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2. Wild and Bright Air: CLOUDS

Paint spiralling, happy clouds influenced by Chinese art

  • Ended
  • 595 British pounds
  • Lushington Road

Service Description

Immerse yourself in the vivid colours, wondrous landscapes and joyous cloud formations in Persian Safavid and other Islamic miniature paintings. Explore Mughal and Chinese influences that synthesised along the Silk Road. Five courses will look at different elements - Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Ether. This second course, Air, will focus on Chinese clouds in Islamic miniature paintings – playful, merry, colourful and based on the spiral. Miniature painting perhaps shows its Chinese influences most obviously in the wild, brightly coloured clouds, a classical Chinese form. Air is alive! When, as children or as adults, we lie down and look up at the clouds, they invite us to imagine shapes - castles, animals, or human faces, similar to the anthropomorphic rocks of the Rocks course. We give clouds personalities. They can be cute and fluffy, lazily drifting, fat and happy, or stormy and foreboding. They can be simple whites and greys, or dramatically coloured as they reflect the sun's rays and the earth's atmosphere. They can be solitary, quiet and contented by themselves, or intent on gathering to rumble in large clusters. Clouds are never still but are always moving; when we paint clouds we capture a moment in time - in a sense the opposite symbology of Rocks. Clouds are based on spiralling forms. We will look at different types of spirals: Archimedian, Golden and Fibonacci spirals. We look at the spiral construction of the clouds and 'bulut' cloud islimi - a type of manuscript 'tazhib' illumination. You'll paint and colour your own miniature clouds after practising with brush exercises and techniques. This course is broadly Pre-Intermediate since it involves a session using compasses - however it is equally suitable for beginners. Your experienced tutor will adapt and tailor her teaching to your abilities. No previous experience is necessary and all courses work equally well as standalone courses that can be taken individually. However, to get the most out of them and to gain a thorough grounding in miniature painting, we recommend taking all 5 courses. Continuing students taking the cycle again may start a new painting or bring along works in progress to complete. The following courses will explore Water (lakes, rivers and seas); Fire (the Dragon, Phoenix and the Simurgh) and Ether: the Supernatural (Angels, Divs and Demons).  For non-London-based students we are also able to provide accommodation. Please contact us for further details.

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