Ink wash painting is an East Asia type of brush painting. Traditionally, only black ink – the same as in East Asian calligraphy – is used, in various concentrations. It was for centuries the most prestigious form of Chinese art.
Different brushes have different qualities. A small wolf-hair brush that is tapered to a fine point can deliver an even thin line of ink (much like a pen). A large wool brush can hold a large volume of water and ink. Once a stroke is painted, it cannot be changed or erased. This makes ink and wash painting a technically demanding art-form requiring skill, concentration, and years of training.
On this particular day, our lesson only lasted three hours. Although it is not possible to master this art form in a few hours, we certainly had a decent amount of time to learn about strokes, pressure, and tapering. Unfortunately our teacher used a full hour to talk about the history of ink wash painting – completely in Chinese (yay for me, and another American guy there) – so I was quite bored for much of that time.
Our PLAN was to have a couple drinks here, and then head to a restaurant for some dinner and our weekly date night. Well… That was the plan. We never did make it to dinner. As we were leaving Cafè Kona, we spotted a work friend of Justin’s, at the cafe next door to where we had been sitting. He invited us to sit down, so we did. A few HOURS later we were still there – laughing, drinking cold beers, and chatting about each of our crazy South East Asian travel stories!
Isn’t it funny how unplanned evenings always turn out being among the best!?