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The Eight Canons of Nan Rae - Rules of the Nan Rae Atelier

1. Know Your Subject: In order to paint with complete abandon, it's essential to know your subject first. Sketching is wonderful for this and what I would recommend is a stroll in your garden with wonderful thoughts of enjoyment and then taking cuttings and sketch, sketch, sketch! Know how the buds form, how the petals open up and then fall, how the stamen are placed. You'll be amazed.

2. Be Surprising: Look for and embrace the unexpected. On your intuitive journey, drink in the beauty that surrounds you, drown in a buttercup, then explode with inspiration. If certain parts of your subject 'speak' to you, then go with it. Enlarge or intensify them.

3. Please Leave Serious at the Door of Your Studio: Delight in your adventure. Remember there is no one like you and no one else can express the world about us in the same way as you. Enjoy this individualism. Flaunt it!

4. Give Your Brush Life and Paint with Authority: (This will be easy if you remember Rule #1.) Line is always alive, never static. While you will be painting deliberately, always remember to be spontaneous which brings us to Rule #5.

5. Let Spontaneity Reign: This will help you achieve Rule #4 and your masterpiece will be lively. It will dance!

6. Don't Worry about Likeness: Capture the essence of your subject. Speak to and thru your subject. Remember that if you merely 'copy' nature you are presenting the surface of your subject. When your painting is 'impressionistic' you will convey it's essence.

7. Connect With Your Work: Let your thoughts and feelings surge thru your work. Expression is all!

8. Be Daring: The Ming (1368-1644) and early Ch'ing (1644-1911) Dynasty artists were. Their compositions were unpredictable.

Let the work 'happen' in front of you.
Just remember the three e's!
have energy
with eccentricity
and be-free!

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