Chao Shao-an "Swallow".
While this doesn't look like much to the untrained eye it has taken me 15 years to get this close to the style of Chao Shao-an. China's icon of The Spontaneous Arts. he walks a very difficult path. I could better explain it to you if we met.
You could perfectly understand if I placed a Chinese brush in your hand and told you to paint a simple bird. Then sign it in ancient seal script.
I cannot explain how difficult it is to try and make a painting look like you didn't try.
The beauty of Chinese Xuan paper is it will never rot. The mineral paint colours will never fade. The painting can be unmounted and remounted as the centuries go on and ever on. The brushes will eventually die. The ink sticks will eventually crumble. But not the Painting.
Ancient scribes used to have a small shrine in their homes to rest their old brushes. To remind them of the beautiful times they'd shared in studious learnings. And while you may initially scoff at this, we all have keepsakes of precious moments we hope to keep a piece of in our lives from a babys lock of hair to a souvenir to that first flower given by a lover.
Now imagine a Brush created by the hand of someone whose family for over 14 hundred years has done nothing but create calligraphy brushes.
This painting was created using horse hair brushes from Horses that live very high on the mountains where the hardest coarsest mane and tail hair would be collected by the 11th generation of Brush makers. the ink stick was made in Chinas oldest ink stick factory. In Old Huishi Hu, Kaiwen. Precious. Made with the sap burned from Pine Trees that have grown in that forest for thousands and thousands of years.
There is far more to a Chinese Painting than you could ever realise and if even this small level of information inspires you... you would not believe the whole picture.