I consider myself a beginner, an explorer, an experimenter, far from a full-fledged sumi-artist. While several of my sumi-e pieces have been framed, I’ve only exhibited watercolors and those were for very local, small-scale shows. My work’s widest exposure has been through the reproduction and (sometimes) sale of greeting cards.
My enthusiasm for sumi-e began long ago when I first saw a show at the Kirsten Gallery in Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood. The images struck me as profound in their representation of essential truths. My interest in studying and observing art offered me many pleasures throughout adulthood, but I did not begin to explore creating art until I retired several years ago. A trip to Japan sparked my interest in traditional Asian art and calligraphy.
Art classes with Molly Hashimoto and Caroline Buchanan offered me the basics of watercolor. While I enjoyed studying with Caroline, the greatest benefit of her classes was meeting Lois Yoshida, with whom I began studying sumi-e. A solo exhibit she prepared and hung at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Seattle literally took my breath away. I found classes in her Tacoma studio extremely satisfying for their celebration of capturing the essence of the subject at hand. I have also enjoyed classes with Fumiko Kimura and Selinda Sheridan.
My decision last year to become a PSSA member was based on the hope I would be able to meet many working artists and expand my knowledge of sumi-e. I am already learning new techniques from the etegami group and have benefitted by borrowing books from PSSA’s library.