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Graduation Ceremony - June 11th, 2011

Receiving your seal after years of painting rocks, trees, bugs and landscapes is a huge milestone in the life of someone drawn to Oriental painting. Our celebration of five recent graduates began when we added their paintings to the easels at the front of the room.

Moira Mudie, a long-time instructor and member of the Sumi-e Artists of Canada reminded us in an eloquent speech that receiving a seal is only a stage in one's continuous development. It also brings a responsibility to keep on learning and sharing one's knowledge.

Each painting has a story. Fortunately, this year's graduates shared the story of their paintings with us. Kiyoko Inokuchi created this serene lake setting while visiting relatives in Banff, Alberta.

The Ukraine was the source of inspiration for Mayya Chykalovets. Her painting included a reflection of the wooded scene on the water.

While on a cruise to Alaska, Miyuki Hamade came across a majestic scene that could only be found in the far and isolated north, which she shared with all of us including Sumi-e Artists of Canada President, Gary Bist.

Shirley Lister found Edwards Gardens, well known to peace-loving Torontonians, to be the source for her idyllic painting.

12 Mile Creek in St. Catherines led John Bonasheski to some interesting encounters with a few ducks. The result was a series of paintings revolving around our feathered companions.

Afterwards, the graduates added an imprint of their seals to scrolls that date back to the beginning of the Sumi-e Artists of Canada over 25 years ago.

Each seal is unique. It is a type of signature and has a poetic saying that an instructor believes reflects the essence of this particular artist.

While the graduation ceremony was taking place, there was also a silent auction of art supplies.

Our executive, who look after setting up the workshops, shows, newsletter, web site, communications and so on, provided an update to the members. Jeffrey Snape, our editor, chatted with attendees about our new newsletter format.

The graduates had some pictures taken with their instructor, Hiroshi Yamamoto.

And other members and friends like Elizabeth Zwierschke.

The latest way to take these pictures and share them is with your iPad.

These paintings and graduates reminded all of us pick up our brushes and continue our painting through the summer for our fall exhibition.