Sumi-e Dream Book: An Impressionist Approach to the Art of Japanese Brush Painting

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Sumi-e is the classic painting style of Japan, and its graceful simplicity is admired around the world. A natural follow-up to the best-selling The Sumi-e Book, The Sumi-e Dream Book demonstrates how to take the classic brushstrokes of sumi-e to a new level of painting, where creativity is inspired by deeply felt memories and spiritual expression.

First, sumi-e artist Yolanda Mayhall provides a brief history and explains the philosophy behind this classic Japanese painting ...

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Overview

Sumi-e is the classic painting style of Japan, and its graceful simplicity is admired around the world. A natural follow-up to the best-selling The Sumi-e Book, The Sumi-e Dream Book demonstrates how to take the classic brushstrokes of sumi-e to a new level of painting, where creativity is inspired by deeply felt memories and spiritual expression.

First, sumi-e artist Yolanda Mayhall provides a brief history and explains the philosophy behind this classic Japanese painting style. She highlights its many masters, one of them her ancient mentor the master brush painter, woodblock, and dream journey artist Hokosai. Next, she reviews the classic materials and the basic brushstrokes of sumi-e known as the Four Gentlemen: Bamboo, Wild Orchid, Chrysanthemum, and Plum Branch, along with their variations.

Finally, Mayhall puts it all together to demonstrate the sumi-e art of dream journey painting. Readers will learn a variety of creative and exciting techniques for using color to add a delightful dimension to the sumi-e image as well as discover exciting techniques for visually capturing important life memories and spiritual reflections in a painting.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
Beginning with a concise history of the Japanese practice of sumi-e—literally "ink picture"—the author explains that her subject is "dream journey painting," in which the artist paints a story based on memories or imagination. She links this description to the efforts of the scholar painters of both China and Japan. Mayhall is particularly focused on Hokusai, the famous and prolific artist who produced some of the most memorable woodblock prints of 19th-century Japan, including "The Great Wave at Kanagawa" and views of Mt. Fuji. Primarily a step-by-step painting manual, the book includes advice on how to approach the practice of ink painting; what tools to use; how to create the brushstrokes that make up the traditional forms of bamboo, orchid, chrysanthemum, and plum branch, collectively known as The Four Gentlemen; and how to use color and brushstrokes to create painted compositions. Mayhall includes 100 color and 25 b/w illustrations, most of which are her own compositions. Her language reflects her strong interest in Zen and Taoist philosophy, which will be attractive to many students interested in the art of the Far East, although perhaps a bit too "new-agey" for some. Whatever the reader thinks of the writing style, the lessons and suggestions presented here are both clear and inspiring. KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2003, Watson-Guptill, 128p. illus. index.,
— Rhonda Cooper
Library Journal
The art of sumi-e had its origins in Japan when scholars returned from China in the sixth century with examples of calligraphy and monochrome ink painting. Subsequent examples of sumi-e often combined poetry with soft images of bamboo, wild orchids, chrysanthemums, and plum branches. Over the centuries, artists used this technique to create dreamlike, imaginary landscapes on screens and long scrolls, an approach that reached its most splendid heights in the 19th century with Katsushika Hokusai's multiple views of Mount Fuji. Mayhall, who studied with sumi-e masters for six years in Japan, takes Hokusai as her inspiration for impressionistic works that seek to capture memories and spiritual reflections. She also gives a brief history of the art and highlights some of its many masters. Recommended for comprehensive collections; for a broader view of the art, see Wang Jia Nan and Cai Xiaoli's Oriental Painting Course. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823050239
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 10.95 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Yolanda Mayhall spent years in Japan studying with renowned sumi-e masters Takeuchi and Saito. She lives in Dunnellon, Florida.
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