Hoe de Sumi-e tocht begon…

Sumi-e… What’s that? Japanese inkdrawing. How did you start doing that?

Coïncidence doesn’t exist…

I am fascinated by Asia since childhood. That didn’t change after Etienne Geeurickx braught me back to painting in 2003. Although drawing and painting were a piece of me for sure there had been something holding me back. I had even thrown away most of my paint and pencils when I was invited to Etienne’s studio.

I saw a painting on his desk. I couldn’t stop myself from commenting. It actually was an experiment of his. He replied:”Hey, but if you see that then you must be a painter!”.

What followed was a series of encounters and me getting back to painting. After a while I longed for some more technique without entering an academy. So I went to Moulin de Perrot where I met Alain Bonnefoit and his sumi-e inspired paintings. What a coïncidence!

Why Sumi-e?


How come it had such an effect on me. Because indeed, it looks simple but it is everything except easy. And good materials are quite hard to find in Europe. But then again you learn and experience so much while practicing that it becomes more than an art form, it’s a tool for personal growth too.

Sumi-e or Suibokuga

Both literally mean “inkdrawing” in their own languages. Japanese and Chinese to be precise. What started in China evolved to a very different result in Japan. Black ink painting was braught there by the Zen-monks in the 14th century. It was exclusively practised in temples for a long time. There are many differences between the 2 of them. In sumi-e for instance you limit the strokes to the bare minimum. In suibokuga there are often too many strokes ;-)

With this blog I hope to inspire people to give it a try. West and East. Including Japanese. They should be aware that a very beautiful part of their culture is getting lost in translation…