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Graduation Ceremony - June 15th, 2019

Several years of practice leads to receiving a seal in sumi-e art. This painting by Patricia Bermiller shows the result of that effort, and indicates why we celebrate this special moment for graduates each year.

What is sumi-e painting? Why is it so special? Roslyn Levin explained how she became engrossed in this art that can express so much in so few brush strokes. As a well-known artist and instructor herself, Roslyn Levin suggested that a seal is only a beginning. Many more years of development lie ahead.

Yang Yang's interest in vines, flowers and the interconectivity of nature is evident in her painting. One interesting aspect of her painting is the dramatic use of space, which makes the strong branch and fragile flowers more significant.

Yi Tang's landscape covered the range of landscape elements including mountains streams, and pines. Hidden in the domineering landscape were some homes and tiny people, which emphasizes the power of nature and man's smallness.

An entertaining squirrel climbs down a branch in Phyllis Macaluso's painting. Animals in art like this squirrel take on curious human characteristics. Though a natural scene, there is humour as we wonder what this squirrel is up to.

Man-made objects interacting with nature create thought-provoking paintings. Patricia Bermiller's bridge between two mountains contrasts man's technical achievements with nature's timeless strength. This painting uses space to focus your attention on the main subjects: the bridge and the mountains.

Each artist added an impression of their seal to the list of many other artists who joined the Sumi-e Artists of Canada over the past decades. Marie Ikeda helped the artists add their specific seal to the collection.

Remember to add your name. That means your real name and also the name on the seal. Each seal carving has characters that form a name which the instructor who gave the seal believes is suitable to the artist; for example, Calm Way Forward.

Put your seal in red ink and then press the seal on the paper.

Press firmly.

The result is an orderly collection of seals from this year's graduates.

Marie Ikeda's guiding labeled sheet meant names and seal impressions followed a regular pattern.

The names of this year's graduates joined a few hundred others as the Sumi-e Artists of Canada has been around for over 35 years.

Artists and guests spent time admiring all of the paintings.

Oriental art attracts many artists and art lovers as it conveys a range of emotions and thoughts.

Which painting to talk about? Each painting had features that at a certain point made each artist's expression unique.

We captured a group photo of our graduates. From left-to-right: Phyllis Macaluso, Yi Tang, Patricia Bermiller and Yang Yang. Congratulations!

Time to return to practicing! Receiving a seal is just the beginning to a long life of learning.