Chinese watercolors bring spring's cheer to Hagerstown museum

March 18, 2004|by KIM HATFIELD

The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in Hagerstown's City Park is hosting a display of Chinese watercolor paintings through Sunday, April 25.

Amy Hunt, museum curator, said the Chinese watercolors are special because of the medium used to create them.

"Most of the paintings are mounted onto silk scrolls and are similar in style to calligraphy," she said. "Traditional Chinese calligraphy is done with a brush and black ink, and the brushstrokes used to make the characters of the Chinese paintings are made with swift fluid movements. The beginning of the stroke will be wider and darker while the end of the stroke thins and is lighter."

The colorful and bright paintings are on loan to the museum from David and Irene Eyer of Oakland, Md., Hunt said.

"The scenes are in the traditional Chinese style of either floral or landscape scenes," Hunt said. "Because they are so bright and spring-like, many visitors have commented that just seeing them brings them cheer."


Hunt said that the artists who created these works were more than just painters, they also were poets and philosophers.

"Many paintings are accompanied by poems that are written right on them," she said. "The themes of the poems are the same as the theme of the painting. We don't know a lot about the artists because that information is written in Chinese and needs to be translated."

On Sunday, April 18, David Eyer will give an illustrated presentation entitled "A Chinese Experience" about travel, culture and art in China.

Kim Hatfield is a correspondent for The Herald-Mail.

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