We have seen that God creates basic patterns in nature with individual differences at all levels of reality. Chinese landscape painting has imitated the way God creates.

The Chinese over their long history have developed a form of landscape painting which is unique in its form and execution.

In painting a tree they do not copy it slavishly from nature but rather paint its essence. They reduced, for example, the maple leaf to a calligraphic symbolic stroke as you see here. They painted the leaf repeatedly in ink. Each stroke was unrepeatable and a direct impression of the mind.

 

 

 

This landscape is first painted in ink and later washes of water color applied. Note that a wash of blue (indigo) is placed over the leaves. The Chinese consider form more important than color.

They do not paint the area at the base of mountains thus creating a sense of mystery, the unseen. Figures are painted small giving a sense man's inclusiveness in the cosmic order. Water, a symbol of the Tao or that mystery underlying all of nature is always included. Roots of trees are usually shown symbolizing earth while the branches symbolize heaven. The landscape comes alive by the interplay of opposites; the hard rocks and soft water, the up and down, the pointed and round, the light and dark, etc. Thus the Chinese painting exhibits both nature's patterns and the Chinese mental perspective on reality. A contemplative mood is definitely created by this painting.

7. Sacred Geometry