ARTIST MEMBER Linda Bissell
Painting and Drawing are two aspects of my work:
Oriental (Chinese) Brush Painting is an art form that has a close relationship to writing. Chinese calligraphy, the art for writing ideographs with a brush, imitates nature’s rhythms and movements. It is regarded by many as the purer, even higher, form of artistic expression than painting.
The common tool for both Oriental writing and painting is a brush made of animal hairs such as goat, rabbit, weasel, wolf, horse or, believe it or not, mouse whiskers, in ascending order of stiffness. The brush, tapering to a point, has been described as “the most sensitive and richly potential instrument for painting ever devised.” With the brush and the calligraphic strokes, painting evolved into a system where the subject came first and foremost, the artist’s inner feelings second and finally, of least importance, the actual result set down by the artist. For example, a lonely recluse living in the mountains sees and paints not the real mountain, but the mountain of his mind and his experience. This allows a broad basis for painting style, seemingly realistic or completely abstract. It is the quality of the strokes that indicates mastery in the painting.
Attracted to both the medium and concept I started studying with various accomplished painters locally and at the Chinese Cultural Center in New York City and The Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China. But as a graduate of The Maryland Institute, College of Art with a BFA, my background is primarily Western Art. In a more traditional academic style my drawings are executed in pencil, charcoal, and pastel with more attention placed on the medium giving a greater sense of detail with a particular appreciation for the human face and expression.
In Oriental Brush Painting there are three categories, Bird & Flower, Landscape, and Figure. The subjects are based on a specific order of life, social standing and spirituality. For me, each painting and drawing is a single moment attempting to capture the spirit or “Chi” (Life Spirit) that catches my eye and is shared through both an ancient medium as well as traditional western medium for all to enjoy.