Dorothy Chan was born in Hong Kong, of parents who were originally from Canton province in China. In her youth, she studied piano in Hong Kong and London, and then developed her artistic skill to painting. Dorothy studied the ancient history of traditional painting with the esteemed Professor Shao-an Chao, in Hong Kong. Professor Chao was a proponent of the Lingnan School of Art. This artistic movement took traditional painting many steps further by focusing more on the art of brush strokes and introducing the concept of expressionism into contemporary Chinese painting. Upon moving to the United States with her husband and children, Dorothy also earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of Rochester, with a focus on painting and sculpture. She incorporates her knowledge of traditional Chinese painting with her Western education of studio arts. Her work has a sense of lyricism and poeticism, influenced by her extensive studies in music and piano.
Dorothy resides in Charlottesville, VA with her husband Donald. Their two daughters are married and living in San Francisco, CA.
painting style »
Dorothy practices a type of "freestyle" painting, or "painting without bones", since no outline or sketch is used to guide the paint. This technique brings out the spontaneous nature of brushwork. Brushes play an important part in Chinese painting. The Chinese brush was invented over 2000 years ago during the Ch'in Dynasty. Brushes are made by hand, and can be made of sable, fox, wolf, horse, goat, or lamb hair. Soft lambs wool brushes are used for flower petals and fish; horse hair brushes to produce strong brush strokes seen in the windswept branches and wings of birds; fox hair brushes to create delicate, more controlled strokes for flowers and insects.
Most of Dorothy's paintings are painted on rice paper with watercolor and Chinese black ink stick and Chinese pigments. The chop, or seal, seen in red ink on each painting, is the typical signature of a Chinese artist. Dorothy's chop contains her Chinese name, Siu-Ling, which means "small and dainty". She also uses contemporary-styled rice papers that are made with rice husks to create more texture.
In Dorothy's work, nature's creatures delight in the company of each other and seem to dance around the surface. The communication seen among the birds and sea creatures give us a sense of playfulness and innocence. For Dorothy, painting is an extension of sight, an expression of the beauty of nature surrounding her - in her garden, throughout the lush landscape of Virginia, and within the limitless realm of her imagination.
|Copyright © 2012 Dorothy Chan. All rights reserved|