Colleen studied and practised Chinese Brush Painting for 3 years in the early 90’s with Jane Evans, Qu Lei Lei and Jenny Scott who are all well-established Chinese brush artists. Since then she has been painting in her own style, exhibiting and selling her work in a number of galleries across the country.
Chinese Brush painting (also known as ‘Ink Painting’) has two main styles; Gongbi, or Fine Style meaning “meticulous”, which consists of highly detailed brushstrokes and is often highly coloured and usually depicts figural or narrative subjects, and Ink and wash painting, also loosely termed watercolour or Freestyle, is where the artist aims to complete the painting in ‘one breath’, using as few strokes as possible.
All Chinese brush paintings are completed on hand made xuan papers. The ink and colour contain a lot of glue, which Colleen hand grinds herself. This means the painting should not run too much during the wash stage which is when the painting is finished and is mounted onto thicker paper and once dried, is trimmed and pressed under weights. When Colleen feels happy that her painting is finished and complete, she signs it using her chop, a stamp, which is her name in Chinese.