LAURIS PHILLIPS SUMI-E

Statement

 Over a span of forty years I have used charcoal, oils and various water-based paints to translate my inspirations and energy into two dimensions.  In 2006, inspired by exposure to Japanese painting, Zen and a desire for a non-toxic medium, I began painting with Japanese ink/Sumi.

In Sumi I found the simplest and most challenging medium I've encountered.  Painting with this black ink made of soot is startlingly honest.  It exposes intimately the energy of the painter in the moment of painting and is unforgiving of attempts at modification.  At the heart of Sumi-e/ink-painting, is a dance between effort and accident; intention and surrender.  To this I have added the variable of "wild" handmade brushes, which I make of coyote, raccoon, weasel, fox and squirrel fur with homegrown bamboo handles.  Recently, I have been grinding natural, found pigments such as charcoal, silts and eggshells to make non-toxic watercolors.

I paint to explore the essence of mark-making.  Simultaneously with rendering the natural, each stroke can be seen as an abstract mark on paper.  At times I use calligraphy as a starting point for improvisation and abstraction, where I can delight in the movement of the brush, ink and mark for their own sake.  A constant in my process has been an awareness of the receptivity inherent in creativity; the emptying and listening that are as much a part of making a mark as the activity itself.

My intention is that the life energy of my subjects can be conveyed to you, the viewer, so that we can marvel together at the mystery.

I am a California native, educated in Fine Art at the University of California at Santa Cruz and at the University of Washington, Seattle. I now live in Northern California.

Solo Exhibitions since 2000

2015 - October - DESERT ESSENCE: Borrego Art InstituteBorrego Springs, CA

2015 - March - BIRDS & TRACES OF BIRDS: Piante Gallery Eureka, CA

2014 - June & July - MOVING MOMENT/BAJA'S WILDLIFE IN SUMI: Japanese Friendship Garden/Balboa Park-San Diego, CA

2012 - SUMI PAINTINGS FROM THE DESERT COAST OF BAJA: Persimmons Gallery - Redway, CA 

2012 - INSPIRED BY CALLIGRAPHY: Madrone Gallery - Garberville, CA

2012 - SUMI PAINTINGS FROM THE DESERT COAST OF BAJA: Art Center - Eureka, CA

2008 - SHELLS IN OILS & SUMI Persimmons Garden Gallery - Redway, CA

2005 - DRAWINGS IN CHARCOAL & PASTEL: Trillium - Redway, CA

Articles

2015 - Interview with Bob Doran / The Hum:   http://www.wildberries.com/the-hum/zen-art-birds-flying-still/

Group Exhibitions since 2000

2017 - BLUE at Sebastopol Center for the Arts / June 16 - July 22

2016 - International Crane Festival - Lodi, CA

2009-2017 - Southern Humboldt Summer Arts Fair: participant with Daishu-in West, Rinzai Zen Temple - Benbow, CA 

2013 - Arcata Arts Fair: participant with Daishu-in West, Rinzai Zen Temple - Arcata, CA 

2012 - Artists of the Emerald Coast:  Mateel Community Center - Redway, CA

2007 - A Body of Work: Elverhoj Museum of Art & History - Solvang, CA

2003 - Women Who Paint & Draw Women: Earth Gallery - Garberville, CA

2001 - Degrees of Abstraction: sponsored by Santa Barbara Arts Commission,

           Channing Peake Gallery - Santa Barbara, CA  

2000 to 2001 - Represented by Caruso/Woods Gallery - Santa Barbara, CA

2000 - Equine Essence:  Buttonwood Winery - Solvang, CA

Education

 1980 - BA – University of California, Santa Cruz – studio art

 1986/87 - University of Washington, Seattle – painting

 1987 - Licensure in Massage Therapy, Seattle, WA

 1987-2013 - Continued Education in and Practice of Massage Therapy