It has been a while since my last post, so I thought I should give you an update on where my Sumi-e school stands now and the direction that I am taking it to.
Here are the courses that I have created so farand are now available through my school:
1. Sumi-e Painting of a Rooster Using Its Calligraphy - The free overview course which I created for the Chinese New Year. This short course is, in a nutshell, the way I paint and teach.
2. Sumi-e Painting of Clover Leaf Using Its Calligraphy I couldn't resist creating another overview course which demonstrates various approaches to painting the clover leaf, using the Chinese/Japanese calligraphy of “luck”.
There are many advantages to my method over what I have seen being taught elsewhere. I have dealt with the topic in many of my blog posts. Through this link you will get a general idea, but feel free to check out my other blog posts to get more insights.
Of course, to be able to paint, one needs to learn the basics. Thus I have started creating courses to teach this method from the beginning.
3. Essentials for Learning Sumi-e Painting I have created this as a complete course for beginners, where I give historical, comparative and practical information, introduce the materials and the use of them. The highlight of this course is the demonstration of the control of the brush and the ink, since students often struggle with that.
I find that the meditative aspect is essential to learning sumi-e painting, but very few (if any) instructions are given in most sumi-e classes (as far as I know) - online or otherwise. I address this in this blog post.
4. Meditation With The Brush is the second beginner's course in my school where I teach the meditative and practical tools for cultivating and accelerating the mind and body unity and developing the focus and presence needed to create in Zen spirit.
I am presently working on a course to teach Chinese/Japanese calligraphy - the structure, rules and applications. It took me a while to decide if I would start teaching calligraphy using the Roman alphabet, as my teacher did, to facilitate the westerner’s learning, but personally, I have always enjoyed the use of oriental calligraphy. After all, this art form is based on it. I will create a chapter showing how the way of writing Chinese/Japanese calligraphy can be applied to the Roman alphabet and how it can be used in sumi-e painting.
I am pondering now as to how far to take the Calligraphy course. There is an art form called Shodo (the art of calligraphy), where the emphasis is on the expression of the character, rather than the detail which demonstrates the energy of the subject it represents. My priority is to teach the application of calligraphy in painting Sumi-e. So maybe I should create a separate course on Shodo alone – please let me know if you would you be interested in this type of course.
There are other aspects that are involved in learning to create vibrant sumi-e paintings. One of them is seeing - yes, actually seeing (with the senses). I think I will be creating a separate course on this....
So what do you want to learn? What do you want to see next?