Artist Profile Picturepulling-a-print-x.jpg
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Artist's StatementMy artworks are often painted or printed onto handmade oriental papers and signed in the East Asian manner with red vermilion paste, often using an antique carved seal with my artist’s name Majingzhu.
Initially academically trained in the traditions of Western Art, after a trip to China in the 1980s, I began doing East Asian painting in the literati style (painting by scholar-artists), then after retiring from my profession as a painting restorer I began to develop my printmaking skills.
As for many, the natural world is for me a source of joy, inspiration and restoration – a remedy for the busyness of our modern life.
Art Materialswatercolour, pen, ink, paper
Ann Massing's Portfolios
Paintings with Chinese Ink and Watercolour
Traditional East Asian painting uses black ink in various concentrations. This art form, practiced for centuries by highly educated Chinese scholars called literati, involves essentially the same techniques as calligraphy and is done with a brush dipped in black ink or coloured pigments. The 'colours' of ink alone are sufficient for self-expression, but with the addition of colour the posiibilites are truly endless. For the traditional Chinese scholar, the painting desk was a micrososm of the universe - as is still true today.
Following a trip to China in 1986 I began to learn how to paint in the literati style and I have been using ‘The Four Treasures’ (brush, paper, ink and ink stone) ever since. A book about my Chinese paintings, "A Journey Eastwards, Reflections on Chinese Ink and Watercolour Paintings", Cam Rivers Publishing, came out in 2018.
After retiring from my profession as a painting restorer, I began developing my skills in printmaking. After trying most of the techniques, most of my work is now intaglio especially aquatints. Creating a print is for me an adventure. Although I begin with an idea, the technical processes of printmaking often suggests avenues which lead away from the original plan and it is a challenge to be open to these changes of direction.
Sometimes I print onto handmade East Asian papers and wet-mount them as I do my ink and watercolour paintings.
My artwork has become a fusion of the artistic techniques and aesthetics from both East and West. I sign my prints with my seal as a reminder to myself and to others that the harmonious qualities of the paintings by the old masters of traditional Chinese painting are worth striving for - and this influence carries over into my printmaking.