Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Pressure of Ink Brush Painting

Ink brush painting is unforgiving. One mistake, one false stroke and it's over. For this very reason I love to work in this demanding, traditional medium. I am forced to be fully and intensely present and have to focus on the now to the exclusion of all distractions.

I become acutely aware of the flow and amount of water I am using on the brush, at the same time watching the receptivity of the rice paper and dark or lightness of the sumi ink. I must pay attention to how the image unfolds. I allow it to develop, I coax it into being. It is a dance between what I think I want and how it is actually going.

There is no do over, going back or covering up of a mistake. It is in the present now moment that this work is created in. I must get it right the first time and that is the only time I have to create it. This pressure heightens my sensitivity and creates tension that I do not allow to be transferred or shown in the final piece.

It is suppose to look effortless, like an accident. But it is much more than that. I am purposeful in cultivating creativity arising from a meditative, un-manifested state to be born into the space of physical form. A visual, spiritual practice, oh yeah!