2nd May 2020

We have an exciting programme for at our next OCBPG Zoom meeting at 11 am on Wednesday!   Jing has arranged for a very well known Chinese Artist,  Mr Gao Jimin, who specialises in Zao Taoist figures, to talk to us about his work.  You can see some of his paintings in the On-Line Activities Page.   I for one, would love to know more about Chinese Figure Drawing.  It is an area I haven’t really explored.

As we did last week,  I will send all those who are on the Zoom list, an invitation on Tuesday evening for the meeting on Wednesday.   This will be open from 10.45.   The actual meeting will not start until 11 am, please log on before then so that we can all get settled.   I will lock the meeting at 11am for security reasons and so as not to disturb people on the call.   I am sure you will be very pleased to know that Gill Baden is hoping to join us next week for the first time.   If any other member would like to join us, please contact me. 

I hope that you have all done your homework from Su Yan’s excellent Zoom session last week.   Su Yan is now back at work, so she has asked if she can return to teach us again in about 3 weeks time as she is suddenly very busy again.  She would love to see your work,  so we have agreed that Jing will collect them together and talk them through with Su Yan.  If you could please send your completed landscapes to Jing Li that will be great.   Anyone who wasn’t on the Zoom call and would like a copy of the picture contact me. Last week

Su Yan has agreed  to spare time to teach us once a month and  is happy to do more subjects as well as landscape.  She can do flower and bird etc; in fact she is happy to do anything except gombhi!   (Jing will find someone else for us if there are people who would like a session on that.)   Su Yan asks that we decide what we would like to do, and to let her know.  She has also asked if we can meet an hour earlier for these teaching sessions as the light is better then in Shanghai.    So these teaching  sessions by Su Yan will begin at 10am  But I will let you know in advance.

But that is not all.  Jing has a whole host of Chinese Artists waiting to meet us, so I will let her tell you more about them next week.    

You might also like to have a look at the Oxfordshire Artweeks website.   There you will find lots of interesting art in this year’s Virtual Exhibition which opened today until the end of May.    You can find in their our own Gallery for Oxfordshire Chinese Brush Painting Group.   We should have been at St Ethelwold’s in Abingdon, but it was not to be. 

Thank you to Jan Fox Davies, Allyson Potter, Jing and Jean Wykes for helping to set this Gallery up at very short notice.  You will find some of the Group’s paintings, plus some pictures from our Workshops.  

We would like to change the paintings at least once before the end of May, so if anyone has any they would like to contribute, please send them to me or Jan Fox Davies.

The same request is made about the Blog.  Jan is working very hard to populate this with our pictures, plus useful video links etc.  Contributions for the Blog go directly to her.     Please support her hard work.

24th April 2020

 We have the prospect of a very exciting addition to our Wednesday OCBPG call!  
Jing has been successful in inviting an artist Mrs Su Yan, from China who specialises in Landscape Painting to join us.   Her work is beautiful! Thank you, Jing!   Following on from our meeting on Wednesday 22nd April 2020, Liu Dan is the artist to see if you like rocks in meticulous detail.  The book from his Ashmolean exhibition New Lanscapes and Old Masters 2016 is available from the Ashmolean, when the shop reopens.  I have discovered a YouTube video of him with Sheila Vainker, plus some other items. There is even an article from Vanity Fair! Find these by googling. 
The name of the book mentioned by Pauline and others is known as either The Manual of the Mustard Seed Garden or simply The Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting. Wikipedia has a good description of its’ history and its’ important role in Chinese Art.  If it’s where Qi Baishai started then it must be good.   
If you’re interested in quiz questions on Chinese Art, the one I found yesterday was called Unlocking the door to Chinese Art, but there are many available on the Internet if you like quizzes.  They could make good questions for Trivia if you’re driven to that in lockdown. 

Newsletter: 26 March 2020Dear all,

Well, it’s daunting to think that not a week ago some of us were at Stanton Harcourt enjoying our session with Shuhua Jin.   A lot has happened since then and we are in a very new situation and likely to continue for some time.   But I’m sure we’ll get through it.   So here are some thoughts and activities which might help.

A Painting Challenge

Those of you who are members of the Chinese Brush Painting Society will know that they have issued a Spring Flower Painting Challenge.   Not to be left behind, we would like everyone in our OCBPG to send Spring pictures to us too.   As David Hockney says, Spring has not been cancelled!   So let’s celebrate it!  But safely in our own homes.

I’ve already had a lovely contribution of a picture of Plum Blossom on a fan, from Pauline Tam.  So please don’t let her be the only one and get your ink and paints out and send pictures to me by April 1st.  We will circulate them after 1st April as well as adding to the Blog:

You don’t have to paint on paper either.    I’ve just painted narcissi on a wooden heart as a present for somebody.  So, if you’re adventurous, why not set yourself a further challenge and see what you can decorate with a Chinese Brush motif?   Some of you will have Leilei’s book on Chinese Brush Painting and there he explains how to paint on a range of objects, including a lampshade, rocks, and a vase.   Be innovative! 

Raising money for charity

We are still interested in receiving your contributions for an Exhibition at some later date, and especially in collecting postcard size pictures to raffle for a Cancer Charity.   Why don’t we expand that brief and say, you can also contribute an object as well?  I’ll volunteer to paint another wooden heart to be raffled, and, I think I have a paper lampshade lurking somewhere that is crying out for some plum blossom.  Anyone else?

Don’t send the actual painting or object yet, but we’d love to see a photograph of it. 

To inspire you further, Sue Rowlands has sent me this lovely picture of the an early bluebell seen on her woodland walk.  I found a YouTube video of a flower which MAY be a Bluebell!  However, the video also included other flowers too so is worth you watching.

Below are some YouTube links to help you along:

Chinese Brush Painting of bluebells and other flowers:

Nan Rae Leaves   https//

And for those who prefer to read their instructions:  https//followmybrushmarks.wordpress.com2012/10/2/27/painting-narcissus-part1/

I hope these links work.  We’ll put them on the blog too.  If anyone else finds useful links or tips send them to me for further circulation.

Using Social Media

Another place for interesting content is Facebook.   Useful pages that I’ve found include:

Inkston Chinese Fine Art and Craft Stories.  Great articles on here about the different types of paper, brushes, plus inspirational paintings

Chinese Brush Painting.  This is run by the Chinese Brush Painting Society.  Some interesting pictures.

I know that FB is like marmite, however, some loving it and others thinking it originated in Hades!  Well, I’m in the former camp, particularly in these difficult times.  This week, I’ve watched FB gather together an army of volunteers in Abingdon, Witney, Thame and other parts of Oxfordshire to help people, like me and some of you, isolated in their homes. In addition,  I’ve devoured a number of pages for their offerings on all types of Art including CBP.  Via these pages, I’ve navigated the online collections of numerous galleries and museums because some other like minded soul directed me to them. 

No doubt these things could have happened without FB, but in a much slower way. So, my advice is throw your distrust out the window for the time being at least and join.  You can leave once we are back to normal ( whatever the new normality becomes).

Another benefit is the access to Messenger.  I’ve just sussed out how to get 6 of my family together on a video call AT THE SAME TIME !  ( I’m sure some others could already do that but for me this is groundbreaking! ).

It occurred to me that some of us could chat that way too.  So,  I’m going to put my contact details at the end of this email including for FB in case anyone wants to use them.  I’m happy to be anybody’s friend!

Back soon with more including I hope news about Zoom, the virtual meeting tool being explored by Martin.


Dear All

This is to confirm that Oxfordshire Chinese Brush Painting Group is SUSPENDING all our activities scheduled from today until 1st June 2020.  This means the monthly meetings scheduled for

26th March at Stanton Harcourt Village Hall
4th April at Farmoor Village Hall
23rd April at Stanton Harcourt Village Hall
2nd May at Farmoor Village Hall

Also, the Improvers’ Workshop on 21st March at St Ethelwold’s House Abingdon is being moved to 18th July 2020.  Participants are offered a refund or may move their booking forward.  They may also move to another Day Workshop if they prefer.

The Claire Seaton Day Workshop planned for Sunday April 26th at Stanton Harcourt Village Hall is moving to the end of September, most likely the 26th September and twinned with the Paul Maslowski Day Workshop on the 27th September.  You will be able to book for one or both.

The Exhibition planned for 8,9,10th May at St Ethelwold’s is on hold.

We will keep the situation under review and modify events in the light of current Government advice at the time of the planned activity.

Now, to lighten the mood, and to end on a positive note, below are some pictures of the Sunday Workshop on 15th March with Shuhua Jin.    We painted bamboo, the birds with rock and plum blossom and finished with a wonderful demonstration of a Qi Baishi picture of Magnolia, and Chrysanthemums.   I took a video of the final demonstration and if it’s any good will circulate it.   I will certainly send you all a copy of the pictures we used.

A request to you all,  PLEASE, PLEASE send me any pictures you’ve done, either at this Workshop or later or ANYTHING!   We’ll add to the www. site and I’ll regularly circulate together with links to the best Youtube videos.  If there is anything in particular you would like me to find for you, just email me.

Let’s PAINT our way through this and support each other!

Stay safe, and very best wishes,



Monthly meetings

Our next monthly meeting is next Thursday 27th February from 1pm to 4pm at Stanton Harcourt Village Hall.   We decided to try to have a theme each month, although it’s entirely optional.  The library and material box will be available if you prefer to do your own thing.   This month I have volunteered to share the learning from Qu Leilei’s January Workshop in Missenden, where we did Splash Landscapes.   The top two pictures show the colours we used and one of the results – by Leilei!  It’s great fun, and a good way of practicing painting various landscape elements and in understanding how Chinese Landscape uses ‘viewpoints ‘ – rather than the Western use of perspective.    Hopefully Jing Li will also be along to help us practise the date and our name in calligraphy.  

If you do want to do this exercise, please bring loads of newspaper, and some extra dishes in which to mix paint.   We’ve got one hairdryer, but if you also want to bring a hairdryer, please do.   If you have semi-sized or Mulberry paper please bring it, but I will have some paper for you if you don’t have any.  As the paper will get VERY wet, ordinary Xuan  isn’t suitable.

We shall also repeat this exercise at the Farmoor Village Hall meeting on 7th March. Volunteers needed to offer to lead other activities at the monthly meetings please!  So if you go to a Workshop, think about informally sharing whatever you have learned.

Beginners’ course at The Ashmolean

As you can see from the picture, we had a very successful Beginners’ course at The Ashmolean on 8th February.  The 12 participants, guided by Jean Turton,  happily painted Bamboo and Goldfish, some lovely Rats, and Plum Blossom.  There was also time to visit some of the Ashmolean’s Chinese exhibitions.    The Improvers’ course, on 21st March,  from 10.30 to 430, however, has moved to St Ethelwold’s  in East st Helen’s Street, in Abingdon as the Ashmolean double booked the room.   Jean Turton will use the skills required to paint a Chinese Landscape to help us to Improve our brushstrokes and use of ink.    There are two spare places as I write.   It is £45 for the day in a lovely historical venue on the bank’s of the Thames, and in the heart of the market town of Abingdon.   Contact me in the first place if you want one of the remaining places. 

Sunday Workshop.

Our next Sunday Workshop is on Sunday 15th March at Stanton Harcourt Village Hall.  One of our favourite tutors, the delightful Shuhua Jin, is going to help us produce some beautiful Flower and Bird pictures.   We have taken on board your feedback from William’s workshop and will have photocopies of the pictures available for you, and those of you with iPads will also be able to have them electronically.    Shuhua usually brings goodies for us to stock up on paper and brushes.

Please book as soon as possible with Christine East, as Shuhua is very popular, and there are only a handful of places left.   

Events for your diary

The Ashmolean has a free event on 6th March, Music in Chinese Brush Painting.  Check their website for more details.

The Gunpowder Art Exhibition continues there till 19th April.

Jean Turton’s Berkshire Group meets in Caversham on Saturday 14th March, 10-1pm.  Lifts available from Abingdon.

If any of you are in London, a trip to the British Museum in London is well worthwhile.  Lynn Boreham, Susie Woods, Allyson Potter and me, visited last week with Jean Turton’s Berkshire group, to see the Chinese exhibits there.   We followed it with an excellent meal in China Town.   Maybe an idea for our Group too?  I am told there is an excellent new Chinese restaurant down Cowled Rd. 

Beginners’ Event at the Ashmolean Museum
Splash Painting – Tricia Wormald
Ingredients for a good splash – Remember to bring plenty of newspaper and Mulberry paper if you have it. Also large cup palette for the larger amount of paint you will need to use.