By Gustavo Arellano
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By Charles Lam
Ever try drawing a dragon like the kind you see on those great old Chinese woodblocks only to have it come out looking like a squiggly, blobbily almost-cat? We've got your solution: Christopher Ho at the Bowers Museum. Working with him is like painting with Michelangelo looking over your shoulder, except in this case Michelangelo is alive and well as an award-winning Taiwanese artist. And instead of lying on your back to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, you're sitting up straight, painting the natural world with Chinese watercolors and genuine wolf (and goat!) hair brushes on authentic Chinese rice paper.
Ho has taught the art of Chinese brush painting at almost every junior college in OC and is currently teaching the class at Saddleback College. His delicate and airy representations of tigers, eagles, and other endangered species have earned him acclaim, but dude's a poet, too. Winning the 38th Chinese Literature and Art Award in 1997 is among his litany of achievements. Ho also has his own show on WCETV, where he demonstrates his skill for everyone in TV Land, provided everyone in TV Land understands Chinese.
Now's your chance to learn from a master (in English!) by enrolling in Ho's Chinese brush painting course at the Bowers Museum. It starts February 21 and continues every Wednesday for six consecutive weeks to supplement the Bowers' new exhibit, "Treasures from Shanghai: 5000 Years of Chinese Art and Culture." But if you don't get a chance to enroll or want to preview Ho's work, you can catch him giving a demonstration at www.chrishotiger.com.
Christopher Ho teaches Chinese painting at the Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 567-3670. Begins Wed., 2 p.m.; continues every Wed. through April 4. Members, $85; general admission, $100 (supplies included). Reservations requried. Call for more information.