The forest turns pale
As November drops its veil
Cool gossamer days
Bamboo is one of my favorite subjects to paint. I talked about how it is a symbol for resilience here.
Apart from the symbolism, I love its beauty and strength, both as a single trunk with its ridged sections and as a grove, forming an elegant swath of green reaching for the sky and swaying together in the wind. Anyone who has seen the fight in bamboo forest scene in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon will agree it’s a special tree.
I first learned to paint it while studying sumie in Japan. Back then I painted it with brush and ink, learning to move my hand and brush just so to get the lines of trunk and leaves right. These days I use a different approach, with brayers of varying size, to portray the grove in all its glory. I like the way the brayer gives the trunks a rounded look while keeping the vertical lines and segmentations. I also like the use of color, not so easy with sumi ink.
Glimmering, above, is actually a cropped ghost of the piece below. The pale colors give a shimmering effect, as though seeing the bamboo grove through a mist. It alludes to the mystery and etherealness of life. Together We Stand, below, emphasizes the tight grouping of the trees, showing how together they form a strong and beautiful whole, bonding against adversity.
For the bamboo grove
Bending in the wind as one
Finds the strength to bear
Glimmering, a 10″x12″ monotype, is offered this week at $150, unframed
Together We Stand, a 12″x16″ monotype, is offered this week at $200 unframed.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase or for further info.