Previously, I wrote about learning as a tool for managing the sadness accompanying home isolation and the losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. I wrote about my new studies of the natural world through nature journaling, and bird watching. With the entire West Coast suffering from historic wildfires, neither of these activities are now a healthy option. For the second time this year, I find myself homebound. Once again, I looked for something new to learn.
The air quality here in Portland, Oregon is so hazardous I’ve not ventured to my studio, which is in a very old building I suspect of dubious ventilation. Instead, I am teaching myself sumi-e ink painting at home. I researched brushes, and learned to make ink by grinding an ink stick on stone. I have not mastered the Four Gentlemen, and am still learning how much to dilute the ink for a variety of tones, but everyday I think I improve. The lighting in these photos is poor, lending itself to the smokey quality of our environment at this historic moment, so I include it.