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Sumi-e Artists of Canada 2008 Show - November 22nd and 23rd, 2008

The Spirit of the Brush, our theme for 2008, was a show about the spiritual values in man and nature. Many paintings explored the underlying  forces of spirit in the world as manifest in sensitive and surprising ways around us. This show was part of a special celebration: the 80 years of diplomatic relations between Canada and Japan.

Many visitors were drawn to these interesting studies. Sometimes the visitors were helped with explanations.

All the paintings captivated their interest, often for some time.

Our judge, Tien Chang, selected several paintings for honourable mention. Tien Chang said of this painting, Black Forest by Hideko Adachi: "The different strokes and ink work create a wonderful rhythm of the forest."

Moira Mudie's painting, The Meadow, received these comments: "Various elegant strokes depict the wild flowers that people can see in daily life. The arrangement of the ink and colour is expressed through a sophisticated brush technique, which brings out a visual symphony of nature."

Life is Beautiful by Roslyn Levin had this comment from Tien Chang: "Simple and expressive brush strokes create a strong momentum that tends to flow out of the painting."

The Four Elements by Elisabeth Rittinger received this observation from Tien Chang: "The expressive strokes and the different round shapes create a Zen feeling. The tension and harmony that co-exist in the same space make this set even more interesting."

Tien Chang said of this painting, Squirrel by Jeffrey Snape: "A strong live drawing quality with good use of the brush and ink creates a strong visual impact."

Tien Chang presented the Ruth Yamada award to Gary Bist for the painting, Big, Leafy Plant. Tien Chang wrote: "The loose and calm brush strokes create a very peaceful atmosphere. The green and dry leaves depict a poetic story of life."

Tien Chang attended the opening of the show and spoke about the art in general and the particular works that had attracted him.

His work was also displayed. Tien Chang's calligraphy is four versions of the word horse.

The show featured a retrospective of Adrienne Arvidson's work.

It also featured a retrospective of Sumie Takashima's work.

Though most works were in frames, some exhibitors had their work in scrolls.

This painting of a caribou by Natalie Griller was accompanied by an explanation of the relationship between people and the caribou.

The show created lots of points for discussion.

And just watching.

Dan Maeda, a well-known bonsai artisan, brought a pine bonsai.

Also, a cedar bonsai. Dan's bonsai complemented the paintings.

Demonstrators like Moira Mudie fascinated the young and not so young.

Roslyn Levin showed how to get those long, sweeping lines in plants and then how to create the flowers that go with them.

There were cards and books and many other ornaments for shoppers, as indicated by volunteer Connie Bist.

All of which culminated in a dynamic show.

Perhaps it was just the show for our time. 

With the Spirit of the Brush in their minds as well as some goodies from the tea room, visitors left longing for next year's international show.