Sumi-e (ink-picture) has its roots in Chinese calligraphy and Japanese Zen Buddhism. It is about a minimum of brush strokes and a maximum of imagination. The goal is to show the very essence of the subject (often from nature). Working with ink on highly absorbent paper makes it impossible to correct anything or to work slowly. It is a technique in which you have to look very carefully and put something down in one go. You need to empty, open up. Until you touch the very essence of your subject in lines and spots, light and dark and leaving paper blank. Van der Aalsvoort has been focusing on sumi-e for more than ten years and was taught by sumi-e painter Komori Fumio in Kyoto. She has developed her own style, for example by also using colour and in freedom of subjects.

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