The type of paintings that epitomizes feng shui is the landscape painting consisting of mountains and water (山水).
These generally describes oil paintings or artistic depictions of picturesque mountain landscapes meant to be framed and hung in residential living spaces like the living room.
They are so often recommended by feng shui masters that whenever there is any doubt when choosing feng shui paintings, mountain landscape paintings with river streams tend to be a safe bet for common spaces.
While such types of artwork are generally auspicious, there are key factors that differentiate a great one from a good one. Just like all smart phones allow us to increase our personal productivity, but there are premium models that takes productivity and multi-tasking to a whole new level.
Keep in mind that we are not discussing whether a painting is auspicious or inauspicious here. We are talking about what gives an auspicious painting a 10/10 score.
Here are some key aspects of a landscape painting to consider.
1) State of mind of artist
A lot of feng shui practitioners who are tuned into the luck that paintings bring often talk about the artists that drew them.
While a famous celebrity artist might make a piece of art more valuable and beautiful, that has little value in terms of feng shui.
What’s more critical is the state of mind of the artist when creating that painting.
For example, if an artist is mourning the recent loss of a loved one when drawing a particular painting, then this source of negative energy is going to make it’s way into the aura of the created artwork.
2) Presence of mountains and water
When people purchase landscape paintings, they often end up buying those of mountain landscape only.
These are usually depictions of mountain peaks in the clouds with no view of the ground.
They are not as all-encompassing as paintings with mountains or hills in the background and rivers in the foreground.
After all, water represents the life aspect of wealth. Why would you not want to have natural water in a picture if you are seeking money luck?
3) Water configuration
Water in landscape paintings are best when slow moving.
This means that waterfalls are not suggested as they are just too aggressive to put in a house.
Moreover, when we talk about water accumulating and harnessing positive energy in feng shui, meandering water is what we go after.
Streams, rivers or lakes are the best for auspicious paintings.
Pictures of the sea or ocean is not recommended unless they are for a specific purpose under guidance of an experienced geomancer.
Another important element is the direction water is flowing.
If the wall where the painting is to be hung has already been decided, then an artwork with a flowing river should take into consideration where the water is flowing towards.
As mentioned, this factor has to be considered if the location where it will be placed has already be determined.
4) Presence of 5 element colors
Because this is supposed to be a lucky painting, it is best that there is the presence of colors representing all 5 elements so that there is balance.
As it is not easy to include the different colors in landscape artwork, the most common way for artists to include them into the art is with the inclusion of flowers in the foreground.
For example, the foreground might include a section of flowers in yellow, pink, green, blue and white, symbolizing earth, fire, wood, water and metal.
The presence of 5 elements ensure that there is harmony of the elements. When there is an absence of one, energy bottlenecks can build-up which can have adverse effects on the luck experienced by members in a household.
Sometimes an artwork might be said to exhibit the 5 elements but the color representations are not present. This is usually because one of the elements is already exemplified in the season. Determining the season can be impossible to the untrained eye, but a trained observer would be able to tell easily.
Spring mountains are usually light green, summer rich green, autumn bright and colorful, and winter cold and empty.
Spring water is usually green, summer in a tone of jade-green, autumn blue, and winter black.
Spring skies are vibrant, summer vivid blue, clear skies in autumn, and dark for winter.
5) Other elements
While the focus is on the mountain and water contained in the painting, it can look pretty empty when it is devoid of life.
This is why such paintings often contain people and animals as well.
There are just so many items that can be depicted in paintings. It is impossible to discuss them all here.
Something to note is that when there are people depicted, a single person will symbolize a life of loneliness.
A popular animal depicted are deers. In particular 5 deers. This signifies the 5 wealth gods from the 5 directions.
6) Auspicious dimensions
Placement is not everything.
To get more meticulous in the auspiciousness of a painting, it should be have auspicious dimensions.
This can be easily determined with the feng shui ruler.
Measure the length and breath of the frame and ensure that lucky measurements are used. Customize it when necessary.