As you can see we’ve progressed quite a lot today in our Chinese Painting lesson. All the major elements are now in place and some of the texturing and shading has begun, although it’s still quite difficult to see exactly what’s happening in some areas.
I’ve said before that I’m not a huge fan of these landscapes and I’m beginning to understand some of the reasons… in the first place they are quite tricky to do, from a composition and drawing skill point of view more than anything there is so much happening. Once you know where things are going and can manage the brush strokes (skill no. 2) you find they can also be very repetitive and tedious. Many small and simple marks built up to create the whole, a huge amount of groundwork goes in to create the final piece.
I began to come to terms with this during class today, realising when our teacher stated that the painting in itself is a kind of meditation that I was trying to rush and get through it as quickly as possible, … so I made an effort to let go of my sense of urgency. Then this evening, whilst at the première of a Pilates documentary, I heard another gem which brought the process to mind again: Joseph Pilates said “Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavour”.
I think I just needed reminding that quite often the journey is as important as the destination.