Sumi-e Artists of Canada





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What is Sumi-e?



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What is Sumi-e?

Oriental brush painting originated in China centuries ago. It spread to Japan where it became known as sumi-e. Sumi means ink and e means picture. The same sumi-e instruments are still used today: a brush, ink, ink stone and rice paper.

Over time, a variety of styles emerged. Each sumi-e artist blends these styles with his or her own characteristics to produce a unique work of art. Some works are understated, even stark, with only a few bold strokes of black ink. Others are ornate and colorful. All works try to express the essence or spirit of a subject in keeping with Japanese Zen philosophy.

Photos from workshops and shows demonstrates what it is like to create a sumi-e painting.

Artists are identified by a red seal. Shodo, Japanese calligraphy, sometimes accompanies sumi-e art. In sumi-e paintings, you will find a variety of subjects, styles and personal expressions.

Why Study Sumi-e Today?

Sumi-e is a contemplative art that you can study all your life. Even masters of sumi-e painting admit there's always something more to learn. Young or old, artistically gifted or challenged, sumi-e painting is an art for anyone wanting to develop himself or herself.