Fine Artist Blog

Abstract Sumi-e Artworks – 3

Did I tell you why I’m enjoying the sumi e abstract paintings? There are many reasons. First of all, they are fun! I have always begun with a poem, a quote, a piece of music in my mind.

I want to know this concept on a deeper level of consciousness than the intellect alone. I go into my body. I listen to a deeper voice within me, not my head voice.

I get very quiet in front of a piece of rice paper and respond with my brush and my ink, out of this deeper space.

"Whatever I was Looking For" 190S by Marilyn Wells—14”x 18” on mulberry paper, mounted—$320 abstract sumi-e

“Whatever I was Looking For” 1810S by Marilyn Wells—14”x 18” on mulberry paper, mounted—$350,  double mounted on mat board—$450, framed—$875

‘Whatever I was looking for

was always you…” – Rumi 1810S


Dipping the wonderful sumi brush in rich sumi ink, a few, swift strokes execute what my heart-feeling communicates to my hand and brain. The image is painted—almost, it seems, of its own accord.

When I share this artwork, I find the viewer also stops for a moment and does the same.

They respond from their own inner depth to the abstract, painted concept. It’s a combination of the printed concept and the abstract image. It feels magical.


"The Blossoms Keep Falling" 188S by Marilyn Wells—14”x 18” on mulberry paper, mounted—$TBD" abstract sumi-e

“The Blossoms Keep Falling” 188S by Marilyn Wells—14”x 18” on mulberry paper, mounted—$325″

“Even in my deepest dreams,

The blossoms continue to fall…”

– Ki No Tsurayuki 188S


Our world is so cerebral. We thirst for a deeper experience. My paintings invite the viewer into that experience.

"The Dragon's Jewels" by Marilyn Wells, 14" x 18", on mulberry paper $350 single mounted

“The Dragon’s Jewels” by Marilyn Wells, 14″ x 18″, on mulberry paper—$350,  double mounted on mat board—$450, framed—$875

The dragon’s jewels are found

    in every wave.

Looking for the moon, it is

    Here, in this wave, in the next.

  Dogen 1812S


Finally, I use a wet paste technique to smooth and iron out the paintings before remounting on mat board and framing.

I learned this work through meditation, both Zen Buddhist and Contemplative Christian, and from studying Zen artists, poets and Western abstract artists from Kokoschka through Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell and all the abstract artists in between.

This is the way of the feminine, a way or knowing in more wholeness, and in this way relates also to my oil paintings.

They are really little sketches, the most fun of all! You’ve just read my Artist’s Statement for Sumi-e. Be sure to let me know how they make you feel and what you see in them!


  1. Linda-Dale Jennings says:

    These three have so moved me. I liked the first, smiled broadly at the second, and wept at the third. You are AMAZING!

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Fine art
by Marilyn wells

Denver COlorado

Marilyn Wells - Fine Artist