The spirit and ideology of art work

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Doctrine of the Mean

Verse 23

By: Zisi

 

其次致曲。曲能有誠、誠則形、形則著、著則明、明則動、動則變、變則化。唯天下至誠爲能化

 

“Next to the above is he who cultivates to the utmost the shoots of goodness in him. From those he can attain to the possession of sincerity. This sincerity becomes apparent. From being apparent, it becomes manifest. From being manifest, it becomes brilliant. Brilliant, it affects others. Affecting others, they are changed by it. Changed by it, they are transformed. It is only he who is possessed of the most complete sincerity that can exist under heaven, who can transform.”

On the drawing board, before pasting the paper onto it, I personally make the glue to calm my heart. After the glue is finished preparing, there are times it feels like I have already exhausted myself for the day. Then I rest up for the next day and start pasting the paper, drying it, and if needed (depending on the project) I paste another 2-3 layers. Half the time, it is a repetition of making the water and pasting it over and over. It is through such process that the hidden laziness within me is cleansed and I can successfully produce a work of art that I am satisfied with.

After calming my heart, I start the sketch, and transfer the sketch to another paper, and then transfer it on to the drawing board by pressing down upon it. Then picking out the appropriate colors of pigments (eastern dry pigments) for the drawing, I use my right thumb to grind down any lumps. It is only after the completion of this process that I finally pick up the brush and start the stage of painting. Some may say that this process involves toil, suffering and exhaustion. However, the devotion that comes out through the process sinks into my paintings and therefore it is something I cannot labor carelessly even if it  seems to be a minor part of the work.