Night Heron/fine brush painting
I once bought some lilies at a florist’s shop, and the reddish-yellow petals, which were adorned with red spots, were very pretty. I asked a young lady working in the shop, “How tall does this lily grow? What is its ecology?” She shook her head and told me she didn’t know. It would have been better if I had gone to a nursery where the flowers were grown, and drawn them in my sketchbook—this would have given me a better understanding of these flowers.
Almost all painters of the older generation emphasized the importance of sketching from life. They often told us students to bring paper and brush outdoors to observe and sketch natural objects. They had us paint what we saw, which insured that we didn’t get out of touch from reality.
Li Ko-jan, who greatly valued sketching from life, once said: “Some painters spend their lives looking at their desks and copying ancient models; they are divorced from reality, and unwilling to leave their studios. Getting out to look at the world is much, much better than staying shut up in one’s studio. It’s even better if one can also sketch from life. Viewing something leaves us with only a vague impression. Getting out and sketching things is the only way to really deeply grasp the objective world, and is the only way to really create things.”
These are words to live by!
(This painting contains two night herons, which are commonly seen resident birds in Taiwan.) ＠