One of the things that really look forward to doing every week is attending our Chinese Painting class. In Chinese, this is called “国画 (GuóHuà).” It uses the same techniques as Chinese calligraphy, and you use the same types of brushes, except instead of only using the traditional black ink “墨水 (MòShŭi),” you add colored ink as well. It’s very similar to watercolor painting, because the most important part of drawing GuoHua is learning how to control the amount of water you use. Most of the time, we draw landscapes or things that you see in nature. My GuoHua class is in the middle of the week, so it’s a really nice stress break, to wind down and relax my brain a little bit.
Besides painting my own work, I’ve also gotten the chance to see a lot of Chinese art in Beijing. Art has played such a huge part in Chinese culture – from the clothes the Chinese wear, to the beautiful patterns involved in Chinese architecture. And because Chinese has a long history, they also have a lot of experience in the arts.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to place a spotlight on my wonderful roommate. Not only does she take me to cool places or helps me when I have problems with my Chinese homework, but my Chinese roommate is an Art major. She also regularly draws in our room, and I love watching her paint. It’s really allowed me to get a deeper understanding of Chinese Art and culture.
With less than 3 weeks left in China, I had asked her to take me to buy my own set of brushes and paints to take back home to the states, so that I can continue painting GuoHua. A day later, she surprised me with brushes and a set of paints – turns out that she had already prepared this as a graduation gift for me!
金羽庭 (Jin YuTing)