Wednesday, January 7, 2009
A Delightful Gift
For Christmas, I received this lovely Chinese brush, ink stone and ink stick set. My stepdaughter purchased in China and thought that I might be able to use it. How wonderful is that?
In the upper picture you can see the ink sticks on either side of the case. They are beautiful and ornate. They are so lovely that you almost hate to grind them down to use. The lower picture is of the ink stone with the lid removed. It too has a wonderful ornateness to it. It is heavy as well.
Chinese brush painting is supposed to be therapeutic and relaxing. When slowly grinding the ink stick on the ink stone, you are to meditate and contemplate about what you are going to paint. The grinding process also relaxes and loosens your hand and wrist muscles. A friend of mine, Stewart, who lives in the UK does this type of work and says "you can smell the charcoal of the pine forest from which it (the ink stick)was made." Wow, smelling the forest/tree from which it came! That would certainly make one slow down, reflect and enjoy the wonder of the ink.
For a little history in Chinese brush painting, go here.
This is a neat website that has some lessons in Chinese painting.
If you google Chinese ink painting or Chinese brush painting, you can learn more about it. I can't wait to get some nice paper now to give it a go.