Surrender to the Brush! I begin each painting by being open to the moment, This is the heart of Sumi. When My hand moves faster than I can think, the unexpected happens. There on the smooth white surface is the moment. Alive! My emotions in motion- recorded in ink. My giving in, is giving to.
Coming from 30 years of painting the landscape in oil; understanding brush control, color mixing and glazing-I had developed some powerful painting skills. But after 3 decades something was in the way and missing for me. I was not painting for myself. I was striving for perfection and not expression.
I turned away from it all. Recognizing in the ancient ink art of Asia-in my own backyard. Seattle's huge collections of Asian Art in public and commerical galleries, and my own countless books were all showing me my true creative path.
Painting the Sumi Way is about allowing, feeling, remembering. Brush, ink water and paper, are humble materials. Yet they ask more of me with less; their limitations open, expand, challenge and tease me to go beyond my expectations and take risks. I let go of certainty and even look forward to failure. There is never a mistake only the fresh discovery that has just been unplanned.
Now I have the real "reason" why I create!
....working with black ink, paper and a brush is the ultimate challenge of less is more. And it has opened up my creativity more than all the tubes of paint and buckets of brushes that I could own...