Art in bloom at Maryland Hall Gallery: The brush paintings of artist-in-residence Jing-Jy Chen are on display through Nov. 28.

November 05, 1998|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

There's a bonus attached to enjoying concert performances at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis: opportunities to visit its two art galleries, the Cardinal Gallery and the Artist-in-Residence Gallery.

Maryland Hall's 20th anniversary is being celebrated at the Artist-in-Residence Gallery with an exhibition of brush paintings by Jing-Jy Chen through Nov. 28. Visitors will find a garden of paintings by this Maryland Hall faculty member.

Subjects reflect Chen's appreciation of nature. There are lyrical representations of blue morning glories, white lotus blossoms, red poppies, a purple iris, spiky yellow chrysanthemums and sprays of pink cherry blossoms. Among these individual flowers that seemingly have just burst into bloom are paintings of brightly colored swimming carp and birds in flight and perched on branches.

Each painting has an instantaneous quality, as if the artist captured the fish as it paused in its swim, the bird alighting on the branch and the flower at the precise moment it fully opened.

Chen's paintings are done on different types of rice paper and at least two of them -- the brightly colored fish and the iris -- are on silk.

She has thoroughly mastered both techniques of brush painting: "outline," a series of fine, intricate lines and layers of shading that requires hours of precise brushwork to complete; and "boneless," in which the artist paints without draft strokes, relying on fluidity and spontaneity to concentrate on inner beauty.

Chen, born in Taiwan and educated at Taiwan Normal University, moved to the United States in 1967. She continued her studies, earning a master's degree in education from the University of Rochester.

She taught school for three years, then left teaching to raise a family. After the birth of her second child she returned to painting.

Chen teaches brush painting at her home studio in Columbia, at Glen Echo studio gallery in Montgomery County and at Maryland Hall.

Maryland Hall galleries are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and during evening performances.

Pub Date: 11/05/98

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