|CrystalblueoceanSailing and Diving Around the World|
sailing and diving around the world
I'm still in Toronto, leaving in a couple of days, to head to the amazing city of Annapolis, and then back to Namaste, in Solomons. I managed to fit in a few projects while I've been here, including a bunch of new paintings. I used to play around a bit, in the traditional watercolor style, but then fell in love with the Japanese and Chinese styles of painting. I wish I had more time to study and practice, but I'm on the water most of the time now. However, despite the fact that a studied Sumi-e painter would probably cringe at my lack of expertise, I still feel tremendous satisfaction when I look at my paintings hanging on the wall, or when I give them to people. But, that's the point, really, the fact that I painted them, faults and all. I don't much care for the idea of buying someone else's art, for the walls in my home.
Anyway, this style of painting is easy, and I believe anyone can do it. Perhaps this post will inspire some of you to 'go down a different path.' There is so much more to learn than the little I've studied, and it's all fascinating. Heck, it could easily take years to understand how to paint bamboo, alone.
So, I completed a batch of new paintings, and I've posted them below. I've also done a few videos, in an attempt to give some info, and some instruction. Remember, the idea behind sumi-e painting is not perfection, rather an attempt to capture the essence of the subject. Simplicity is key. You'll notice, for example, in at least one of the paintings, there is only a splash of color, the rest is varying shades of black ink.
To do this kind of painting, you need brushes, ink and Chinese watercolor paints, dishes to hold the ink and paint, rice paper, and a personal stamp. You'll need to find out what your name is in Chinese, and learn the calligraphy, so you can sign your paintings, and you need to decide what your stamp will say. Mine, in keeping with my life on the water, says, 'water is always flowing.' I chose that because I feel like I am 'flowing' around the world, on these yachts. Ling, the lady who owns the Chinese art supply store, someone I've known for a few years, chose the characters for my name. They usually get to the Chinese characters for your name, based on how it sounds in Chinese. They can also use characters that are representative of your personality, or character. In my case, she used the Jay sound, in Jason, and, rather than using the character that sounds like 'son,' she changed it to the 'soon' sound in Chinese, which represents trust, or trustworthy, an integral part of my character, according to Ling. I happen to agree :)
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, for me, all of these paintings will be coming with me to Annapolis, and I'll present them as gifts to some of the people that I've become acquainted with. My wall are already filled with paintings so there isn't any room in my place anyway. I give them away to anyone that expresses a liking for any particular painting, and I like to give them away during the holiday season, and other special occasions. The whole point of this is to have fun.
Here's another handy thing I've done guys. I switched from traditional watercolor painting, to the Japanese style, where I'm now mostly using using ink, with only little splashes of color. I'm not using cotton, pressed paper anymore, instead I'm using the thinner, more delicate rice paper. But, you don't have to frame your paintings in brass and glass. I simply bought a large piece of foam board, cut it to size, using a sharp exacto knife, used double-sided tape, and hung it on the wall with a little plastic tab mount. You simply remove the tape, revealing the sticky side, on the mounting tab, stick it to the top center of the foam board, and hang it on a nail. It's really easy to produce a lot of paintings, in this Japanese style, and it would cost you a fortune to take each one to a framer. This way, it's cheaper, and you can do this easily with the foam board, including mounting lots of smaller paintings. I usually don't do large paintings. I did the larger one because I wanted to cover a big empty space over a bed. Normally I do a whole bunch of smaller ones, like the ones that I've posted below.
Always try to keep your paintings away from direct sunlight, as most of mine are. But I'm not very sentimental about my paintings, because I produce so many of them, so I don't really give much thought to the conditions of the rooms they're hanging in. In fact, I'm always giving my paintings away, and if someone says, "Hey, I like that painting," I give it to them. So, paintings don't usually last very long in my place, anyway. I'm leaving for Maryland, in a couple of days, and I'm taking a bunch of them for someone to hang in their condo, in Chesapeake Harbor Marina. Pretty cool.