Sumi-e Attempts 1 & 2

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Mt. Rainier on a Rainy Day

I’m pretty sure I posted my first Sumi attempt a while back, though now that I’m looking for it I don’t see it. After many mistakes and mishaps I finally did something else I thought worth sharing.

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Rainy Day

There is so much to learn with this amazing art form, and recently I’ve been experimenting with the amount of water, and color tone. Oh yeah I guess brush strokes, and technique, different effects of the paper and on and on. I’ve found that the more technique I learn from books, the less I know.

I started with a traditional bamboo painting, which I thought turned out really well. My wife was even surprised at how good it turned out. Then I started digging through books and videos to discover more traditional and varied techniques, only to find that I couldn’t even replicate what I’d already done! It was a miserable few weeks as my confidence dwindled. I finally had to take a step back from painting bamboo. I feel like its the attempt to learn techniques in this way that requires students to invest hundreds of hours of work. Mastering the skill only comes when one can finally forget all that was learned from books in the first place.

For now I’ll keep experimenting. That really is the best way to learn (for me anyway). It gives me the freedom to make mistakes and inch my way closer to discovering the art of the ‘controlled accident’.

Sumi-e

12/29/17

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This picture really got me going this week. This was taken at Tyee High School in  SeaTac, WA.

 

 Creativeness manifests in so many different ways, it is the spark of ingenuity. Creativeness is submersing yourself in a task; giving it attention, and care, without ego. Universes are created in a flash and a bang of Ingenuity. With a skillful approach and  Ingenuity relationships flourish.

I had the chance to play with my sumi-e supplies from Xmas…

Rainy Day Hike Along Mt. Rainier

I’m extremely excited about trying this new medium. I tried to clear my mind of a preconception, and encourage myself to just play around and try new techniques. The brush flows with an effortless fluidity. It really is enamoring, this sumi-e. I plan on putting this on a black mat. And then I’ll search for a nice frame, or maybe I’ll learn to make one myself… Heheh.

How did Creativity strike you this week? Drop me a note, if you’d like to leave a comment.

Wood Block Project #1

So I’ve had this woodblock project post sitting in the drafts pile for a while now and I’ve been working on some new woodblock designs. So I figured I should show off my first attempt as well! I had this vision while I was trying to fall asleep. While I knew I wasn’t asleep the shadowy image on the wall, looking over me, sure made me feel like I was in one. The shadows and light layered over one another which brought about a hue around the edges and seemed to move the figure like some kind of 3-D image.

It was clearly a face on the wall, as it always is. Once I looked deeper though I realized that a lamp shade is what made up the mouth shape, slits of light were the eyes, the convex ceiling was the top of the head. The two walls join at an angle which really made the figure pop. It was at this point that I figured I either had to draw the Buddha figure watching over me lest I be haunted by misfortune. Over the following days I worked out the sketch, changing proportions and trying to find the right shape. This is what I settled on.

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Now I have only had one chance to try a woodblock and that was a while ago. So its really no surprise that while carving the block I had some gouges and imperfections, though it was fun I wasn’t sure if the end product would turn out.

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“Top Knot”

I ended up needing to go back and cut a little deeper in the nose, and mouth area. You can see along the border where the knife slipped and some of the smaller areas are really gouged at. I’m still looking for some good quality paper to put a black and white draft on. I had some black paper around the house and wanted to try some prints.

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Not exactly as excited as I was when I started. The raised face takes away from the cool outline. This was the better print that turned out after trying a few. While I was working on the nose I took a bit too much out which you can see clearly here. I also had a tough time getting a smooth print. You can see where I lifted the block the little bubbly areas that I think are either from too much ink, or not the right type of paper, or both. I’d like to try this image again, I think it’s really cool and could look great on a t-shirt.

This weekend I plan on sketching a new design, I’d like to make a nice archival butterfly picture for my wife.