Casey Shannon Studio Image

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

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Smallest Sumi-e Studio!

Art Altar
Casey Shannon Studio

Here is the work area of the smallest Sumi-e Studio in America and perhaps the smallest in the entire world. Casey Shannon Studio is located in Carmel, CA. USA. The studio is nestled under huge majestic oak trees and is surrounded by amazing nature and delightful wild critters which provide me with an abundance of inspiration for my ink paintings. This is a view of the area cleaned up a bit. It is normally filled with ink, brushes, artist chops, rice paper, and Japanese watercolors. These are the tools I mainly work with.

What is Sumi-e?  
 (Sumi = Ink - Sumi-e = Ink Painting) 
The Sumi-e art form is steeped in Zen Buddhism. In Sumi-e or ink painting, the artist strives to 'become one' with the object in the painting. 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’. 

Artist Statement
 I am a contemporary Sumi-e artist reaching beyond the limits of traditional ink painting and creating the ‘sound of one hand’.  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 my 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 immerges 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 glorious concert.

My life experiences and challenges have increased my sensitivities to this ancient art form. 

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

Bronze Autumn by Casey

Please visit:

国際中国書法国画家協会アメリカ支部:Ms. Casey Shannon アメリカ現代水墨画家
Director of North American Branch
International Chinese Calligraphy and Ink Painting Society


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