CBP Challenge 5: Still Life

We recently completed our fifth Chinese Brush Painting challenge. The main subject of the challenge was a Still Life. The extra element was fruit this time. As usual, the idea of the challenge was to interpret that title in any way that we saw fit.

The idea with this one was very simple (which is always good) which was simply that we had not painted a challenge still life thus far…

As usual there were some wonderful paintings on all sorts of subjects from harvests to bowls of fruit and this one lent itself to lots of paintings produced!

With this challenge I did not produce a sketch as I had an idea I have been wanting to paint for some time. Qi Baishi is probably one of the most recognised artists for his still life pictures (especially as some of them are not entirely still…) and there are a number of paintings which are fascinating studies in Chinese Calligraphy. One in particular is a bowl of cherries on a bamboo stand. This painting can be seen in part 2 of Qi Baishi’s life story which is linked on this blog post.

I chose to emulate this painting with the strong strokes of the bamboo stand as the central feature. Each of the strokes must be completed in one stroke in order to get the energy and immediacy required. Additionally, the strokes must start strong and solid with ink and either end up dry at the end, or show the ink run out and the water in the heel of the brush, take over. The Autumnal twist was that instead of a bowl of cherries it would be a bowl of acorns, which, of course, had attracted a particular guest…

Seizing the opportunity - Paul Maslowski 2019
Seizing the opportunity – Paul Maslowski 2019

The Calligraphy is my now familiar date and signature with the addition of Opportunity in the top right corner.

If you would like to see the above painting in more detail, please visit my Portfolio.

It was great to see this time that Claire went her own way and rather than working from a Qi Baishi she composed a fabulous painting as you will see below:

Honesty - Still Life - Claire Seaton 2020
Honesty – Still Life – Claire Seaton 2020

There are 3 elements to the Calligraphy which work really well together. The first is the notable poem in the top right, “When the Autumn wind blows, and the new wine is produced, it is time to look at my flowers”. The next is Claire’s name on the vase, which incidentally was made by her. Finally note the date which is Autumn 2020 on the left hand side of the vase.

For some of Claire’s other challenge inspirations please see our Double Happiness Studio MH Facebook page.

We really would to include challenge work other than our own. If you have produced a painting for this one and would be happy to share do please let us know and we will post it up here with any comments you wish to add…

We hope this inspires you to paint some wonderful pictures. If you feel so drawn, again, please let me know and I will post up images here even if they are a departure from the original inspiration. You can always comment in your own words below. Just click on Leave a comment.

Happy painting,


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