As a Chinese Brush Artist, Andrea Allen has developed a unique style that combines the traditions of the Chinese Masters with a subtle, contemporary flair. She studied with a Chinese Master for six years, and has been painting and teaching in this style for over twenty years. Andrea utilizes many ancient Chinese techniques such as grinding her own Sumi ink, often mixing it with watercolor, loading the calligraphy brush, and applying it to handmade rice paper, with a minimal number of strokes to complete each painting. She carefully balances the unpainted and painted spaces in each composition, creating a tranquil flow throughout each painting.
“With each ceramic piece, I mix my own colored under glazes and paint on the green ware, using a traditional Chinese calligraphy brush. The piece is then bisque fired to over 1900 degrees. I then paint on three coats of lustrous glaze and fire the piece again to 1900 degrees,” she says.
Ancient Chinese symbolism and philosophy influence her work, enhancing the feeling of vital energy and serenity. The inherent effect is for the viewer to be effortlessly invited into each painting, to experience a peaceful balance and harmony in a timeless continuum.
“When I am working on my ceramics, I place my emphasis on creating an original, Chinese Brush Painting, with all the traditions, Dynasty-old brush strokes, and symbolism incorporated into each ceramic piece,” Andrea says. “I consider the shape of each ceramic piece, to ensure it is conducive to Chinese Brush style, resulting in a unique and functional work of art.”
The intent, she says, is for each ceramic painting to elicit a feeling of dynamic serenity “…a balance between tranquility and excitement each time someone views or uses the ceramic painting. My wish is that each ceramic painting brings the viewer as much joy as it brought me as I was creating it.”
Andrea has exhibited extensively throughout the Bay Area, including the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. She teaches several classes in Chinese Brush painting for beginning and experienced students. Andrea also welcomes creating custom paintings, upon request.