By Astrid Greff
Astrid Greff is mother to Noah and Chandler Greff in Grade 10 at WISS and an artist with a unique style and perspective. She shares with us her journey into Chinese traditional painting, the transformation and innovation of her design and also how she expresses herself through her art. She is also graciously donating one of her paintings for the lucky draw at this year’s WISSTIVAL.
” A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step “ – Confucius
I discovered the art of Chinese painting in 2005 when I first arrived in China with my husband and our four children. As soon as our arrival in the Middle Kingdom, learning mandarin and mastering the skills of traditional Chinese painting became one of my priorities. Sadly, for me fluently knowing Chinese will remain an unfulfilled dream.
On the other hand concerning Chinese painting, I find pleasure and inspiration in the cultural and artistic blend of occident and orient. The flow of ink and my long horsehair brush dancing on rice paper has made me travel through great distances and adventures.
From 2005 to 2010 I took classes with different Chinese painters. They all fiercely insisted on the importance of being able to draw a proper line. Lines, are for Chinese paintings what accents and tones are to mandarin; the line is the major embodiments of a Chinese artist’s emotion. The topic of a painting is only the first artistic layer of the painters creation, the artist’s message resides in the line. For years I have fought with tooth and nail exploring and mastering my own line by painting lotus flowers, bamboo forests and other traditional Chinese painting topics.
In 2010, I decided to put aside traditional Chinese painting, to pursue more personal and colourful topics.
Today, I am working on joining and combining two worlds on one piece of paper. On one side I have the elegant white paper on which flows the thick black ink, and on the other side I find the many layers of colours cracking over one another, setting the harmonious landscape and blend of occident and orient.
I see my paintings as the horizon of my everlasting artistic journey. My productions represent an emotional traveling log that can only be contained on a 190/100cm frame.
My brush and paper are for me essentials and valuable communication tools, only thru then can live my dreams and share the journey of my past.