I would like to share some information regarding Sumi-ink art.

Sumi is strongly influenced by ZEN BUDDHISM.

It was done by Chinese and Japanese monks.Ink wash painting focus on essentials.

Everyday useless detail is dismissed in order to catch the essence of the subject.

There is no room for hesitation in Sumi-e that way it usually takes several attempts to catch the essence of the subjects

It can be achieved by being relaxed at the same time very focused during painting.

In Zen Sumi-e the painter plays the role of observer and does not express personal self in the painting.

Otherwise the essence of the painted subject gets lost. Painting as a man or a woman makes the painting sexual and the painting becomes unbalanced . The source of creativity come from a deeper place than sexuality. The artist should be clear , relaxed yet disciplined.  Worrying results in failure. Clarity and simplicity of expression is key.

In Sumi -e  the 5 basic elements of art is present : Line, Colour , texture , rhythm and balance.

there are 4 general categories : Birds, Flowers, Landscapes  and  Portraits .Calligraphy is also a Sumi-e art form.Everyday life is depicted in the paintings . There is also abstract concepts of life. It is much more symbolic comparing to other forms. Ink wash painting feed itself out of 2 extremes :Dark and Light. & Black and White.

Composition is often Asymmetrical. 

Ink Wash paintings often appears like being detail of a much larger picture.

Black ink on white paper , create a simple elegant and serene painting.

The general comparison suggests that Oriental art depicts SPIRIT while western art forms depict a  PHOTOGRAPHIC representation of an object.

Oriental art has been cosmo' logic . It sees a man as an integral part  of nature.

Simplicity is the most outstanding Characteristic of Sumi-e.

Patience is essential. Balance, rhythm and harmony are qualities the artist strives to develop.

It seems to me that we can learn something from all of this, and the way we look at art.



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Comment by Bruno Schostar on January 10, 2017 at 20:35


I attended a lecture by Amy Segami last year about this art form,

see http://www.amysegami.com/painting-on-water/

Comment by Susan Pretorius on April 13, 2016 at 11:00

Glad you found it use full. 

Comment by Danie Bester on April 11, 2016 at 13:00

Thanks for sharing... You just gave me an idea about a tutorial I can do on simplification...

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