There is something about sumi-e artwork that really speaks to me.
Black ink brushed or dragged across paper. A smudge here. A stroke there. A bit more water. A bit less. And in the end a piece of art that captures my imagination and holds my heart.
A lot of it has to do with simplicity. When you think about it, there’s not a lot there. The basic strokes aren’t complicated, although they can take years to master.
I’ve watched sumi-e artists work the ink from a small brick to a powder until it achieves exactly the right consistency. Adding just the right amount of water. Choosing exactly the right brush. Swirling the fibres into the ink, removing excess moisture. All to achieve… perfection.
I can look at a good piece of sumi-e art for a very long time, following with my eyes and mind the ink, how the brush must have worked its way across the paper. The tip. The edge. Light strokes. Heavy strokes.
When done right, the sumi-e art lifts my spirits and calms my heart. I find peace within it.
There are so many things about Japan, the Japanese and Japanese art, history and culture that I admire. Sumi-e is near the top of that list.