Spring Newsletter 2022
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In this Issue:

The Ning Yeh Story
Painting Bigger: the Key to Unlock the Freedom of Chinese Brush Painting
Access to Virtual Office Hours
Three Free Resources
Springtime - Opening the Door to Chinese Flower Painting
Tools for Painting Larger
An Artist's Studio
Premium Accessories
Harmony Between Thinking and Feeling

The Ning Yeh Story

by Evan Yeh

Ning with parents and grandfather in China, 1948

How a Seed of Chinese Culture Made Its Way To America

The Last to be Trained

Because of a family tradition that spanned three generations before him, Ning Yeh was one of the last to participate in a multi-disciplinary Chinese cultural training that encouraged study of calligraphy, poetry, history, philosophy, and painting.

Dodging Events that Would Compromise the Seed

Just before Mao came to power in China, the Yeh Family left for Taiwan. In the process, they shielded their family tradition and understanding of traditional Chinese culture from the effects of Mao’s initiatives like the Cultural Revolution.

Then, just as Taiwan was about to undergo a cultural and economic transformation due to its rapid industrialization, Ning Yeh came to the United States for Graduate Studies. He met his wife Ling Chi, had a son (Evan), daughter (Ja-Shin) and received a PhD in Asian Studies all the while gearing up for a career as a diplomat.

Painting in Taiwan with mother’s supervision, 1964

Disappointment is Actually Opportunity

However, Taiwan’s unusual status in the international community (only recognized by the U.S. and a handful of its allies) made the career of diplomat a dead end. So instead, Ning fell back on his family tradition of painting and in the process built much stronger ties between the cultures of the East and West than he ever imagined was possible as a diplomat. For the next five decades he would personally teach thousands of students in person all around the United States.

Growth Spurt and the Creation of Oriental Art Supply

In the late 1980s, he would star in an instructional television series Chinese Brush Painting with Ning Yeh. The series, which would go on to win an Emmy award, ran for a year nationally on The Learning Channel, and for many years afterwards on PBS. In the process, tens of thousands more people discovered the beauty of Chinese Brush Painting and the Yeh Family tradition. Oriental Art Supply was realized during this time to provide Ning’s worldwide students with the quality supplies that they needed to learn Chinese Brush Painting with Ning on their television sets.

Next, in the late 90s Ning would be selected as the principal artist for a national ad campaign for the paper company Weyerhauser highlighting the company’s efforts to make paper more sustainable. Collaborating with Hollywood director Irv Blitz and actor Jeff Bridges, Ning and his paintings would be featured in television commercials and print ads in publications like Time, Newsweek, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Ning Yeh teaching at Coastline college classes, 2019

Above: Ning Yeh teaching Coastline classes, 2019

The Fifth Generation and Growing the OAS Family

Finally, the new millennium finds Ning at his creative peak producing a treasure trove of beautiful masterpieces that embody a lifetime of work harmonizing the cultures of the East and West. Oriental Art Supply, the company he created with his wife Ling Chi is now managed day to day by their daughter Ja-Shin and their son Evan and is focused on continuing to share the Yeh Family treasure of Chinese Brush Painting with a new extended OAS Family all around the world.

We see Ning’s story as a metaphorical lifeboat that carried the precious cargo of centuries old understandings of Chinese culture, wisdom, and tradition through many precarious straits to land on fertile ground where it could be planted, nurtured and grown for future generations to enjoy.

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Water Fairies "Narcissus" Painting by Ning Yeh

“Water Fairies (Narcissus)” from Ning Yeh’s Red Album: 80 Paintings and Ideas

An Album of Chinese Brush Painting: 80 Paintings and Ideas by Ning Yeh

Ning Yeh's Red Album

This hardcover album contains 80 full-color, full page compositions by Ning Yeh. Each painting lists all the colors, brushes, and paper used.

Accompanying each of the beautiful original paintings is a story. The tales reveal the spiritual background of the subjects, legends and romances, and artistic observation and experiences of the artist. They are shared with a casual, humorous, earnest, and intimate style which touches everyone in a special way. To this day, the Album is still the pride and joy of the artist. It is indeed one of the most beautiful, enjoyable, and inspirational works of art - both painting and writing.

183 Pages, Text in English

BK24: An Album of Chinese Brush Painting: 80 Paintings and Ideas - $50 (reg. $250)

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Online Access to Ning Yeh’s Recorded Livestream

Originally streamed live on January 14th, 2022 this special event featuring live demonstration, lecture and Q&A with Ning Yeh. Watch Ning demonstrate a breathtaking lotus masterpiece along with his 500 year old family tradition of Horse.

STR-NY001: Access to Ning Yeh’s Recording - $19.99

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Ning Yeh has a website!

Click this link to browse and purchase Ning Yeh’s paintings

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Painting Bigger: the Key to Unlock the Freedom of Chinese Brush Painting

by Evan Yeh

Chinese Brush Painting in general is an excellent artform for artists who are looking for more simplicity and freedom in their experience. The philosophical roots of Chinese Brush Painting avoids much of the judgment that can be stifling in many Western forms of art. By focusing on expressing your own idea of the spirit of your subject you create an environment where your efforts can be appreciated immediately even as you continually work to improve your skill.

If that feeling of freedom is your goal, then we always encourage students to paint larger. Use a bigger brush like our Large Flow, Super Flow, or Full Lotus brush. Paint on bigger paper like 18” x 27” or larger. Use larger sheets of magic paper to practice and make the only goal of the practice to feel freedom. Common problems like moisture control and strokes that lack dimension can be minimized when you paint larger and more decisively. Bigger strokes will use excess moisture more productively. When you direct the moisture on your brush to a larger stroke, you will create big beautiful strokes rather than small strokes where the excess moisture just creates bleeding.

Also, it is much easier to properly load a large brush with different layers of color to get the beautiful multi-tone strokes that fade from dark to light. Small brushes require greater skill to load. It is easier on a smaller brush to load darker colors too deep and end up with a flat, mono-tone stroke that lacks variation and dimension.

A nearly fool-proof way to feel more freedom when you paint is to paint large abstract, zen style strokes with a big brush like our Super Flow, Full Lotus or Large Mountain Horse brush. For those who want maximum drama you can even size up to our Dragon or Phoenix brushes. When you initially explore this type of painting make the goal pure enjoyment. Imagine it as exercise or emotional release rather than art. Make enjoyment your goal and most assuredly you will eventually create art that will be satisfying

Featured Materials: Mountain Horse Large Brush - H2FL $27

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OAS Virtual Office Hours

“What are Virtual Office Hours?” Great question! Every month we host a 90 minute online, invite-only event (accessible exclusively through the internet) with a short lecture, detailed demonstration and live q&a session. We have covered a variety of subjects, including how to control moisture, essential strokes in Chinese brush painting, wet mounting and, most recently, Chinese landscape painting basics. We are offering recordings of these live events for a limited time. To purchase access to these recordings, simply go to our website and search for “OAS Virtual Office Hours.”

After checking out, we will manually send you an email that will contain the website link to the recorded event and the password within 24-48 hours.

This is NOT a physical product.

Online Access to Virtual Office Hours Video Demos

STR-VOH001: All About Paper - $6.95

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STR-VOH002: All About Color - $6.95

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STR-VOH003: Wet Mounting - $6.95

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STR-VOH004: All About Brushes - $6.95

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STR-VOH005: Moisture Control in Chinese Painting - $6.95

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STR-VOH006: Essential Strokes of Chinese Painting - $6.95

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STR-VOH007: Chinese Landscape Painting Basics - $6.95

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STR-VOH008: Chinese Flower Painting Basics - $6.95

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Three Free Resources

Would you like weekly encouragement, inspiration and motivation? Have you ever wished that you had a mentor to come alongside you and ask you thought-provoking questions, help you devolop your own unique skills in brush painting or provide you with helpful resources for your growth?

At Oriental Art Supply, we don’t want to simply sell a product and then leave you on your own - we want to enrich your life with the beauty of Asian art, philosophy and culture.

We have several ways of supporting you:

Emails

In our email list, we deliver deep philosophical articles to aid you in your mindful lifestyle, inspire you to paint, and encourage you to become the best artist you can be. To join our email list, simply scroll to the bottom of this page and fill out the email form on the bottom, right-hand corner and click "Get 10% off!" If you have any issues, feel free to call us at 714-969-4470 and we can sign you up manually.

YouTube

We offer free video tutorials on our YouTube channel so you can unlock the treasure of Chinese brush painting and gong-bi. We have a vault of over 50 painting video tutorials and publish a new tutorial every week. Take advantage of this free resource! To visit our YouTube page, click here.

Facebook

It is easy to feel alone on this journey of brush painting, especially if you live in a place that geographically has had little exposure to the Asian arts. That’s why we created our “OASLife” Facebook Group over ten years ago to connect you with like-minded artists and admirers. In this group, we share paintings, inspiration, ask questions, get advice, and support each other! To join our Facebook Group, you must have a Facebook account. If you already have an account, click here to join. Please fill in the questionnaire so we can add you to the group quickly.

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Springtime - Opening the Door to Chinese Flower Painting

Chinese Flower Painting: A Worthwhile Investment

Our recent Virtual Office Hour Session on Essential Strokes of Chinese Painting and my mother’s follow up video on Camellia reminded us of how worthwhile it is to invest in Chinese Flower Painting!

Learn a handful of simple strokes, and some basic techniques on color blending and you open a door to thousands of possibilities. There are so many flowers and each of them appear in so many colors that the possibilities are just endless!

There is a reason why the books on Chinese Flower Painting emphasize the volume of possible subjects. Whether it be Ning Yeh’s four book series 108 Flowers or Oshi Yang’s 100 Flowers, the masters understand that building confidence with the basics of Chinese Flower Painting yields tremendous dividends.

Dogwood from Ning Yeh’s 108 Flowers Book 2

108 Flowers Book 2 by Ning Yeh

108 Flowers by Ning Yeh is being described by one of his A+ students as being an “Encyclopedia” to painting flowers for the Chinese Brush artist!

Subjects include Cotton Rose, Daffodil, Day Lily, Dragon Pearl, Dutch Iris, Eggplant, Foxglove, Geranium, Grape, Heavenly Bamboo and more!

144 pages, English

BKNY02: 108 Flowers by Ning Yeh - $24

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Diagram from O-shi Yang’s book 100 Flowers

100 Flowers by O-shi Yang

O-shi Yang provides anatomical diagrams, foundation drawings, detailed step-by-step instructions and a multitude of completed compositions for the growing artist to emulate.

Some of the subjects include peony, begonia, pine, poppy, hyacinth, taiwan cherry, pear, magnolia, rose, fuchsia, sweet pea, camellia, dahlia and more!

240 pages, Chinese/English

BK07: 100 Flowers by O-shi Yang - $35

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Paper for Chinese Flower Painting

Double Xuan (Shuen) is the preferred paper for Chinese Flower Painting. You can decide between our Premium “Jade Plate” Double Xuan which has superior moisture control while still showing beautiful color or our Vintage Double Xuan which is a bit more free with moisture and shows vibrant, intense color.

Bamboo Painting by Ning Yeh on Premium Jade Plate Double Shuen

Premium “Jade Plate” Double Xuan (Shuen)

This paper cheerfully displays dynamic strokes and complex shade variations with translucent fluidity and original spontaneity.

P27A-9: 9 Cut Sheets (18” x 27”) - $21