It was 15 years ago that I first got to know what Japanese ink is and then I started to learn the technique of using it as a painting medium.
I have always been fascinated by the traditional Japanese ink, which comes in so many different colours. The most known is the black coloured one, which seems ever so easy to use but once one gets to know it, it becomes an elaborate and very meticulous tool for painting, just as its philosophy behind it.
What I always admired in the Japanese traditional culture is its simplicity, clarity and pursuit of beauty and perfection.
There is a depth behind every part of its culture.
This is the same with Japanese ink and painting. Everything seems so easy and simple when one looks at a painting made with it, and yet it takes months and years of practice to achieve the simplicity in itself.
Simplicity does not come easily to most of us, and yet only with time can we achieve the grace that lies behind our “trying hard”.
As I learned, the more graceful and at ease the artwork seems the more persistence and patience there is behind its realization.
The artist, just as each of us Creators of our lives, seeks to achieve the perfect match to his or her vision through various attempts and by shedding our learned patterns of trying always hard.
What I loved most is the preparation of the painting process, which requires different tools such as an ink stick and stone palette where the ink is prepared with water.
Everything is prepared with care and thoughtfulness.
The brushes are also very special, nothing like the ones a painter uses on canvas.
The painting itself is about quick, spontaneous strokes of brush with a very precise way of holding the brush and pressing it on the paper. I always thought no wonder the Japanese language’s characters are so beautiful and are true artworks in themselves.
The Japanese ink painting complements their way of expression, in form of poem: the Haiku.
It is a very short poem, in 2-4 lines, expressing a moment of thought, feeling, something that fleets away very quickly but is worth materializing before it disappears.
I was and am so inspired by the Haikus that I created a series around them.
The Japanese ink painting just as the Haiku poems teach us to live in the present, to appreciate the small and simple moments in life, those that fleet away quick, but that remain as imprint in our spirits.