Flower- and-bird painting was separated from decorative art to form an independent genre around the 9th century. A great many artists painted in this genre during the Song dynasty and their subject matter included a rich variety of flowers, fruit , birds, insects and fish. Therefore this genre is not confined the images of a painting to something floral and avian. The other genres in Chinese paintings are landscapes and figures.
Expressive methods regarding the representation of flowers, the floral images could be executed solely in washes of ink or color without outlines, and such style is named as the ‘boneless’ manner in China for we do not need to depict the contour of the flowers. Another method is that we draw the contours of the flowers first, and color it.
If the flowers are white in color then we could leave them blank.
The painting above is the ginger flower behind the banana leaf. The flower is white in color. The curved strokes, involved a little but forceful wrist movement from heavier pressure to lighter pressure with the elbow stationary, determine the shape of the petals. As Chinese painting is essentially a linear art, so the qualities of lines are valued. Therefore the lines have to be unhesitant, vivid, and full of life. Drawing the lines, the artists would exert all their effects and emotions in them. Looking at the outlines of the petals, we can feel there is something more than just the drawing of the contour of the subject matter. Moreover it is such profound quality of lines to make the Chinese Calligraphy unique.
Form is the visible shape of content. Shape serves, first of all, to inform us about the nature of things through their external appearance. The flower in the painting goes beyond the practical identifying function. I imagined it to be a shy lady hiding behind the banana leaf while I was doing the creation.