Oriental painting has much in common with western painting from an aesthetic point of view. There are also many differences These differences can be seen not only in composition and materials, but also in the creative process, philosophy and perspective....
It still possesses its unique character and beauty attracting western artists to learn. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries European and American painters were influenced by Eastern paintings, prints, decorative arts, and spiritual ideas of the Chinese and Japanese. As a result new ways of depicting reality, light, space and invention of abstract line, shape, color and texture evolved, rendering spiritual states of mind.
Still many western students search for ways to study and experience this beautiful, simple and yet profound art.
In the east, unlike in the west, the painting and the writing developed together and have greatly influenced each other. The close connection between calligraphy and painting is often seen in the calligraphic character of the brush strokes. Students in both art forms strive to master control of the brush and ink so that they may eventually let go of all control.
One of the forms of oriental paintingthat developed in Japan is Sumi-e. It is a pictorial expression of the spirit that resides in Zen martial arts and meditation. It has uniquely Japanese aesthetics. Literally, Sumi-e means 'ink picture'. Brush strokes in Sumi-e painting were developed from brush strokes in calligraphy. Just as in calligraphy, the strokes used in Sumi-e are executed with great control and energy.
One important contribution in making this art accessible to western artists is the work of Tomoko Kodama.(http://storm.ca/~kodama/index.html). She developed the non-traditional 3B (Body, Breath and Brush) method , also called the 'Breathing Method' which is a centred, very meditative technique using controlled breathing, rhythmic body movement, and connection with the brush. One strives to achieve spontaneous, vivid, living strokes. She simplified the calligraphic strokes, using roman alphabet elements at the beginning and then moving to Chinese/Japanese calligraphy.
Tomoko Kodama received Canadian and international recognition for her approach to art. Her book -- 'Oriental Calligraphy and Painting: The 3Bs, Body, Breath, and Brush' (Ottawa, 1989) -- has been acclaimed by the Canada Council as making the Japanese form of art accessible to Canadians and has been sold across Canada and internationally. She has passed away in 2010, leaving behind many students who continue working and teaching with her method. See her website http://www.lilithohan.com , read, follow her on the twitter http://twitter.com/Lilith_Sumie and on facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lilith-Sumie/273629925990715