Spring 2018 Newsletter

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In This Issue:

Expressing the Spirit of Spring Double Happiness Back in Stock Ning Teaches East Coast Workshops Brush Painting Teaching Philosophies: East Meets West OAS Teacher Training Workshop Essential Brushes and Paper OAS May Workshops Spring Painting Inspiration

Expressing the Spirit of Spring

By Evan Yeh

With our location in Huntington Beach, CA, we probably experience less seasonal variation than any other part of the world. But even here with our evergreen Palm trees and mild coastal sunshine, we do delight in signs of spring. The winter does bring some chillier nights and as spring shyly peeks its nose around the corner, we see some rain and some buds appearing on the trees that shed their leaves for the winter.

Primrose flower featured in 108 Flowers Book 4. Its Chinese name literally means “Announcement of Spring”

In many ways our society is obsessed with the spirit of spring. It manifests mostly in the way we idolize youth. What I have found is that the spirit of spring can be expressed at any age. The power of a youthful spirit and attitude is available to anyone and has just as much power regardless of physical age. The spirit of spring is a realization and embracing of the reality of change. An acknowledgement that life is a never-ending learning process and that each opportunity to learn and grow can be faced with enthusiasm and perseverance. Even as much of your energy is focused on guiding and cheering on the next generation, it is important to realize that the re-imagining of who you are and what you are here to express is never complete.

When we consider the blooming of a flower or a newborn deer taking its first steps, we remember that this vitality and exuberance is available to us all in unlimited supply. It is this way in art as it is in life. The wonderful thing about art is that there is almost no societal resistance to the idea that one can be experiencing their artistic peak at any stage in life. I see it so clearly with my parents. Their creativity and artistry continue to develop and it is now backed by their years of experience. The result is an amazing amount of trust in their own creative process. Oftentimes young people give up or get frustrated before they experience the fruits of sustaining their creative focus. When you have successfully navigated the creative process many times, you realize that focusing on something with joyful openness for a sustained amount of time always produces something meaningful.

Whether you are a veteran to this artistic process or just a baby, we invite you to engage in it. To discover the treasures that it holds for you and to share your creation with the world. It is never too late. In many ways, we are all just getting started!

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Double Happiness Brush back in stock!”

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Double Happiness Brush Back in Stock!

One of the most popular new brushes we’ve released in the past two years is a longer bristle, medium-large sized combination brush that we called Double Happiness. In two limited runs the brush sold out fairly quickly and has now gained a following with some teachers around the country. It could be because of the brush’s unique length to body ratio. It has good length, similar to the Large Flow brush but it is a thinner brush. This narrower body makes it a friendlier brush for artists who have trouble controlling excess moisture.

It is an excellent brush to add to your collection for both calligraphy and brush painting. Watch the video below for an introduction to the brush and a demonstration of its capabilities.

Double Happiness Brush

HSP04: $29.95

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Ning Yeh Travels to Virginia Beach and Washington, D.C. for workshops

For the first time in almost a decade, Ning is traveling to give two different workshops on the East Coast.

Please find the workshop dates below. Make sure you register as soon as you can. Sessions almost always sell out.

Virgina Beach, VA

Friday-Sunday, June 1st-3rd

Washington, D.C.

Wednesday-Friday, June 6th-8th
Chesterbrook Taiwanese Presbyterian Church

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Brush Painting Teaching Philosophies: East Meets West

By Evan Yeh

When my father first began teaching Chinese Brush Painting in the United States, there were very few people who knew what it was. The few that did were following approaches that were frustrating and difficult. They were using poor quality brushes that did not consistently come to a point and they were painting on inappropriate paper. It was then that he developed the philosophy that for Americans to have the best chance at discovering the immense beauty and joy of Chinese brush painting, they needed to use higher quality materials. This meant scouring the suppliers in Asia for quality brushes and paper and figuring out how to import these materials into the country in sufficient quantity and with consistent quality.

In the late 70s, Ning’s students participated in an art student contest held at the Los Angeles Museum of Science and Industry. They swept the awards and it was a proud day for both teacher and students!

Now there are many more artists teaching Chinese brush painting and calligraphy in the United States. What we notice is that many are still using very traditional Chinese approaches to teach the artform to essentially a Western audience. A gentleman who attended our last OAS Teacher Training Workshop told a story of the Chinese artist that he had initially taken lessons from. This student was having trouble painting a stroke and noticed that the teacher had a different brush than he did. He asked if he could use his teacher’s brush to see if the problems he had painting the stroke would be solved with a better brush. The teacher grabbed a paper towel, quickly scrunched up the end, loaded it with ink and painted the stroke. Humbled, the student went back to practicing the stroke with his own brush. This illustrates an essential difference in approach between how things are taught in the East and how they are taught in the West.

The problem in the East is not a problem of interest or people. China, being one of the most populous countries in the world, is filled with human talent. China’s problem is to sort through that talent, quickly deciding who has the potential to be the best and focusing all of the master’s precious time on teaching those who have elite talent. The problem in the West is just the opposite. With too few people that are interested and a population with so many choices on how to spend their free time, our marketplace is often too small to justify bringing in the best supplies. Plus, in America we have seen enough stories of people developing elite-level abilities through hard work and desire, even if initially they struggle. This key difference became the cornerstone of my father’s teaching approach. How do I give people the experience of what it is like to be really good at this before they develop the skill? If I can give them that experience then I can fan the flames of their desire and the desire will propel them through the work of developing the mastery.

Nearly 7000 Chinese art students sit for an entrance exam for Shandong University of Arts and Design. Only 1 out of every 30 will be admitted. Original article DailMail.co.uk

The story of our OAS Teacher’s workshop attendee and his original Chinese teacher also illustrates another point. When you become a master, you are less dependent on quality materials. Over the years, you develop skills that can compensate for poor quality equipment. On the other hand, when you are less experienced, the difference between a good quality brush and a poor quality brush is so drastic that it may mean the difference between you discovering a life-long passion for Chinese painting or struggling, walking away in frustration, and never trying it again. That being said, even if you are quite skilled, you will appreciate the joy of well made materials and your masterpieces will be even more stunning when you are painting with artist quality brushes on good quality rice paper. Chinese brush painting supplies are called the Four Treasures for a reason. They are essential tools that open a doorway to a totally unique artistic and cultural experience rooted in centuries of tradition yet totally relevant to our modern experience.



Please note the date change from previous announced dates.


OAS Teacher Training Workshop July 12th-15th, 2018

Following up on an unanimously well received session last year, OAS will present its 2nd teacher training workshop on July 12th-15th of 2018.

The workshop is specific training that will benefit attendees who:

  • currently teach
  • are thinking about teaching
  • are committed brush painters of any level interested in a more fundamental learning approach.
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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)

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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)

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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

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P03A: $8

12” x 50 feet in a continous roll

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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”

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P03BL: $25.00

48 Sheets 13 1/4” x 18”

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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”)

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P10P: $156.00 sale ($195 reg.)

100 Sheets (27”x54”)

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Premium ‘Jade Plate’ Double Shuen

P27: $40.00

10 Sheets (27”x54”)

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P27PH: $150.00

50 Sheets (27”x54”)

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P27P: $290.00

100 Sheets (27”x54”)

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OAS Workshops in May and October

OAS Workshops are a distinctive Chinese painting experience. While we recommend that people sign up for a full 5 day immersive experience, you can also choose to attend just the calligraphy day, just the fineline day, or just the 3 day spontaneous style weekend or any combination of those three.


Hummingbird and Flower fineline workshop subject

Arrival of warm spring, flowers blooming, birds singing. Phrase for calligraphy workshop

OAS May Workshops

May 2nd-6th

Workshop Schedule and Pricing is as follows:

Calligraphy with Ling Chi

Wednesday 5/2: 9:30AM-12:30PM $60

details | enroll

Fineline with Ling Chi

Thursday 5/3: 9:30AM-3:30PM $120

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Spontaneous Style Brush Painting with Ning Yeh

Friday, Saturday, Sunday (5/4-5/6) 9:30AM-3:30PM $400

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Tibetan Sky. Subject covered in spontaneous brush painting workshop.

Spring ducks on pond. Subject covered in spontaneous brush painting workshop.

Purple Sword Orchid or Gladiolus. Subject covered in spontaneous brush painting workshop.


Subjects for Spontaneous workshop: Orchid, Amaryllis, Landscape. Fineline: White bird in Autumn branch

OAS October Workshops

October 17th-21st

Calligraphy with Ling Chi

Wednesday 10/17: $60

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Fineline with Ling Chi

Thursday 10/18: $120

details | enroll

Spontaneous Style Brush Painting with Ning Yeh

Friday, Saturday, Sunday (10/19-10/21): $400

details | enroll

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Spring Painting Inspiration

108 Flowers

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 (All 4 Books as a Set)

BKNY01-04: $96.00 sale ($120.00 reg.)

All four books sold as a set.

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

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

Each book in set sold individually

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Rose Gift Lesson

Celebrate Spring with simple Rose compositions in two styles. Whether fineline or spontaneous, these make perfect paintings for cards or gifts

Rose Gift Lesson

GLS012: $6.95 for free with purchase of $50 or more

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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”)

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Pistachio Shuen Paper (5 Sheets)

P04GP: $15

5 Sheets (27”x54”)

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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”)

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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

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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

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