On the cusp of Chinese New Year, a dual media exhibit exploring Chinese brushpainting on paper and pottery by Tracie Griffith Tso shows transitions and contrast at the Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health through March 2.
The transition from a traditional brushpainter with classical materials to a stoneware potter results in a contrast of soft, ethereal strokes and washes on paper to earthy warm brown and white stoneware that harmonizes with Asian-inspired ceramic forms and details.
"Each piece of pottery is a complete painting in itself," said Griffith Tso. "You can have your art and eat on it, too."
The Inks to Earth exhibition consists of wheelthrown and handbuilt high-fire functional pottery pieces juxtaposed against rice paper and ink paintings.
Subjects include bamboo, horses, cranes, koi, pandas, siamese cats, rabbits, plum blossoms and a selection of birds and insects.
"Brushpainting has a certain finesse to it, with a graceful nature that expresses the essential details of a flower, an animal, a scene," said Griffith Tso."It is understated and powerful."
Griffith Tso began studying Chinese painting at age 12 and specializes in flower-bird painting. The award-winning artist developed her style with a teacher who was schooled by a master in Hong Kong. Her introduction to pottery was as a teenager at a local art center, and she returned to the clay medium in 2005, partnering with potter Patricia Ferrell at Brushy Fork Creek Gallery in Crofton, Ky.
Traveling from her native California, Griffith Tso has been teaching and lecturing nationwide about Chinese brushpainting, a 6,000-old technique. She is a member of the Washington Ceramic Guild and the Kiln Club, exhibiting monthly at the Torpedo Art Center's Scope Gallery.
The artist and her husband, along with her muse and rabbit, Cleopatra, reside in North Reston.
This exhibition and sale event runs from January 12 to March 2. Twenty percent of the proceeds goes toward the Patient Emergency Fund. The Clinical Center at NIH, Building 10, is located at 9000 Rockville Pike Bethesda, MD 20892. Display cases are located on the ground floor.