Wabi-Sabi-ish Painting

Pink Watercolor by Mary Gow
“Wabi Pink,” watercolor on paper by Mary Gow.

Recently I took “Wabi Sabi Abstract Painting” with Sherrie Lovler. (A few years ago I took a two day class with Sherrie called “Calligraphic Abstraction,” in person, in Sebastopol, Calif.). This Wabi Sabi class was virtual thanks to the O’Hanlon Center For The Arts in Mill Valley, Calif. The whole class description is here.

I might already be painting wabi-sabi style and not know it. Going with the flow and relaxing into what is – is that what wabi-sabi is about?

After some research I found out wabi-sabi is about finding beauty in every aspect of imperfection. Perfectly imperfect.

Could spontaneous, automatic, gestural painting also be synonymous with wabi-sabi?

In the class we reviewed what wabi-sabi art is. We practiced painting the enso – fluid circles early in the class. With Sherrie leading the way with suggestions on starting our paintings, we went through the exercise of creating a few compositions.

This pink purple exploration is what flowed yesterday morning.

Here’s one piece I created in Sherrie’s class.

Mary Gow- Wabi-Sabi-Painting-2021
Wabi-Sabi Painting by Mary Gow

At times I found myself ‘working at” creating something to look naturally at ease without trying. I made a few examples of pieces I wanted to share with the class that I felt were truly wabi-sabi — many I felt were my explorations ink brush work. . . which I loved.

My natural artistic painting style is to go with the flow of what I’m feeling. . . enjoy the process more than fixate on what the end must look like.