Watercolor class this week was all about Sumi-e, an Asian style of painting. The art form is well over a thousand years old, and in its purest form is intended to be a meditative art that captures the essence of a picture using the fewest number of brush strokes possible. But, in the words of my wise and witty art teacher, “Who has the time for that?” For class, we focused on using Sumi-e simply as a method for getting paint on paper.

There are four primary objects painted in Sumi-e. The four objects – orchid, bamboo, plum blossom, and chrysanthemum – are also referred to as ‘the four gentlemen’.’ During class, I worked on bamboo:

photo 3(6)

And plum blossoms:

photo 4(3)

I especially enjoyed working on the bamboo and figuring out how to make the outside edges of the stalks darker than the middle. Given that we were working on an Asian art form, the art teacher thought it apropos to hand out fortune cookies during class:

photo 1(7)

My two fortunes read:

photo 5(3) photo 2(6)

I’ll take it. 🙂

One thought on “Sumi-e

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