develop a greater awareness of where my body is in space as well as the meditative focus that will carry over to my painting without setting a superficial intent from another culture.
Below is a passage from George Rowley's book that I have from time to time studied over the years.
|PRINCIPLES OF CHINESE PAINTING, page 14.|