Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Sumi-e class

I started my first Sumi-e class yesterday at the Tokyo American Club, which was a lot of fun. Sumi-e is a traditional style of Japanese painting, often done in black ink on a white ground, using a big tapered brush to get stunningly beautiful effects. I was given a whole bag of kit, which included a scroll of practice paper, brush, pots to mix the ink in, a solid piece of ink (which you have to spend about 10 minutes grinding down at the beginning of the class) and boards to paint on when you are feeling a bit more confident. Needless to say, mine weren't stunning or beautiful, but my teacher was lovely and patient (and came wearing a beautiful kimono). She made me do two hours of endless practice, painting bamboo leaves over and over again. It was surprisingly therapeutic and I think I got the hang of it by the end of the class. I decided to take a photo of my efforts by rolling it out in the corridor of our apartment - see above.

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