Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Most Difficult Part

Blue Blooms watercolor on Yupo 7x5" by Meera Rao

I don't know the name of these flowers but when I saw them a few weeks ago  in a bouquet I had bought, I pulled out my watercolors, a small sheet of yupo and just painted them free hand. It was very gratifying to just relax, trust my instincts, simplify,  and concentrate on capturing the essence of what I was seeing. Painting a simple blue flower - nothing more.  I liked the resulting Zen like  quality of flower with white space around it.  

Just this morning I was looking for one particular book in my library. I stumbled across "Complete Sumi-e Techniques" by Sadami Yamada. I had forgotten I owned it and had not opened it in years. Sidetracked from my search, I started flipping through it and read about yohaku or 'white space' the unpainted area : "the importance placed on this area in a painting  is considered equal, and sometimes superior, to the actual painted area."  And : ...it is the intimate relationship between the concept of 'color and 'space' that makes perfection  possible"   The 'painted' part is considered as 'fullness' and the blank space as 'emptiness'  with both combined to bring balance and create beauty.  

The author writes: " When asked what was the most difficult problem in painting, Ike-no-Taiga, a great master of the Edo period, pinpointed the importance of white space by simply answering, 'the unpainted area is the most difficult part'

I love how an important composition element is explained in spiritual terms and that what to leave unpainted is a challenge experienced by artists all through the ages.  The other thing the book  emphasizes is hours of practice :)  

18 comments:

Introverted Art said...

Meera name is not even that important. This is real pretty. The shades of blue are amazing.

Carol Blackburn said...

Beautifully done, Meera. :)

Jane said...

I love blue flowers and this one is beautiful !

Meera Rao said...

Ana,You are right! I was just happy to paint blue flowers -- actually I could have painted it any color for that matter :)

Meera Rao said...

Thanks Carol :)

padmaja said...

I believe that simplicity brings in spirituality to your door and this work accentuates my belief. Love the excerpt from the book, how true! Thanks for sharing this valuable thought, Meera.

Meera Rao said...

Jane, thank you! I love those blue flowers too.

Meera Rao said...

Padmaja, thank your for your comment -so true. I have found again and again that what not to paint usually takes the painting towards complex beauty in its simplicity!!! Still haven't figured how to make it happen more often !

Crystal Cook said...

This piece does have a very zen feel to it. I really love the liquid look the blues has. :)

Sandy Maudlin said...

This is so exquisite lay painted. Excellent choice to allow the white to remain... Looks like a sprig of larkspur.... Lovely and vivid.

Irina Rekhviashvili said...

So beautiful, they say: the spring is almost here.
Yes, empty space is really a problem for me. I can not stand even the smallest unpainted area!

B said...

so beautiful meera. unlike ur usual style. i think they are butterfly delphiniums. happy new year

Kathy Staicer said...

Absolutely beautiful. They are so delicate in their simplicity!

Meera Rao said...

Crystal,Thank you very much! I like how you said 'liquid look' !

Meera Rao said...

Thank you Sandy, Always an honor to hear from you !

Meera Rao said...

Irina, Thanks! That is my problem too-even though I like to see white/empty space, I never know how to achieve it!

Meera Rao said...

B, Thank you for your appreciation and the name of the flower :)

Meera Rao said...

Kathy, thank you! Good to hear from you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...