John Eder did not begin Chinese brush painting because he was born in China. He’s from Texas!
John was born in Austin, grew up in Corpus Christi, and came to the Texas Panhandle to complete his college education at West Texas State University. After eight years working his way through college, he graduated on May 21, 1968 from W.T. and was commissioned as a Regular Army 2nd Lieutenant in the Infantry. He spent his first year attending schools at Fort Benning, GA, and Fort Bragg, NC, including earning designations as Airborne Ranger and Jumpmaster; volunteered for Vietnam; and finally arrived in-country in July, 1969. He volunteered for C Co 75th Infantry (Airborne) (Ranger), served one combat tour as Fourth Platoon Leader of “Charlie Rangers” and married his true love, Vicki Daniel, of Canyon on July 25, 1970, 12 days after returning to Amarillo from Vietnam. John completed his Army career as a Captain training Rangers at the Mountain phase of Ranger School at Dahlonega, Georgia. CPT Eder resigned his commission in September, 1972, to return to Texas with his family. Their daughter, Melissa, was born in Georgia shortly before John and Vicki left the Army.
After finally acknowledging his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) thirty-one years later, John was referred for counseling at the Amarillo VA Medical Center and began attending group meetings at the Amarillo Vet Center. In January, 2007 he attended a 7-week VA residential treatment program in North Little Rock, Arkansas, which emphasized learning various methods of coping with and understanding the problems arising from the disability.
Soon after returning and completing retirement from 33 years in the financial services industry, Vicki and John visited a local retailer where she asked him to consider buying a small art kit. John did not believe that he needed another activity, but the small box with two brushes, an ink stick and ink stone, Xuan paper, four tubes of Chinese ink, and the instruction book looked very interesting. With Vicki’s encouragement he took the challenge and began discovering Chinese Brush Painting in April, 2007. This has become John’s passion, his business (Shining Sword Studio & China Art Gallery), and his major therapeutic activity. Contemplating his subject while grinding an ink stick on an ink stone serves as the starting point for all his paintings.
In April, 2013, John visited China! For eighteen days nine Chinese Brush Artists from across the United States visited scenic areas and historic sites from Beijing to Shanghai and attended various Chinese Brush Painting demonstrations. The highlight was the series of demonstrations at the beautiful and expansive Beijing studio of Gong Bi (Meticulous Style) Master Artist Su Bo Dou. He and six of his fellow Master Artists provided many new ideas, techniques, and inspiration for John’s paintings and can be seen in his post-2013 art. Additionally, the wonderful artistic suggestions and demonstrations by our guides, Dr. Ning Yeh and his wife, Lingchi Yeh, of Oriental Art Supply, were extremely valuable to the overall success of this “Dream Journey.”
In April, 2014, John visited Taiwan! This visit to the beautiful island off the eastern coast of mainland China was remarkable. For twenty-two days thirteen artists were taken on a magical journey that involved immersion into the Taiwanese culture through visits to the National Historical Museum, The Palace Museum, and the Botanical Gardens in Taipei. Additionally we were exposed to such beautiful venues as Sun Moon Lake, Alishan (Ali Mountain), Chihpen Hot Springs, and Taroko Gorge National Park. Painting time was held at many of these sites and are visible in many of John’s newest paintings. The 2014 Dream Journey was again led by Ning and Lingchi Yeh.
John is very committed to improvement, with his emphasis being directed toward maintaining the unique and original aspects of this ancient oriental art form and sharing it through his brush painting classes for all age groups, his business – China Art, his websites, and his various exhibitions and public demonstrations.
John’s paintings can be viewed on his websites and at Amarillo’s “The Galleries at Sunset Center”