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Chinese Brush Painting - Sumi-e


Traditional Chinese Painting, also known by the Japanese term, "Sumi-e," developed out of, and alongside, calligraphy, and therefore is very dependent on the mastery of linear brushstrokes and the integration of calligraphic inscriptions and seals with visual images. In contrast to many other painting traditions, traditional Chinese painting involves a process of capturing and expressing "qi" -- what the Chinese call the "energy" of life, or the "essence" of a subject, rather than just how it visually appears to the eye.  Individual paintings are executed quickly, in the energy ("qi") of the moment, although the brushstrokes are often practiced for hours before a painting is begun. Themes come from Nature, and although Dr. Tonelli produces both traditional images and more local and contemporary adaptations, she always adheres to traditional materials and techniques.









Chinese scholar-painters chose four plants - the "Four Nobles" or "Four Gentlemen" - that symbolized the finest qualities of human character, and also came to represent the four seasons. The Wild Orchid represents Spring, Bamboo is the Summer plant, the Chrysanthemum is the Fall flower, and the Plum Blossom symbolizes Winter.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​






This category of work includes more abstact images as well as subjects drawn from the artist's local environment.

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