Sunday, December 27, 2009


Even when I want to, I can’t do the same thing the same way repeatedly. So I knew when I picked up my Sumi brushes again that what came out of them would never be consistent. Still, I worked myself into a dither trying to reproduce the beautiful, clean designs in my lesson book. The more I tried to relax and focus the less I focused and relaxed.

Then my granddaughters caught me in the middle of my ink and paper mess, elbowed me out of their way and took over.

Splish, splash the brushes and ink flew over the paper.

Page after page of wondrous, free works of art appeared.

When the student is ready the teachers appear.

After a stack of demonstrations on the art of enjoying art, I reclaimed my desk and brushes.

More birdies from my fancy brush.

They came out smiling.

Then I tried bamboo again…

and threw in a couple of butterflies.

The author said she had been painting Sumi-e for over twenty years. I only have nineteen years and ten months to go!


fifi said...

how very beautiful. of course picasso did famously refer to the fact that it would take him a lifetime to paint like a child (or something like that!)

But i am not so sure you would want perfectly formed, standardised things? it is the "defect" which adds character, the unexpected. I am constantly in aware of those "Imperfect" images children create.

and anyway, I think your work looks very masterful, despite it being a relatively new practice. The birds are beautiful and full of happiness.

fifi said...

and of course your paintings reflect your joy in making them....
they certainly made me happy looking at them. :-)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful paintings - and yours are quite good too!! Seriously, your work is beautiful ... and it's great that you let the little ones loose with your art supplies!

The Weaver of Grass said...

I love the simplicity of that bird. Also I love the pure uninhibited joy of the grand daughter's paintings - why is we we lose that free approach as we grow up. Happy New Year to you all.

Flea said...

I ADORE that last bird! Perfect!!!

DayPhoto said...

They are smiling! Maybe because you were smiling at those darling painting by those delightful girls!


kendalee said...

How delightful! I wonder when it is that children let go of that ability to just be immersed in the process and attach so much to the outcome instead. It makes me sad that this is what we do to ourselves so that by the time we're "all grown-up" and realise the value and beauty of process, we have to unlearn all that again.