Casey Shannon Studio Image

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

Friday, August 7, 2009

Sumi Preparation

Traditionally, Sumi (ink) was made by grinding an ink stick on a moist ink stone. This method is still favored by many brush painters today. Shanghai Premium Ink Stick produces a smooth, shiny brown-black permanent ink for calligraphy and painting. Black ink sticks range from the inexpensive to the very rare and quite expensive. Ink sticks come in color also. However, black ink sticks are commonly used in the creation of Sumi-e. As the artist grinds the ink stick on the moist stone, the mind is cleared of all thought except for preparing the ink. In this way, the artist is moving gently to the space that allows one to create and capture spirit. The Sumi-e you see here is called Orchid Yellow by accomplished artist Casey Shannon. This painting was inspired by my friend's orchid garden where you can sit, breathe, and meditate. Many beautiful orchids are displayed there and this one caught my eye dancing in the breeze.


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