Sumi e and Suminagashi…expressive art for special needs children


Today I have been practising “mark making” in preparation for a workshop I will be taking with fellow artist, Jan Marinos, with special needs students. We will be getting the youngsters to explore making marks on various oriental papers. We will also introduce them to Japanese marbling… Suminagashi.

The marbling will give colourful patterns which they can overwork, if they so choose, with ink marks. For this marbling (suminagashi) we use Oriental papers such as Hoshu which need no preliminary treatment and have good wet strength. We will introduce participants to grinding their own ink using a solid ink stick and stone in the traditional way. This is a relaxing activity which focuses the mind in preparation for painting. We will then use soft Chinese brushes of various sizes to make expressive marks…. not necessarily the flowers etc which I painted, but more simple, expressive, non-representational,  mark making.

One of my works shown below, which combined Sumi e roses on marbled paper, I made into a fan employing a simple concertina fold method. The Hosho paper is very strong and easy to fold while retaining those folds well . With assistance from their aides, each participant in the Special Education workshop will make a fan. Other works will contribute to a joint mural/assemblage presentation at the final 2 day camp.

.Sumi esumiganashi on oriental papers  sumiganashi and Sumi e fan

Advertisements

Brush painting


Based on principles of sumi-e at my recent workshop the aim was to encourage participants to make varied brush strokes and create works that were fluid.  I did show some traditional Sumi e strokes but with the limited time of a single day workshop thought “giving permission” to develop their own was valuable… and more creative. Numerous brushes were tried (including the one all loved which I made some 10 years ago from part of a feather… it is brilliant!) and loading of a soft sumi e brush  was demonstrated. The advantage of solid ink stick and grinding stone was experienced. We also played with ink and water on yupo after watching my dvd of freestyle Sumi e from a Japanese master. Looking back we covered a lot in a dayIMG_1611 IMG_1612 IMG_1613 IMG_1614 IMG_1615 IMG_1616

Jane eperimented with working on wood. She had even prepared the surface with different finishes. This is a meditation stool.

Jane eperimented with working on wood. She had even prepared the surface with different finishes. This is a meditation stool.

IMG_1618 IMG_1619

Stephen made some lovely free flowing marks... just beautiful

Stephen made some lovely free flowing marks… just beautiful

IMG_1621 IMG_1622

Caught on camera... and I was holding the brush low as I concentrated

Caught on camera… and I was holding the brush low as I concentrated

we had lots of variations on bamboo... practise needed to perfect ... but these are creatively different

we had lots of variations on bamboo… practise needed to perfect … but these are creatively different

dragonfly and iris Cockroach

using the rake brush can create echidna spikes. Not really Suumi e but all about exploring brushmarks

using the rake brush can create echidna spikes. Not really Suumi e but all about exploring brushmarks

Ink on yupo