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Sumi-e Artists of Canada 2011 Show - November 19th and 20th, 2011

Paintings spark discussions. The Singing Ink exhibition had a diverse collection of paintings that led to many entertaining and vigorous exchanges of opinions.

Some visitors even took notes.

Some took a closer look.

The Ruth Yamada award went to Hiroshi Yamamoto, pictured here beside his work Pine Cone and Pine Needles. Our judge Olexander Wlasenko had these remarks about this painting.

Yamamoto's many contributions to Singing Ink were strong examples; nearly all jockeyed for this top position. In the end Pine Cone and Pine Needles is perhaps the most sophisticated. It is sensitive and subtle. The subject matter reminds the viewer of the materials that went into its making. One thinks of the pine soot ink and the woody matter that becomes the washi paper. The clean presentation frames this exquisite piece. Pure poetry!

Peter Ito's Pine Trees received an honourable mention with these comments.

He commands his medium with confidence and effortlessness. There is a wonderful richness an tone in his inks. Never forced, the artist captures the fluidity of the winter-focused medium. Also, the three trees open discussions around symbolism, parable and poetry.

Bowl #2 by Azra Rashid also received an honourable mention. Olexander Wlasenko added these comments.

This intimate work stands out in the context of Singing Ink as a quiet, simple piece. The central form captures the inner beauty of the vessel depicted. This work celebrates a minimal approach to oriental brush painting. Nothing interrupts the composition, not even the artist's red seal that is stamped on the matter.

Jeffrey Snape's painting Hagoromo had these comments for its honourable mention.

My mind played freely with this piece. The artist has allowed chance discovery and technical skill to play off one another. This traditional landscape motif is energized with a contemporary exuberance. Well done!

Fumiko Uyemaka's My Four Gentlemen integrated sumi-e painting and calligraphy. Olexander Wlasenko had these comments for this painting that received an honourable mention.

Effortless brush work and a compelling interplay of image and text. I wish I could read its message. All the same it communicates a poetic message. Beautiful!

Seeing a Friend Off was another painting with an honourable mention. It was painted by Baoxing Zhang. These words were added about this work.

Seeing a Friend Off is a touching and very accomplished traditional piece imbued with human longing and the sublime forces of nature. This work captures the best of Chinese brush painting traditions. The use of calligraphic text and pictorial brush work is sophisticated, energizing.

All the paintings, in addition to those noted by the judge, made the Singing Ink exhibition of interest to many visitors. Over a 100 paintings were displayed.

A variety of styles contributed to visitors' interest.

This year Diana Bullock created labels from her computer making it easier to see titles and prices. A green dot meant that the artist would contribute part of the sale to the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund.

Art lovers from all cultures saw a spacious, inviting exhibition that left them often browsing for an hour or more.

Shows require many contributions from volunteers like Keith Caskey who patiently responded to questions about the exhibition.

The tea room remained an attraction for its selection of sushi and many other contributed dishes.

Demonstrations always intrigue visitors.

Creativity on demand is a challenge but somehow our demonstrators manage it.

One never knows what will leap off the pages of a demonstration.

Cards were also created from demonstrations.

A few gentlemen congratulated Hiroshi on receiving his Ruth Yamada award. Left to right: Gary Bist, President of the Sumi-e Artists of Canada, Hiroshi Yamamoto, Diasuke Nakamura, Vice-Consul, Consulate-General of Japan, and James Heron, Executive Director, Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre.

The sumi-e paintings were the star attraction to the Singing Ink exhibition such as this delicate butterfly.

This tropical island would be a nice place to escape to.

You could almost hear this cello player.

A prowling tiger crept through this painting.

A bridge waited for us to cross to this northern landscape.

These subjects gave visitors much to discuss.

Traditional bamboo is one subject that we never tire of.

The artists left the show to prepare for the next one in the coming year.