I am home after my few days in West Dean in West Sussex. It was Japanese week so now I know a little about Shibori, and Sashiko, what beautiful sounding words. The course I was doing was Sumi-e, Japanese ink painting. I don't have alot to show after my 3 days but I have a good grasp of the basic techniques and this art is considered a form of meditation, so perhaps that is why my output was limited, the preparing and doing were as important as the results. We also made our own brush from bamboo as well as carving a seal from soapstone. So now with this new found knowledge all I have to do is practice, practice and then practice some more.
Below are a few images, we were mostly imitating the marks made by our tutor Takumasa
Takumasa Ono our tutor knelt on the ground to drew, we were all relieved that we did not have to do that too.
Here you can see some of the equipment we used, I loved how it was all so traditional and little had changed in centuries.
Here you can Takumasa showing Susan how to mount her finished piece, a complicated and wet process but very useful to know. The Japanese paper is so thin one really has to mount it and the whiteness of the mounting board shows through the paper and changes and enhances the painting.
So now my new goal is to visit Japan, the countryside rather than the big cities, I have started researching already and have got some interesting links from Carol, another West Dean Japanese enthusiasts.
And a final word to my sumi-e class mates, keep painting.