Immersed in the New Study-- Shirley's 325th Friendly Greeting, Oct 30, 2011

How are you? Have you had a good week? I do hope you have and enjoy your weekend.

Today is the 23rd day I am in Chinese National Academy of Arts.

In the short time, I took painkillers for 12 days, had an intravenous injection for 3 days, thought of discontinuing my schooling many times, right now, I have gone over the most difficult time and I have immersed myself totally in my new study already. I have also felt something good in the new school and new environment more and more.

Except painting from the nature, completed 5 Chinese Song Dynasty Gongbi Paintings I started to enjoy the teaching style in the new school for it pays more attention to train their students to learn from the nature. In the short 23 days, we had been organized to paint from the nature twice and 6 days.

Even though I just went to 3 days because of my bad health, I have gotten so much from the nature already. When I was working on my 4th Song Dynasty Gongbi painting in the new school, when I faced a painting that could only see a piece and a piece mottled colors on the leaves and could not see any lines on it, I thought of what I had seen on the leaves of the Chinese roses in Beijing Botanical Garden, instead of imitating the mottled colors, I tried to recover the lines on the leaves according to what I had seen from the nature and tried to express out of the vitality of the leaves under my brushes...

So, when the last year's classmates who are working with me in the same classroom looked at my works, they gave me some quite high comments, and then, my tutors commented my paintings from the nature and the first 5 Gongbi Paintings with Very Good and So Much Progress, after they pointed out my weaknesses, they started to teach me how to see an ancient painting, how to change the painting from the nature to be creations, even, they told me to buy some special paper, to engrave a new and smaller seal, to use a different color’s ink paste and many many details…

As the only woman and the only fresh student who is working in the Flower & Bird Teaching and Research Section (instead of using the title "classroom", the title of our working room is "teaching and research section") in the man students who are major in landscape second year, I have seen them paint from the nature 3 times, more than 10 days within the short time; I have heard so much about how to paint from the nature. I do feel that they work harder than most the fresh students -- many times, they work in the classroom for whole of the nights, to complete their so many assignments. My feeling is that their workload is much more than I had seen in the other school. Most of time, there are only the voices of the brushes in the room.

When I write here, I cannot help asking myself, maybe, this is just their culture in this school? Maybe to pay more attention to lead their students to learn from the nature, from the ancient artists, from the actual creative practices, is just one of the main characteristics of the school?

I have not made sure about it within the short time yet, but, I will not think of leaving school unless something special happens on my health or life...

When I recall the thoughts of discontinuing the schooling, I suddenly realize what I was foolish, meanwhile, I do feel lucky for I have followed the advice from a good friend " to go ahead with what you had planned to do in Beijing", otherwise, I would miss these best lesson to learn from the nature, the ancient artists and my classmates who have higher level

My life lesson is: never make a conclusion or a decision before we have understood something new and even strange or bad on the surface in a new culture and environment. Since something there, there is certainly a reason for it.

How do you think of my idea? Do you agree with me? Do you have anything similar or special to share?
I am just a student on Art of Painting, Music, English and Management, to work on the web site in my free time. I would really like to do a few things with what I have learned to make this little web site to be an Electronic Bridge of Inter-Art & Cross - Culture Exchange, Chinese Language Learning & Friendship Making. To help the others while to improve myself.

I would like to appreciate you for your understanding, directions, supports and help.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, you are welcome to write to or leave your message on Message Board.

Shirley Yiping Zhang
Oct 30, 2011(Chinese Time)

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