This Summer, VAIC Studio partnered with two schools: Veritas Academy in Wylie, lead by Mark and Jenni Hotopp, and New Song School of the Arts in Lantana, to offer week-long arts enrichment camps to the local community.
As a first-time experience the students, I introduced Chinese brush painting at several camps, working on rice paper. Rice paper is made of strong mulberry fibers, and accepts the Chinese mineral and vegetable colors unlike regular watercolor paper. The ink or color spreads easily, and helps the children learn to use the brush, slowly and gently. It is meditative work. We incorporated Sumi ink with gold pigment, and the effect was glorious! Because of the lack of sizing in rice paper, each painting must be stretched and mounted. We used homemade rice paste to stretch the paintings for the final show.
Applying the paste and stretching the work is for me a deeply satisfying task, as the colors become brighter and bolder. The results turned out beautiful.