Sumi Ink, Foray 1

I am an emotional mess these days. I know why–the two-year anniversary of my father’s death is approaching. No matter how much I try to prepare for it, I never can quite be ready. I know it takes time and you never forget loved ones, especially your parents, but January always reminds me of everything. What I did, what I didn’t do and most importantly how much I miss him.  This means that for the next month I’ll remain an emotional mess. I’ll cry. A lot. Most importantly, I’ll just be.

The reason I’m sharing the emotion and my father’s passing is because I firmly believe he’s behind me 100% of the way in my decision to start this stationery company. It was a bit over a month after his passing that I had my dream about paper and stationery and I firmly believe he follows me and wants me to be happy and successful in this endeavor.

The other reason I’m sharing this is because my father was very present in my Sumi Ink class this afternoon and I was emotional.  More emotional than I expected and I think that’s because the instructor practices Buddhism and he had me think about life and experiences in a way not done before.  Our instructor today was Max Gimblett and I loved him the minute we started speaking.  In the first 10 minutes he showed us slides of paper that I immediately loved and wanted to touch, talked about Holocaust and Polish Tourism and Judaism, and how with age comes a sense of unattachment.  And so as we proceeded, I knew with every fiber of my being that I was meant to be there.

From the minute that tears started forming in my eyes while listening to Max speak, to learning that my table partner was from Italy and that we both painted the number seven in the portrait that was for painting the number that seemed very relevant to us now, or is our favorite, I knew that I was pursuing my dream. And I was happy.

I need a few more practice classes. I also need to learn how to stroke with more vigor as Max said, but, I think that I may just take up Sumi Ink when I get to Japan because I am definitely interested in exploring not just Sumi Ink painting, but Asian calligraphies (more on calligraphy in a future posting). Here are some photos of the work I kept from class.


I asked if I could take pictures during class, but was told not to because it would distrupt the energy of the class. I obliged and I’m glad I did.

I think if Max is in your area, you should definitely take up a class with him. It’s worth the $60 I paid for the class and I really enjoyed everything that I learned. Read a blurb about it on the Japan Society’s website.


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s2 stationery & designs

A rule-breaking designer, artist & entrepreneur who's passionate about paper and handcrafting stationery. I also write, travel, and focus on eco + social good.

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