Sumi-e Japanese style of Zen ink painting – sumi means ink and the “e” means painting

“The Zen artist tries to suggest by the simplest possible means the inherent nature of the aesthetic object. The job of the artist is to suggest the essence, the eternal qualities of the object, which is in itself a work of natural art before the artist arrives on the scene. In order to achieve this, the artist must fully understand the inner nature of the aesthetic object, its Buddha nature. This is the hard part. Technique, though important, is useless without it; and the actual execution of the art work may be startlingly spontaneous, once the artist has comprehended the essence of his subject. This concept of essence as opposed to illusion is basic to Zen art in all phases.” Fredric Lieberman

after creating paintings on “rice” paper, I size to note card… often I use practice demo’s from when I teach class.

I correct them to size. My blank note cards are 5″X7″.  Trimming the paper is done by using a clean brush and clean water. After a water line is painted the paper just pulls easily apart.

After sizing, apply the glue – I use commercial Yes Paste or I make my own cornstarch paste. I often slightly water down the paste to make it easier to apply to the card stock.  The paste has to be applied very evenly.

the painting is then set onto the glue. Quickly from one side to the other… with as few wrinkles as possible. Next, gently smooth with a paper towel taking care not to rip the sumi paper – wipe excess paste from around the card edges.

weight the card to keep it flat while the glued image  dries.

Fold card using a bookmaker’s tool called a bone. Stamp card with seal and sign the image…

place label with information on the back of the card. I then place the completed cards into clear plastic sleeves.

My Sumi-e original blank note cards are sold at :

The Gallery – Bainbridge Arts & Crafts, 151 Winslow Way East, Bainbridge Island, WA

Traditions  Café and World Folk Art 300 5th Avenue SW, Olympia, WA 98501

White Dove Gallery, 5934 88th Street SW, Lakewood, WA

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