Casey Shannon Studio Image

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

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Snow Ensō?

Snow Ensō? Really? Yes. Really.

Last blog post we discussed the significance and meaning of the
ensō. A snow ensō is painted with white ink. A beautiful and inspired variation of the traditional ensō that is painted with black ink. The image still utilizes the magnificent and meaningful circle shape so common in Zen Art . However, it introduces a slight twist.

ensō was inspired by the spirit that is snow. The cold and peaceful time when Mother Earth decides to blanket us with her amazing crystal white. Inside this ensō is painted delicate little snow flowers dancing in delight with their new covering of beauty that sparkles in the moonlight.

This ensō is called simply 'Ensō Snow'. The original painting is in Gallery White.

Art Reproductions of this charming piece are available here.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Have you ever wondered what an Ensō is and what it symbolizes? Well, I have the answer for you and have an example to show you. I have been fascinated with the concept of the Ensō for years. It has been only recently that I have been creating them.

In Zen Buddhist painting, Ensō symbolizes a moment when the mind is free to simply let the body and spirit create in full moment-to-moment concert.
The Ensō is one of the most prevalent images of Zen Art, and it has become a symbol of the clean and strong Japanese aesthetic. The ensō is an expression of the mind of the artist who brushes it. As a symbol, the circle expresses the totality of our being. The circle points to the most vital aspect of our essence -- it's ultimate wholeness. The ensō symbolizes enlightenment, power, and the universe itself. It is a direct expression of thusness or this-moment-as-it-is. Ensō is considered to be one of the most profound subjects in zenga (Zen inspired painting). - Loori

This Ensō is called ' Ensō Willow Bud'. The original painting is located in 'Gallery Ensō'.

Click Here for this image as a Fine Art Print from my Zazzle Gallery.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More White Ink Painting!

Last blog post I introduced you to my white sumi (ink) style of painting. I am so excited about sharing this with you that I wanted to re-visit this technique.

Painting with white ink is tremendously inspiring and a great fun way to create Sumi-e. It is a marvelous variation on the traditional process of ink painting.

This Sumi-e is called 'Red Snow Bird Contemplating Spring'. This image was inspired by all the red birds playing near my home. What if they suddenly found themselves covered in snow?

The original painting is in the Gallery White.

You may purchase prints from Sumi Gallery.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sumi-e Painting with White Ink

White Ink!

Here is a fun twist on traditional Sumi-e ink painting. Painting with white ink! This is a creative and beautiful alternative to the traditional practices.

There is no beauty quite like that of snow and winter time splendor. As an artist and a lover of the outdoors and nature, I have come to love our magnificent earth in all her wondrous seasons especially her magical glistening snow.

The original Sumi-e painting is located in
Gallery White and it is called 'Noble Snow Spirit Like Bamboo'. It was inspired by bamboo leaning into the weight of snow.

The materials I used to create this sumi-e included traditional ink stick and Japanese watercolor. However, in addition, I used Dr. Ph Martin's Bleed Proof White ink. And, the image was painted on Canson Ingres paper from France.

Fine Art Reproductions of this image are available at The Untapped Source. Art Prints are available from my Zazzle Gallery and in my Sumi Gallery at ImageKind.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Leaves of Life

The college where I teach recently started the new Fall semester. Getting students organized and settled into my courses is always a challenge. It takes up all my time and leaves me very little personal time for things like blogging about art, which is one of my favorite things to do! Today I blog!

The sumi-e you see here is called 'Leaves of Life'. The original painting can be seen in my Gallery Journey into Art. This painting was inspired by the beauty and spirit of life. And, how life enfolds us in experience. This sumi-e just flowed from my brush as if directed by divine intervention and was an incredible experience. It was a complete journey into art!

This painting was created on Arches hot press watercolor paper and painted entirely with a Hake brush, which is a flat wash brush. I find this kind of brush very useful and versatile when painting freely. The sumi (ink) was ground using a stone. Japanese watorcolor was also used. Fine Art Reproductions of 'Leaves of Life' are available from the Untapped Source. Poster Art Prints are available from my Zazzle Gallery and Art Prints are available in my SumiSpirit Gallery at ImageKind.


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