Artist's Statement


Chinese Brush Painting depicts the vitality of nature by the constant integration of light and dark, strong and soft, space and form, yin and yang.  It is purposely meant to be simple and relaxing to the viewer.  Composition and perspective is often not realistic but meant to depict the nature of a subject.


My latest work involves painting on Chinese scrolls. The scrolls are ordered from China in a variety of sizes and brocade colors and designs.  I paint mainly in the traditional style on scrolls in ink or color and maintain the Chinese Brush Painting view point.  Examples of these new scrolls can be viewed in the “Gallery” section


I paint in the Hsieh -i style, developed in the 11th century, which strives to reveal the essence of the subject rather than the form.  Often called the spontaneous style, or Po Mo – throw ink,  spontaneous style requires full concentration of body and mind.  The brush work is kept in its original form without corrections to maintain fluidity and spontaneity.   It illustrates the vitality of nature, executed in a lively, simple but dynamic manner.


I also paint in the Kung-Pi, or fine line style, which involves painting with a fine ink line, made from pine pitch and ink, outlining each subject and layering repeated shades of color on rice paper.  This is the oldest form of Chinese Brush Painting and is believed to have begun around 200AD.


Mo-gu style, is another of my favorite styles,  where there is no line work and  wash techniques are used to from strokes.  Sized paper such as Ma or glass paper is used.


All my paintings are completed on rice paper.  There is no rough draft or preliminary sketch.  No corrections can be made. Usually two or three colors are loaded onto the brush for each stroke resulting in a striking yet carefree appearance.


After my painting has been completed on the sheer rice paper, the paper is mounted with a wet paste technique. This process enlivens and brightens the colors and brings out the spontaneous qualities of the art work, as well as protecting the painting. The process of mounting cannot be done at this time by commercial framers and must be completed by the artist.


A variety of rice papers are used including:  double shuen, ma, dragon cloud, glass and tinted paper.  The painting is then professionally matted and framed.


Chinese Brush painting brushes are made from goat or wolf hair and combinations of animal hair.  They are made specifically to be able to hold large quantities of paint for triple loading of color.


I often use Chinese calligraphy which may represent the title of the painting, date, or a brief description of the essence of the painting.  An English translation is on the back of each painting.


The seal – in red- is my name, and/or a mood seal that describes the mood of the painting, such as tranquility or joy.  Seals are the Chinese way of signing a painting and paintings in China will have a red signature seal of the artist rather than a written name. I include both my signature and seal on my paintings.  Occasionally I will not use a Chinese seal if it does not enhance the painting. Other seals can be used to, describe the mood of a painting, or provide the necessary balance for the composition.  These are called Chinese mood seals.


Landscapes are seldom realistic.  They represent my ideas and artistic search for the inner spirit of a scene.   The theme of landscapes is usually tranquility, majestic mountains, water, mist and above all balance.


Florals capture the essence of each subject and are significant in Chinese Brush Painting.  My most popular florals include the “Four Gentlemen of Chinese painting”:

Grass orchid – spring

Bamboo – summer

Chrysanthemum – fall

Plum blossom – winter



I studied with 4th generation Master Chinese Brush artist Ning Yeh from 1988 to 2004. Ning Yeh is well known throughout the United State for his paintings, studio classes and books on Chinese Brush painting.


All my art supplies for my own work and student classes come from China.






‘The Hsieh I (Depicting Idea in Chinese) painting style is one of the most dynamic forms of art.  Spontaneity, freedom, and honesty are the most important principles.  The painting is done without a sketch and the brush movement is 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.  The painting becomes a direct extension of the artist’s mentality; it reveals the personality and experience of the artist in the most earnest way.


~ Ning Yeh, Ph.D, An Album of Chinese Brush Painting

By Linda Shearer

Email |   Phone | 501 922 3768