In 1985, I was selected to be in a painting group that studied Chinese landscape painting in China for two months. We were housed in dorms at the Zhejiang Fine Art Academy in Hangzhou. There were sixteen of us, from all over the U.S. We had classes all morning, beginning with Tai Chi outdoors at 6 am., followed by breakfast, then Chinese calligraphy. Calligraphy contains all the brushstrokes for painting other subjects. There were demonstrations or lectures in various aspects of Chinese brushwork by Chinese professors. None of them spoke English, so we relied on one interpreter. The visual nature of painting helped immensely as we watched demonstrations in landscape, flower painting.
Traveling for several weeks within this course, gave us much reference for further painting when we returned home. I have not visited China since, but I will always remember the amazement on people’s faces, since we were a novelty in their country in those days. I will always remember the friendliness and kindness that people showed us in many situations.