April 08, 2010

Painting Expedition to Guizhou

I have just returned from a painting expedition to China. I started off by giving a workshop in Hong Kong, and then traveled to Guizhou province to paint in the villages of the ethnic minorities in that province. I ended up painting a fascinating people called the "Ge". Here is the Ge village I stayed in for a week, called Matang.

When I first went to the Ge village I came across this beautiful blossoming tree on the road leading up to the village. I just had to stop and paint it!

One of the characteristics of this landscape is the terraces of the oil rapeseed flower. This yellow flower fills terraces everywhere in the mountains and creates a beautiful effect. One of the challenges of painting it was to make sure you create depth in the landscape by gradually changing the color of the yellow as it recedes into the distance. My enthusiasm for the beautiful fields of this flower only dampened somewhat after eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a whole week! Here is the final painting, followed by my compositional studies.

Above is my notan study and compositional sketch for the painting.

Near Matang was another village, but this was a different people with a different language (quite amazing that it was only about 2km away!). These were the Xi people. I did this little pen and ink sketch below of a firewood shed in the village. I liked the contrast between the angles of the roof and the logs that were used to make the shelter. The straw that was used for the roof made an interesting textural change.

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