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Creative Sumi-e with Diana Bullock - December 3rd, 2016

Creative sumi-e uses a variety of approaches to art and unconventional tools to create a more expressive and less controlled art form than classical sumi-e paintings. Diana Bullock suggested that a good start is to periodically note insights with a pad or a cell phone.

These sketches lead to ideas for art, and that's when you can begin using other instruments beside brushes. Feathers, Diana Bullock suggested, are a solid addition to an artist's tool kit.

Feathers introduce a randomness to art that often makes the outcome more interesting.

A goose feather, brought into the workshop by another member, led to the first demonstration.

Note that when you use a feather, holding it higher adds a more unpredictable element to the painting, which is intentional.

Colours in this painting are more striking than the conventional smooth application of colour.

This painting combined an existing floral work with a free-form outline.

The central idea to creative sumi-e, Diana Bullock advised, is to experiment and explore.

Sprinkling dots also adds to the experimentation.

Then it was our turn. Workshop attendees were immediately drawn to these expressive ideas.

What do you do with the art you created? Consider mounting your art on inexpensive small panels and boards that you can buy at art supply stores like Currys.

Sometimes works can be subdivided into two mounted paintings.

Diana Bullock gave a quick mounting lesson during the workshop.

Cards are another option for creative sumi-e works. You can easily glue your creations to cards. Diana Bullock reminded us to use acid-free glue.

Once you have created your card, place it in a plastic protector. Cards can be sold at shows or used for personal communication.

Etegami is another popular use for creative sumi-e. Etegami is an image with words.

Though there are no formal rules to etegami, often the art runs off the card it is glued to.

A seal consisting of the first initial in your name is another convention. The words are up to you.

Another option for your creative sumi-e is to add it to your artist's notebook, which Diana Bullock told everyone to maintain.

The collection of images and words on the pages leads to further explorations and ideas for art.

The art on this page had words from poet Walt Whitman: Simplicity is the glory of expression.

We returned to our own sumi-e to select items for a show and tell session.

The feathers and the idea of just trying something different created some striking results.

Lively cards and etegami surprised even their own creators!

These experimental paintings showed how a little variation in how you approach sumi-e painting can can lead to more expressive works.

You can learn more about Diana Bullock in the links section.