Spring 2019 Newsletter

download PDF version

In This Issue:

What is an Artist? Travel to Taiwan with Ning & Ling Chi An Artist's Studio Iconic Accessories The Spirit of Spring in Chinese Painting Spring Painting Inspiration Introducing the new OAS Mini Flow Brush Made to Order Artist Seals Featuring the Spirit of the Four Seasons October Workshops at OAS Create Your Own Brush Painting Class OAS Essential Brushes and Paper

What is an Artist?

By Evan Yeh

painting is something that you do and an artist is something that you are

What is the difference between someone who paints and someone who is an artist? The word artist is bantered about quite a bit. Most commonly, we see distinctions made in the performing arts. There are certain actors and singers who are distinguished among their peers with the title of "artist." This means they are doing something more than just acting or singing. What is the difference between someone who paints and an artist?

The main difference is painting is something that you do and an artist is something that you are. Being an artist is a state of being. This may seem bold and daunting to some. But the fact is that states of being are just one decision away. Many people believe that states of being are only acquired through massive amounts of hard work that create things for people to admire and accolades that can be pointed to. And it is true that many people who are acknowledged as artists are working like this, creating these things and being acknowledged in this way. But almost all of them can trace the roots of their artistry to a decision. One day they just decided that they were going to be an artist. Everything else began to flow from this decision. They began to do what an artist does and eventually they had what an artist has.

Oriental Art Supply has made it our purpose to inspire artists. We do this not only with materials, tools and instruction but with culture, philosophy and guidance. Our hope is that more of you will discover the boundlessly joyful journey that follows your decision to be an artist! Everyone is one decision away from a transformative becoming.

back to top

Travel to Taiwan with Ning and Ling Chi


Ning and Ling Chi know Taiwan intimately, not only spending their youth on the island but also leading groups of American artists for cultural exchange trips to the island many times in the past 3 decades.

They are planning a wonderful 12 day experience filled with beautiful scenery, culture and art study, and wonderful food (for many years most people who know Asia regard the food from Taiwan to be the best Chinese food in the world).

One common theme that I hear from our long-time customers is that many have cultivated an unfulfilled desire to travel with Ning and Ling Chi for many years.

There are many factors that make the possibility of future trips like these uncertain. The time for waiting is over and the time for experiencing an unforgettable Dream Journey with some of the best inspiration, scenery, food and culture that Asia has to offer is here.

All of this personally led and guided by two of the best cultural ambassadors in Ning and Ling Chi Yeh.

Contact OAS at 800-969-4471 or contact us via email to join our interest list and receive more information as it becomes available.

Contact OAS at 800-969-4471 or contact us via email.

back to top

An Artist's Studio

By Evan Yeh

The place where you paint is important. Artists are intentional about shaping the area in which they do their creative work. Do you have an extra room in your house? Then you should set it up as your studio! Physical locations become the focal point for creative energy and going into a space regularly and summoning your creative energy can make that place increasingly powerful for amplifying and focusing your creative energies.

If you can't spare a whole room, then section off an area of a room and create your painting set up there. Use a shoji screen or a divider to give the space a sense of privacy and solitude. Finally, make sure you have a set of materials that are set up there for when your painting muse decides to inspire you.

It is clear from our own personal experience and feedback from our extended OAS family of customers, that those who have a dedicated area to paint are always the ones having the most satisfying experience cultivating and expressing their artistry.

So, if you have yet to define your studio space, now is the time. One very helpful tip is to have a separate set of accessories for your studio space. I recommend choosing porcelain accessories for your studio space. There is a luxury that porcelain has when working with ink and colors that adds to the satisfaction of painting. Preparing your colors in the porcelain flower plate or stackable dishes has sensual quality that can help center you in that critical time before you begin to paint. Porcelain accessories also are easier to clean and their extra weight is not a factor in a studio setup that rarely has to be moved.


Iconic Accessories


Stackable Porcelain Dish Set

CW30: $30

Perfect for storing loose colors like the Chinese Chips colors for use. When you are finished painting just stack them up. Comes with 5 dishes and a lid.



Water Bowl

Three section bowls for water. Porcelain has a weightier, more luxurious feel and is also easier to clean. Plastic is more durable and lighter weight.

CW50 Large Porcelain Water Bowl: $25


PB Plastic Water Bowl: $10



Flower Plate

Flower plates are used to mix colors for temporary use, as well as Western watercolors or Marie's water colors that are dispensed in small amounts from a tube or jar. They are usually completely cleaned after each painting session. We have two sizes of porcelain flower plates and one set of two plastic blossom palettes.

Large Porcelain Flower Plate

9 sections, 7.25" diameter and .5" deep

CW60: $11.50


Small Porcelain Flower Plate

7 sections, 6" diameter and .5" deep

CW45: $9


Blossom Palette Set

2 piece set. One fits on top of the other so can be used separately or as a palette and lid. 7 sections. 6.75" diameter by .5" deep

BP2: $10



Blending Plate

Blending is an essential technique popularized by Ning Yeh for producing multiple harmoniously blended colors that seamlessly transition into each other in a single stroke.

CW92: $7.99



Brush Rests/Holders

Black "Oriental Gate" Brush Hanger

A practical and handsome way to safely store brushes while they dry. 16 hooks for holding brushes. 17" x 12" x 4"

BR10: $40



Brush Roll with Single Layer Pockets

Perfect for transporting your ten most important brushes or even keeping them together at home. 10 pockets.

BR08A: $9.95



Dragon Porcelain Brush Rest

Lovely, traditionally ornate accessory for resting brushes while you are painting.

BRP-D: $15.00



Bamboo Brush Cup

Simple but elegant cup that's great for holding excess brushes or even to have around the house for loose change.

ACBC04: $5.00



Paper Accessories

Paperweight Pair

Dark cherry colored wood rests filled with metal for extra weight. Teal colored characters for "Painting and Calligraphy" and "Making a Special Connection".

PW1: $35



Painting Felt

Scotch guarded to resist moisture and staining. Essential accessory to prevent excess moisture from staining painting surface and to give your paper the right support to accept brush strokes



back to top

The Spirit of Spring in Chinese Painting

By Evan Yeh

With iconic subjects like flowers and birds, Chinese Brush Painting has always been intimately intertwined with the Spirit of Spring. The Spirit of Spring is a spirit of renewal and rejuvenation. In China, the festival to celebrate the lunar or Chinese New Year is called the Spring Festival. So, the biggest holiday of the year is essentially an ushering in of the season of Spring.

Chinese ideas of Spring can be further examined from their ideas of the iconic elements of Spring. Among those are flowers. Ming Dynasty author Wang Xiangjin (王象晉) had this to say about Flowers:

"I try to observe the morning flowers putting on their splendor, competing in all their great beauty and fragrance. Some keep company with others as they grow, while others go against time and show their preciousness. Despite their great floral beauty and exotic nature, such myriad manifestations are not easy to grasp. Their flourishing stems bloom and wither, also bringing joy and sorrow. Who says that such lodgings of joy and pleasantries of the heart are unrelated to the emotions and character?"

Here we see expressions of the richness of the Chinese understanding of the spirit of flowers. Not only do they see them as obvious expressions of the beauty and fragrance of nature, but they also see them as symbols of the volatility of blooming and withering love. Chinese painters and philosophers elevate flowers as symbols of desirable character traits. We see plum blossoms as the symbol for perseverance, lotus for purity and upright character, and peony as abundance and prosperity.


Closeup Poppy Gift Lesson

Ning Yeh has been exploring a closer look at flowers with these stunning yet simple compositions utilizing Wash brushes and a vintage batch of pre-cut Double Shuen that we have been aging in our warehouse.

GLS045: Free with purchase of $50 or more or $6.95

details | buy

Vintage Cut Double Shuen

We've found a vintage batch of double shuen paper pre-cut to a nice size. The ability of the paper to show vibrant color while also giving you the extra moisture control that is typical of a double shuen has made this paper our first choice when it comes to painting flowers.

P25BL Vintage Double Shuen 24 Cut Sheets $24

24 Cut Sheets 13 1/4" X 18"

details | buy


Wash Brushes

Versatile brushes that can be used for background or mist washes, bamboo trunks or any large dynamic strokes. Currently available in 1" (F4: $7), 1.5" (F3: $8.5), 2.5" (F1: $13), 3" (F5: $15) and 4.5" (F6: $18).

details | buy


Spring Painting Inspiration

108 Flowers Set

This set will give you Spring inspiration that will last! As a complete set, they cover 108 different flowers. All four books in the set contain strikingly beautiful yet accessible compositions that are framed with Ning's usual easy to follow instructions and delightful story-telling context.

Time to "spring" into action, as for a limited time, you can purchase the whole set or individual books at a discount.

108 Flowers Books 1-4 Set

BKNY01-04: $96.00 sale ($120 reg.)

All four books sold as a set

details | buy

108 Flowers Books 1,2,3 or 4 Individually sold

BKNY01, 02, 03 or 04: $24.00 sale ($29.95 reg.)

All four books sold as a set

details | buy


Explore Chinese Bird Painting

100 Birds by Oshi Yang

Oshi Yang's books offer the most clear instruction of any book we carry not written by Ning Yeh. This book is a real treasure with sequential illustration for a large number of subjects.

100 Birds by Oshi Yang

BK08: $35.00

224 Pages, Chinese/English

details | buy


Two More Excellent Books by O-shi Yang

Oshi Yang's books have always been popular for the artist's distinctive style of Ling-nan School painting and the solid instruction they provide.

Flower and Birds: A Perspective by Oshi Yang

BK06: $30.00

157 Pages, English

details | buy

100 Flowers by Oshi Yang

BK07: $35.00

240 Pages, Chinese/English

details | buy


Instant Seasonal Brightness with Colored Shuen Papers

Lily of the night on Pistachio Shuen paper inspired by lesson in 108 Flowers Book 3.

I am always pleasantly surprised at how colored shuen can add a freshness and totally different feel to subject. We're featuring four Spring colors for your delight.

Pick them up and add some Spring color to your painting!

Barley Shuen Paper (5 Sheets)

P04BA: $15

5 Sheets (27"x54")

details | buy


Pistachio Shuen Paper (5 Sheets)

P04GP: $15

5 Sheets (27"x54")

details | buy


Salmon Shuen Paper (5 Sheets)

P04PK: $15

5 Sheets (27"x54")

details | buy


Ecru Gold Fleck Paper (5 Sheets)

P04GE: $15

5 Sheets (27"x54")

details | buy


Popular Book on Orchid Back in Stock

This very popular book on painting orchid has been out of stock for over a year. We've finally received new copies. This book is unique because it covers techniques for both spontaneous and fineline style in a single book. Part of a series of 4 books. The other three books focus on the rest of the four gentlemen subjects: Bamboo, Plum, and Chrysanthemum

Fundamentals of Chinese Floral Painting: Orchid by Chow Su-sing

M002: $15

63 pages Chinese/English

details | buy


Get the Other Three Books in the Series

Fundamentals of Chinese Floral Painting by Chow Su-sing

Plum Blossom

M001: $15

80 pages Chinese/English

details | buy


M003: $15

63 pages Chinese/English

details | buy


M004: $15

54 pages Chinese/English

details | buy

back to top

OASLife Update

We are very pleased with the response to the new pricing on OASLife.com. We'd like to welcome all the new subscribers which include some totally new faces and a few we've known for many years! We're continuing to push forward with expansion plans for OASLife.

This month's new release is Heavenly Bamboo. This step-by-step video lesson inspired from the painting and lesson in Ning's 108 Flower's Book 2. We picked this video for this month because Heavenly Bamboo is a popular plant to adorn shrines and to decorate rooms for Chinese New Year. This plant whose cultivation dates at least back to the Tang Dynasty is native to Southwestern China. During Chinese New Year trimmings are sold and used to festively decorate much in the way that Holly is used for Christmas in the West.

Visit us at OASLife.com to see the latest updates!

back to top

Introducing the OAS Mini Flow® Brush

OAS welcomes the newest, smallest member of the Flow Brush Family!

One of our most common customer requests over the years has been for a brush that is a "smaller" Flow brush. Well, patience is a virtue and all the waiting has finally paid off. We've done some initial work with the new Mini Flow Brush and we could not be happier with its quality and versatility.

Mini Flow Brush

C2M: $15

details | buy

Mini Flow Brush Stroke Library

You can see how versatile the new Mini Flow is with its ability to do tiny shapes and also large strokes.

Like all of the other members of the Flow family, our Mini Flow finishes strokes with a point easily and gives you the benefits of a fuller brush while still being easy to control.

details | buy

The OAS Flow Family

Five Brushes Strong!

With the addition of the Mini Flow brush, our Flow Brush family feels complete. Now for the first time ever, all five brushes are available as a set.

The Flow Brush Set includes: Mini Flow (new), Flow Brush, Medium Flow, Large Flow, and Super Flow.

Flow Brush Set

C2SET: $99.00 sale ($115 reg.)

All 5 members of the Flow Brush Family (Mini, Flow, Medium Flow, Large Flow, and Super Flow) sold as a set with a discounted price

details | buy


Beware of Fake Flow Brushes!

We were surprised to meet painters on the East Coast who had purchased brushes sold as "Flow Brushes" that were fakes!

Not only are these brushes not authentic, they were also poor quality brushes that did not come near to the performance of real OAS Flow® Brushes.

Remember Flow Brushes are only sold by OAS and our affiliated teachers!

Authentic OAS Flow brushes have these labels carved by hand on the handles

back to top

Made-to-Order Artist Seals

OAS has a long relationship with one of the finest Seal Carvers in China. Even though the rapidly expanding economic environment in the country has made seal carving a bit of a lost art, OAS's seal carver is still producing distinctive pieces to the delight of all of our customers who have commissioned OAS to carve their artists seals.

An artist's seal collection is something of great meaning, pride and importance. In a way, a brush painter's seal collection is at the same time both a window into past inspirations and future possible directions.

Many think that our Made-to-Order Artist Seal service is only to make a name seal. This is when someone will get their name translated into Chinese characters and then get a seal made depicting those characters. This becomes something that accompanies their signature on all of their paintings both as a compositional element and a way to validate that their signature is authentic.

While this is the most common use for the service, our carvers can make seals with any meanings. Do you have an inspirational phrase that speaks to your connection to brush painting? How about some broader philosophical truth that you want to express through a series of paintings? Or maybe something as simple as having seals made to represent the seasonal inspiration.

Examples to show shape and imprint styles. Actual carvings will depend on seal/phrase selected

Capture the Spirit of the Four Seasons in Distinctive Seals

We developed four special seals with meanings that capture the spirit of each Season. We are offering them individually as part of our Made to Order Seal service or you can purchase all four and receive a 20% discount.

Spring: Spring Arrives, the Universe Awakens

Summer: I am drunk off the summer breeze

Autumn: The idea of autumn causes the red maple leaves to fly

Winter: During Deep winter, Family and Friends get together

Here is our easy 3 step configuration process:

  1. Choose which season(s) that you want
  2. Choose the shape (see examples on the right)
  3. Choose positive or negative imprint style (examples also on the right)

Square Seals: $55

Rectangle or Irregular Seals: $75

Have your own idea for a seal?

This same service can be used to make a custom seal with any reasonable length phrase or idea. Many artists will get a seal made to embody an idea that they wish to paint a collection of paintings around.

Call OAS at 714-949-4471 to order your 4 Seasons or Custom Seal today!

back to top

October Workshops at OAS - October 17th-20th

Warm up your Autumn with four days of painting at OAS

In October, OAS invites the extended OAS Family for a distinctive painting experience. At the OAS headquarters, we will host four days of painting instruction. There will be one day of focusing on Fineline, or gong-bi style, led by Ling Chi, and three days focusing on spontaneous style led by Ning Yeh. Also, each day will feature a home-cooked lunch prepared by Ling Chi who always receives rave reviews for her special brand of California inspired Asian cuisine.

Gong-bi Rose

This Rose composition is the perfect vehicle to experience the beauty of fineline painting and particularly Ling Chi's unique style of planning the order of shading to allow beautiful compostions like this to be completed in one session.


A stunning rendition of this beautiful bird with fully extended tail few artists have attempted before. Ning will share the joy of this much talked about painting at his recent show. "It is a piece of cake."


Lovers Rocks at Yellow Mountain

Ning has led groups of artists visiting this beloved dream mountain many times. This is a favorite spot to watch the sunset. Many layers of mountains with varying colors stood in rolling mists.

Blue Mountain Waterfalls

An ink theme landscape featuring rocky texture, treatment of mist, with subtle use of jade blues and greens.

Register Now!

Register Online at orientalartsupply.com/workshops or call 800-969-4471 to reserve your spot Participation is limited to the first 10 people who reserve


Creating Your Own Brush Painting Class

By Evan Yeh

A phenomenon that we've noticed over the years is that most people who study Asian brush painting and calligraphy paint more consistently when they are actively participating in a class. Of course, class participation is just a tool for learning and connecting with other like-minded people. It is best when class participation is also combined with a habit of painting on your own.

Unfortunately, living in a place where there are brush painting classes is not common in everyone's experience. Those of you who live near good brush painting teachers, appreciate them and diligently support their efforts. For the rest of us, we have to find a way to create the benefits of being in class without having access to an actual class.

The first, and perhaps the most important thing a class provides, is a scheduled commitment to paint. This sounds simple but it so incredibly important. Without this, "life" and its daily challenges can cause you to neglect your painting for weeks, months or even years.

Painting class also provides structured learning content. This amounts to a combination of subject, composition, and technique to be the source material for study. The great news on this front, is that this is available abundantly through OAS in many different formats. We suggest that students start with Chinese Brush Painting: An Instructional Guide and its accompanying video series Chinese Brush Painting with Ning Yeh. For students looking for less to "chew on" initially, try DV601 Chinese Brush Painting Basics: Orchid and Bamboo.

Another critical component of being in class is feedback. It's hard to simulate a skilled instructor looking at what a student is doing and giving them adjustments that continually guide them to their desired goal. However, modern technology is starting to bridge this gap with instructors being able to interact via video chats or calls with students and social media being an ever present source of all kinds of feedback both useful and not so useful.

Finally, the last benefit of being in class that is not often discussed is a sense of community. Let's face it, human beings are social and often times the sense of belonging and connecting to a human community can be fulfilling and a source of stimulation and encouragement.

These are many of the multitude of benefits of being in class. So we would say that if you have access to a local class, treasure and support it. Traveling to learning opportunities like OAS Workshops are excellent options for an intensive class experience. Finally, for those of you where neither of these are an option, or for those of you who want to be in "class" in a different way, stay tuned as OAS will be holding a virtual Summer Class in just a couple months. If you are interested in participating in this online virtual Summer Class, call or email OAS to put yourself on a notification list!


Prepare For Summer School Or Study On Your Own

Chinese Brush Painting: An Instructional Guide by Ning Yeh BK01 $24.50

189 pages/English

details | buy

A must-have how-to book for beginners. Acclaimed artist Ning Yeh takes the reader through every aspect of traditional Chinese Brush Painting, from brush technique and color loading to composition. He provides a lively explanation of each subject's profile and historical significance before moving on to adept instructions for rendering. His friendly conversational style makes learning the ancient art of spontaneous brush-painting truly "a piece of cake". Subjects include: Orchid, Camellia, Amaryllis, Peony, Panda, Horse, Landscape, seal/signature and wet-mounting. (This book is the companion guide to Ning's Emmy award winning instructional TV Series Chinese Brush Painting with Ning Yeh)

Chinese Brush Painting With Ning Yeh: 10 DVD Set DV21 $200

details | buy

Emmy award winning set includes step-by-step instructionals of every lesson from Ning Yeh's Instructional Guide. The perfect set for a thorough independent study or resource for your own brush painting class.

Chinese Brush Painting Basics: Orchid & Bamboo DVD DV601 $16.99

details | buy

Ning keeps it simple with one versatile Orchid Bamboo brush throughout and ink, and gives the beginners the ability to produce several simple compositions (seven orchids and four bamboo) that usually takes some artists a lifetime to master in his entertaining and easy step-by-step manner.

back to top

OAS Essential Brushes and Paper

So now that we've explored the difference in core teaching philosophy that provided the inspiration that became OAS, let's take a look at some essential brushes and paper that help illustrate that key difference. To make it easier for people to get started, we've organized four essential brushes into two easy to understand sets at two different price points. Even if you have some or even all of these brushes already, these are brushes that almost never go on sale, and it's always nice to have an extra set of important brushes to use for ink work or to replace brushes as they wear out from use.

NEW Premium Artist Brush Set

The set contains these four brushes: Happy Dot, Flow, Large Flow, and Orchid Bamboo.

These brushes have been so popular and trend-setting that many competitors are selling knock-offs using the same names. Don't be fooled however, only OAS sells these brushes and only the OAS brushes carry the OAS level of quality, service and support!

Premium Artist Brush Set

PBSET01: $63.00 sale ($79 reg.)

Set contains Happy Dot Brush (H1C), Flow Brush (C2C), Large Flow Brush (C2D), and Medium Orchid Bamboo Brush (H2C)

details | buy

PRE-Series Introductory Brush Set

We've spent the better part of 4 decades searching for brushes that would deliver the OAS Brush experience at a price-point comfortable to someone on a budget.

This past year, our search came to an end, and boy were these a hit! Named exactly like their Premium Artist quality counterparts with the letters PRE before the name.

PRE Series Introductory Brush Set

PRESET01: $35.00 sale ($44 reg.)

Set contains PRE-Happy Dot Brush (H1PRC), PRE-Flow Brush (C2PRC), PRE-Large Flow Brush (C2PRD), and PRE-Orchid Bamboo Brush (H2PR)

details | buy


OAS Essential Paper

Don't forget that good quality rice paper is absolutely necessary to get an authentic experience with Chinese Brush Painting. Even practice paper should mimic the behavior of final composition paper in terms of how it handles moisture and displays color. The great thing about OAS Practice Papers is that if lightning strikes, and you paint a masterpiece in practice, they are fully appropriate to finish with a traditional mounting process and frame as finished work.

Practice Paper

OAS Practice Roll

Machine-made rice paper great for practice but also suitable for finished work.

P03: $12

18" x 50 feet in a continous roll

details | buy

P03A: $8

12" x 50 feet in a continous roll

details | buy

OAS Practice Shuen

Thicker, hand-made single shuen. Easier to control moisture than thinner single shuen. Great for practice but also suitable for finished work

P03B: $9.50

48 Sheets 9 1/4" x 13 1/4"

details | buy

P03BL: $25.00

48 Sheets 13 1/4" x 18"

details | buy


Masterpiece Ready Paper

OAS is committed to providing excellent quality paper despite the challenges created by China's rapidly changing economy. When choosing paper, most people will choose between Single or Double Shuen. Single shows brighter colors but is less forgiving with excess moisture. Double will handle excess moisture more elegantly.

Bamboo leaves painted on OAS' new batch of Single Shuen. Notice the velvety texture, brilliant color and color variation especially within a single stroke.

OAS Single Shuen Paper

P10: $22.40 sale ($28 reg.)

10 Sheets (27"x54")

details | buy

P10P: $156.00 sale ($195 reg.)

100 Sheets (27"x54")

details | buy

Premium 'Jade Plate' Double Shuen

P27: $40.00

10 Sheets (27"x54")

details | buy

P27PH: $150.00

50 Sheets (27"x54")

details | buy

P27P: $290.00

100 Sheets (27"x54")

details | buy

back to top
Stay In Touch