Sumi-E Quarterly Summer 2014 Interview –Joan Lok’s New Book “Chinese Brush Painting: Flowers”

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Sumi-E Quarterly (SQ) Joan Lok (Lok)

SQ: Congratulation on the publication of your book. Can you tell us a little more about your book?

Lok: "Chinese Brush Painting: Flowers" is a book on how to paint flowers in Chinese brush painting. It includes a brief history of painting flowers in China, different styles, materials and basic brushwork. I also have a special segment on composition and placement of name and seals as the aesthetic concepts of the East are quite different from that of the West. The culture, history of development, and materials influence the way design and composition are treated in Asian art. The book contains 40 demonstrations of painting 36 flowers. Each flower includes step-by-step instructions, a palette of colors, and a mini demonstration indicating the order, direction, and type of brushstrokes. I also included the painting of a bird in Lingnan style. Professor Cheng-Khee Chee generously wrote the Foreword of the book.

SA: Forty demos of 36 flowers! There is very impressive, can you tell us what some of these flowers are?

Lok: Sure, besides the classics like grass orchid and chrysanthemum, I also have flowers that are not commonly illustrated in art instruction books, including calla lily, cockscombs, cyclamen, poppy and day lily. Several flowers are so attractive that I painted them in more than one style: peonies, lotus, water lilies and cherry blossoms are shown in both contour and mo-ku (boneless) so the artists have more options in their own creation. I also added Bauhinia Blackeana, the floral emblem of Hong Kong, my birthplace.

SA: How can we get a copy?

Lok: The book will be widely available in bookstores and craft stores. I am working with various organizations to have book-signing at their locations with possible painting demonstration, lecture and art workshops. You can also order it from my website, www.joanlok.com, the only place to get a signed copy without attending a book signing.