Fine Artist Blog

Ink and Joy – What is Sumi e Abstract – New Workshop

My sumi e abstract work is being enjoyed by people like you coming to my workshops. As I watch them work, I have a sense of their own freedom in expression and release of the Chi. I see them enjoy the flow, being in the moment, creating something never seen before, then later reflecting on their creation for deeper meaning and greater insight from their own heart and soul. It is the ultimate freedom. Freedom from within.

sumi e abstract from a Mary Oliver poem

“What is Holding You?” by Marilyn Wells – 14″ x 18″ on mulberry paper

“What is Holding You?”

Or maybe it’s about the wonderful

Things that may happen if you break

The ropes that are holding you.

  -M.Oliver “Ropes Upstream”

chi- the life energy flowing through you

in sumi e painting. Through your arm, through your hand, through your brush. My way of teaching is to begin from an attentive, listening place of quiet silence; then considering a poetic expression, allow this life energy or prana to move from your head-space, thinking (linear left brain activity) about it—into heart or bodily response (right brain activity) of the sentiment being expressed – via the sumi brush as this energy moves through you.

what is the definition of chi?

Here’s an explanation from the inernet with the two often used variations on it.

 This energy flow is a fundamental concept of traditional Asian culture.氣 is romanized as “Qi” or “Chi” in Chinese, “Gi” in Korean, and “Ki” in Japanese.

Chi is believed to be part of everything that exists, as in “life force” or “spiritual energy”. It is most often translated as “energy flow,” or literally as “air” or “breath”. Some people will simply translate this as “spirit” but you have to take into consideration the kind of spirit we’re talking about…
The character itself is a representation of steam (or breath) rising from rice. To clarify, the character for rice looks like this: 米



I like the character of rice for chi! That’s about as close as I can come to telling you about it. The rice has to be gathered, cooked, via water and steam, and behold! It is nourishment! Feeds your body and soul. I’ll try to explain again, another time, but we’re on the right track!


Cups & Saucers – Ink & Joy – New Year – Fresh Start


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Fine art
by Marilyn wells

Denver COlorado

Marilyn Wells - Fine Artist