Casey Shannon Studio Image

The Sound of One Hand: Reaching Beyond the limits of Traditional Ink Painting

Friday, July 31, 2009

History of Sumi-e

Wash painting developed in China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Wang Wei is generally credited as the painter who applied color to existing ink and wash paintings. The art was further developed into a more polished style during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). It was introduced to Korea shortly after China's discovery of the ink. Then, the Korean missionaries in Japan, in helping the Japanese establish a civilized settlement introduced it to Japan in the mid-14th century. This Sumi-e is called Forest of Shadows by Casey Shannon. It was inspired by the forest of oak trees surrounding my home. It is a forest of shade and shadows.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sumi vs. Sumi-e

Sumi = Ink
Sumi-e = Ink Painting

Ink and wash painting is an East Asian type of brush painting also known as wash painting or by its Japanese name sumi-e (墨絵). Ink and wash painting is also known by its Chinese name shui-mo hua (水墨畫, Japanese suibokuga (水墨画 ), Korean sumukhwa). Only black ink , the same as used in East Asian calligraphy is used, in various concentrations. My Sumi-e above is called Bell Light and is an example of contemporary Sumi-e (ink painting). I have used a bit of blue and silver Japanese watercolor in addition to the Sumi (ink). This Sumi-e is called Bell Light by accomplished artist Casey Shannon. It was inspired by sitting quietly in my garden on a summer day.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sumi-e Mind

Brush painting or ink painting called Sumi-e in Japan is done quickly without over thinking your subject matter. Once the brush is laid to the white paper and you have a mark, that's it. There is no erasing, doing over, or changing. The painting 'just exists'. This is why one who creates Sumi-e paints from a quiet centered place and has the intention of capturing the object's spirit and essence with just a few simple and graceful brush strokes.Sumi-e exemplifies the concept of 'Less is More.'

'Kokoro tadashikereba sunawachi fude tadashi'.
If your mind is correct, the brush will be correct.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Zen and Sumi-e

The Sumi-e art form is steeped in Zen Buddhism. In Sumi-e or ink painting, you have to 'become one' with the object in the painting. When you understand and/or experience how the simple and bold lines of the brush strokes and various shades of the ink are transformed to create a powerful spirit and energy, then you will have a sense of what these philosophies and paintings are all about.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sumi-e Art

Sumi-e expresses the character and soul of the artist. It is a meditative process and spiritually personal. Understanding this concept has been at the center of my art. I have been a student of Western painting and of ink painting. Ink painting called Sumi-e has captivated my spirit and soul. I am continually trying to increase my understanding of the secret of beauty and grace and elegance.

As an artist, for me, ink painting is a meditation and a creative process. I concentrate on trying to capture spirit as the ink is transferred to the paper with the stroke of the brush. The brush is pushed across the surface of the paper quickly. If your intention is correct, the object in the picture seems to 'breathe and take on life'. This unseen yet felt breath begins to fill the page with spirit just as it does in all of nature which surrounds us. The special power of the painted form shines and appears through the ink and the white page. The white space surrounding the painted form becomes as important as the object itself. The ink painting represents soul, spirit, elegance, and beauty all at the same time and in concert.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Art of Sumi-e

Casey Shannon Studio
This is my first entry and attempt for creating my art blog. I am humbled that you chose to click on this blog. I have decided to write about my art. 'The Art of Sumi-e'. More to come...........


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