By Tracie Griffith Tso

Japanese Sumi-e, traditional brushpainting of ink, dates back to monks in the 14th century depicting natural subjects with disciplined brushstrokes. The basic flora of the art form that students master represent the four seasons and are depicted here: Bamboo for Summer represents resilience, chrysanthemum linked to Autumn echoes prosperity, orchid representing Spring is linked to noble bravery, and a blossom for Winter embodies beauty, optimism and the transience of life. The conglomerate of many contributes to a mighty whole is shown by Bamboo on the flower edges, Chrysanthemum in the base and Orchid as the center to form the Sakura.

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Tracie Griffith Tso

Reston, VA

Tracie Griffith Tso painted her first bamboo brushstrokes at age 12 at a brushpainter’s studio in Southern California. She learned to throw pots at age 12 at a neighborhood art center, a skill which, when combined with painting, produces functional clay art. She specializes in Chinese spontaneous flower-bird painting and maintains a working studio at the Torpedo Factory Art Center as a dual-media artist in Alexandria, Va. on paper and creating functional high-fire brushpainted pottery. The award-winning artist developed her style with a teacher schooled by a Hong Kong master. She paints without sketching, trained on unforgiving rice paper with ink, so no two pieces are alike. She specializes in expressive animals reflecting emotion and movement in body language though an eloquent, deliberate brush. She spends deeply satisfying days in her studio with her muse and workshop rabbit, Willow.