I have been painting in the Sumi-e/East Asian brush painting style for over 30 years. I love the spontaneity, the simplicity, the challenge, and that I can finish a painting in one sitting. My training has been in the traditional method of learning the basic strokes and then copying my teachers’ works. The traditional method has been used for thousands of years but it makes it difficult for an artist to find his or her own style. I find it challenging to merge of the traditional with the new so I say that my style is evolving. I find joy in experimenting with new approaches and new subjects.
My subjects vary from flowers, landscapes to animals. Painting flowers can be very spontaneous but the scientist in me needs to keep the flower anatomically accurate so I often refer to my many photographs of flowers. An exemption is bamboo. I follow the traditional approach to painting bamboo of stark simplicity of ink and stroke. In my landscape paintings I want viewers to actually place themselves in the painting to explore, to wander through the hills and valleys, and to wonder and imagine what is in the unpainted space.
I retired after a long and fulfilling career as a bio-medical research biologist at the National Institutes of Health. Currently I am a docent at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Arts formally known as the Freer Gallery and the Arthur M Sackler Gallery. I am member of the Harmonious Art Group of Rockville, MD and the National Area Capital Chapter of the Sumi-e Society of America. For Sumi-e Society of America, the largest Asian brush painting society in the US, I have served as the national treasurer since 2014. My paintings have been displayed in exhibits locally, nationally and internationally. I have been honored to have received numerous Sumi-e painting awards.
It is said that a brush exposes the painter’s soul, the inner feelings, the oneness with one’s self and the art one wishes to express. With each stroke I cannot hide. I hope that the viewer can feel my peace and love of the natural world.