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  • Japanese Ink Painting & Watercolour

    Based on simplicity and minimalism, this work is a form of active meditation, a training of discipline of hands and mind. It enhances self-confidence and flow with the brush, promoting new sets of drawing skills. With each subject you will learn about its core feature and ideas, alongside key brush strokes, using traditional brushes, ink and fine paper. • Fees include study sheets, plenty of practice time, all your tools & materials, 1-2-1 tutorial, group discussion and light refreshment. • Intermediate students are welcomed to learn advanced level themes or work on their personal project. • Professional tools and materials are all supplied for the course as well as light refreshments. • Professional calligraphy sets, brushes and paper can be purchased during the course To be notified of future Japanese ink painting workshops, please sign up for our newsletter to be notified. Fees are €65 / £55 and may be paid online or in-person.

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  • Sabi-wabi and the practice of ink painting

    ‘To those who awaits only the cherry blossoms, Let me point to the spring in grassy patches amid the snow of a mountain village’ Fujiwara no Taika This poem has been used to explain the very essence of sabi-wabi by Sen no Rikkyo, master artist of Japanese tea ceremony. Sabi-wabi as an aesthetic concept evolved with the tea ceremony in Japan by Sen no Rikkyo during the 16th century, yet it is rooted deep in Zen Buddhism already in the 12th century. Although deeply embedded in Japanese aesthetics, sabi-wabi as a concept is not always easy to define. It can however, be felt. This is perhaps its most clear element, the use of the senses for the aesthetic experience. While the 21st century is riding into a digitalisation of the senses, sabi-wabi takes us back to the touch and the taste, the sound and the fragrance of things, as well as their visual experience. To hold a tea cup with both hands and be touched by its textured material is the heart of the experience. While sipping tea, to feel the tongue sticking a little to the fired clay, these sensual feelings are woven into the ceramic beauty impact. In similar way to the tea ceremony, the ink artist takes a step back from the mundane daily world into their own rhythm, holding a raw ink stick and grinding it on an ink-stone to make ink. Feeling the rough texture of the stone and taking in the fragrance of the ink as it blends with water, the artist dip the brush to make that first brush stroke - this preparation time creates a unique intimacy of nearness to the natural materials. The love of the textured material and its simplicity, define sabi-wabi artistic aesthetic, where possible, keeping materials not fully processed, so one can still get a glimpse of their original state. The soot of which the ink is made of, kept its true nature for many years whilst being exposed to the elements. Be it fire or rain, heat or cold weather, it gifts the sense of humility and humbleness away from pretension and arrogance. Rustic beauty Sabi (寂び / 錆び) translated from Japanese, to mean ‘rust’. It suggests the nature of the ever-changing experiences and things that weathered, fade away or dissipate. It signifies not the ending of things, but actually the flow and continuity of the creative process. Sabi aesthetic does not find a need to ‘hide’ the ongoing ageing of the art created, on the contrary, the moss on the stone sculpture, the rustic wood pillar inside a home, or the ragged ink brush stroke on textured paper - are all part of cherishing the beauty of time passage. The way ink becomes even more distinct as the paper ages, turning yellow in time, is part of the magic celebrated by the aesthetic of sabi. This ever-changing state of materials far and beyond the artist work, emerges because of time throwing its magnitude flow upon everything. And while doing so, revealing a tranquil beauty within the greater creation and its ongoing powerful laws of transformation, extinction and reformation. Finding and enjoying the rustic beauty of this is the aesthetic of sabi. The power of simplicity Wabi (侘び) carries the idea of elegant beauty that is reflected in simplicity itself. Simplicity that has its core in humbleness. A will to be with the essence of things and not their external cover up. ‘Get rid of the non essential’ - is the sabi-wabi artist most valuable instruction. The interaction of modest intelligence with a clean, efficient arrangement, allow sabi-wabi artists to keep with the integral component of its creation, and avoid unnecessary details. Ink painting will reveal just enough details for the viewer to identify the subject painted, but not more than necessary. The ink painting is intended to echo the very nature of its subject matter, not to copy it. Cherishing the creative process Within the aesthetic of sabi-wabi, the creative process is exposed and emphasised. It is original in a moment in time, and thus a unique experience. The ink painting is not intended to be perfect. On the contrary, not the complete figure is painted, nor the whole landscape is seen. The painting will hold spaces and gaps ready to be completed with the viewer’s imagination. In ink painting, one can appreciate the aesthetics of sabi-wabi where the flow of the brush and ink emphasise the wellness experience of imperfection. It is imperfect because no hand can make a ‘perfected’ line in that sense. Each line and mark is raw and organic, rich in wonder and mystery, reflecting the nature of both artist and viewer at any given time. Sabi-wabi aesthetic practice in ink painting offers an intimate experience. It unfolds the feeling that even the minute and seemingly insignificant painted theme, can have an insight into the warmth and beauty of a growing and becoming creation.

  • 6 Things to Know Before You Get Your Own Carved Seal

    Carving a personal seal was always considered one of the artist's / calligrapher's skills. The seal completes a painting and is an important part of it. Artists used to make their own seals as part of the creative expression and expertise. Having more than one seal to symbolise different periods in artistic progress was common. Brief historical background Seal carving has a fine history of over a thousand years in Japan. The tradition originated in China and is over two thousand years old. The ancient seal script, known as tensho in Japanese or zhuan-shu in Chinese, is still used in most seal carving today. In 221 BC the first emperor of China united the many states of the continent, and had a Jade seal made to represent sole heavenly authority over the land. This seal was passed on from one emperor to another as part of the ritual of power and control. During the 10th century upheavals, this legendary seal was lost, and from then on other seals were used throughout history by the rulers. The seal represents authority and authenticity of the author and writing. Used by emperors early on in history, it later became a tool for government officials and institutes, schools, teachers and scholars, as well as artists and collectors. With the development of paper, seals have become more important to confirm the writer and writing authenticity, be it official papers, poetry or painting. Materials and design Ancient seals were made of hard materials such as Jade, bronze, gold, silver and agate. Other less successful materials, in terms of longevity, were used, such as bones, amber, wax, clay, bamboo and wood. During the 14th C., soft stones became popular and an easy material to carve seals from. New styles and designs developed, and the craft of seal carving became an art form of its own. Poets, calligraphers and artists specialised in making seals and developing both design and technique. High quality seals have become sought after. They showed knowledge of scholarship and high aesthetics. Sourcing the right stone was important. The place where the stone came from connected the owner with that place. Therefore, ancient temples, well-known calligraphy centres, sacred mountains, and the like, were places from which seals stones were highly praised. The stone quality, like a small sculpture, would be selected according to its colour, texture, shine, and transparency. Seals would be cut into various sizes and the carved areas could be square, round, oval or a unique irregular shape. A high quality seal will have a good, precise and balanced contrast between the engraved white area of the seal and the red parts. The script could be engraved or a relief. Left: Engraving - ‘where there is a will there is a way’ Right: Relief carving - 'the years fly like an arrow - how alarming’ Content and aesthetic As the first purpose of the seal was to identify the owner, seals most commonly would have the name of the owner, their initial, chosen name, artist's name or birthdate. The birth year animal zodiac symbol was also popular. Artists seals were more sophisticated and, in particular, represented a personal philosophical idea, riddle, personal statement or sentiments. The seal and signature were considered part of the whole composition, and an integral part of the painting. Unique graphic script designs were developed, making the seal a ‘stone calligraphy’ work of art. Here are a few examples: Top left: ‘Fence’ script - ‘Who realises that books are immortals’ Top right: ‘Cloud’ script - ‘Long life of ten thousand years’ Bottom left: ‘Crooked’ script - ‘Prayer for longevity‘ Bottom right: ‘Crooked’ script - ‘To keep wealth and health always‘ Seal paste The red paste against the black ink creates a contrasting element which completes the artistic aesthetic. Traditionally, various colours have been used as seal’s paste. However, red paste has become the most popular. This paste was made of Cinnabar (mercury sulphide) mixed with seed oils and the moxa plant. Emperor seal’s paste, would have, particularly expensive mixed powdered materials, such as corals, pearls and rubies. How to use your seal Place the finished painting on a ‘semi’ soft surface, like felt. Carefully choose the area where you wish to seal the artwork, and place the seal evenly on the surface. Make sure to put even pressure on all parts of the seal. Keep pressing until you feel the seal is evenly marked on the paper. When you lift the seal, do so with an upward, firm movement to prevent smudging the paste on the paper. Allow the red paste to dry on the painting, or place a soft cloth to pick up any residues. Care for your seal After sealing the painting, make sure to clean the red paste away from the seal with a clean cloth or paper towel and keep it in a safe box. Get your own seal Get your own Japanese hand carved seal and high quality red paste on our store - HERE Order your own seal with the year of the Tiger (2022) on top from Char4U shop - HERE Or hand carved other suggested seals : LOVE DOUBLE HAPPINESS LONGEVITY DREAM DRAGON AND PHOENIX Note: We have included links to Char4U seals and the studio will earn an affiliate commission for any purchases you make.

  • Are You Ready to Master Japanese Ink Painting?

    ArtBrush is a new, online school created to assist you in developing your skills in Japanese Ink Painting while giving you a deeper appreciation for this tradition within Japanese art history. The schools step-by-step courses are designed to allow you to practice brush exercises, guiding you in creating your own ink paintings while experiencing the meditative nature of the process. ArtBrush founder, Talia Lehavi, is an artist, practitioner and teacher of traditional Japanese ink painting. Following years of teaching, her love and passion for this artistic medium has now prompted her to create ArtBrush, the online school for Japanese ink painting. "My own extensive journey in Japanese ink painting, studying with mentors for seven years and completing an MA at the School of Oriental and Africa Studies in London, has provided me with a wealth of knowledge that I want to share with you. My experience has allowed me to teach Japanese ink painting Worldwide, and I’ve created ArtBrush to allow past and new students to learn alongside me and progress in their creative journey, wherever you are in the World." The school is catered to beginners and those with prior ink painting experience, to provide a valuable learning voyage for anyone with a desire to learn the foundations of Japanese ink painting. We have a wide variety of courses available, including single courses, which focus on one specific subject, called ArtBrush Lessons. Our Four Nobles Foundation Course offers an in-depth study, and our expanding ArtBrush Library provides you with writings and essays on the history of Japanese ink painting. Each course also includes a Tools and materials check-list, PDF worksheets and additional compositions for you to practice in your own time.

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    Fine Art Gallery View the latest work from Talia. If you're interested in a gallery, please click it to view details of pricing and availability. Buddha Realm View Gallery Fired Ceramic View Gallery Ink Dragons View Gallery Memories of Leaves View Gallery Poetry of Reeds View Gallery Wrinkled Mountains View Gallery Butterflies Rings View Gallery Golden Ring View Gallery Journey View Gallery Notes on Pine View Gallery Tendril View Gallery Diamond Cloud View Gallery Hundrend Million Blossoms View Gallery Limited Edition Prints View Gallery Original Ink View Gallery Time Bubbles View Gallery

  • Time Bubbles

    < Back Time Bubbles time bubbles III £ 1450 View Details time bubbles IV £ 1450 View Details time bubbles VI £ 1450 View Details time bubbles V £ 1450 View Details time bubbles II £ 1450 View Details time bubbles VII £ 1450 View Details

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  • ArtBrush Library

    A selection of writings, essays and contemplations to guide you with your Japanese Ink painting studies. Welcome to ArtBrush Library, a hub for learning about the history of Japanese ink painting, created to assist in expanding your knowledge and appreciation of this traditional process. The library is a growing source of writings and essays, covering a vast range of subjects including tools, materials, ink masters, viewing paintings and exploring ink painting within Japanese art history. ArtBrush Library will continue to grow with new material, so be sure to visit often to harness this tool within your ink painting journey. All of the material on the library is downloadable, allowing you to print and create your own reference book at home. ''Study as if you never could get enough of it, as if you were afraid something might just get away from you'' - Confucius

  • Mastering the power of ink and brush

    Mastering the power of ink and brush - Richard Weihe / Shih-T'ao

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