When I lived in Japan, I took Sumi-E/Nihonga Painting classes for 6 years. Sumi-E literally means black ink on white paper. It is an Asian art form that came to Japan from China in the 15th century. There is a wonderful history behind Oriental Brush Painting. Techniques vary across Japan, Korea, China, Vietnam and other East Asian countries, but the basic tools are the same: ink, brush, paper and ink stone. Paintings can also be created using natural colorful pigments.
Learning the “Art of the Japanese Brush” has had an immense impact in my artwork. The philosophy I was taught is to capture the spirit of the subject matter and to compose the painting in such a manner that the spirit is the major “take away” for the viewer. In that sense the use of space as part of the composition is especially important. Not only is the technique used important; but so is the entire composition of the painting. Learning how to paint the bamboo leaf, the stalk and others is easy. Practicing to replicate is the hard part.
This past January, we made a trip to the Maldives and I brought both my camera and Nihonga paints and brushes. I wanted to paint the colors of the skies in the morning, afternoon, evening and at night. It was fun to capture the colors. The first two paintings have been accepted for an online exhibition In March at the Colors of Humanity Art Gallery. Please visit www.colorsofhumanityartgallery.com on March 1, 2020 to see them along with some other fabulous works.
The remaining works are still in progress, please check my website www.rshah-studio.com for updates on their completion!
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