Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Have you heard about Sumi ink painting?

The Annunciation by Sandro Botticelli, 1489,
Tempera on panel, 150 cm × 156 cm (59 in × 61 in), Uffizi, Florence

Every year last week of September "Las fiestas de San Gabriel" (Celebrations of San Gabriel) takes place in the neighborhood square where we live. During these fiesta nights. While I work in my studio I hear the lovely Canarian folk songs. As you may know San Gabriel is an angel who typically serves as a messenger sent from God to certain people. I am sharing a beautiful painting by Sandro Botticelli (see pic above). "The Annunciation", in which Gabriel visiting Virgin Mary to tell her that she has been divinely impregnated and will bear the Christ.

Sumi ink Painting Set

Last weekend`s full moon was incredibly beautiful. It was a little bit cloudy that night and the moon looked much more dramatic than usual. I read somewhere on the net that 33 years ago, the last time the moon was this much closer to the earth. To celebrate this historical moment, I wanted to create an artwork with a new material and opened my brand new Sumi painting set. 

Sumi-e 2000 year-old art form of Japanese brush painting is spiritually rooted in Zen Buddhism. Sumi-e's earliest practitioners were highly disciplined monks trained in the art of concentration, clarity, and simplicity. Sumi is made from the soot of pine branches selected from trees in the beautiful groves on the mountainsides close to Nara and Suzuka. These two regions of Japan are prized for the highest quality ink. In harmony with the environment, Master Sumi Ink artisans create ink from the purest, natural materials. 

After watching lots of YouTube videos and reading very useful information about how to use Sumi ink with its special brushes I painted September's full moon (see pics below) sketch. I am trying how to control the ink with tick brushes which is very difficult. At first try, I used the first page of the little sketchbook of the Sumi set. The paper was thin but double folded in each page, so the ink didn't bleed to the next page. It's genius! I would love to make more of these, perhaps a series of nocturne paintings for this sketchbook. If you collect artist sketchbooks please contact me.  Have a great day!

work in progress 

Sketch of September's Full moon, by Birsen Ozbilge, sumi ink on rice paper.

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Looking Up for Clouds to Paint

I saw on today's news "Alerta Amarilla" (orange alarm) rain. That's why we had beautiful clouds yesterday afternoon. The sky was crisp blue clouds were patched like cotton balls. We walked up on the hill to see the ocean view. It was about 8:00 pm, every 2-4 minutes landscape was changing its colors and cloud shapes. So,  I tried to memorize the view of three clouds and the sea with roof tops. On return to the studio I worked with oil pastels. (see pic above)

Quick sketch draing en plain air, Telde 

The other day I did a drawing sketch in the Park. Usually I use my pocket sketch book, but this time I used a little bigger (A4) size paper. It was an after noon seen, with kids skating and people walking with their dogs. I found a lovely fountain surrounded by natural volcanic rocks so, I decided to draw the fountain closest object in the composition. The clock tower is very modern in the middle of the park as it sets in the composition as well. (see pic above)

Street Art by Case_Maclaim (Burrero village in Gran Canaria)

We have been enjoying our neighborhood Burrero's graffiti painted walls a lot. A few years ago there was an international Graffiti Festival here. This festival was every two years and it happened two times only, so many talented artists left behind great street artworks. I want to share few of them with you. I don't know the names of the artists but you can see their signature in some of them. If you know the artist just let me know, so I can update the info. Enjoy it! Have a great weekend.

Street Art from Burrero's International Graffiti Festival

Street Art from Burrero's International Graffiti Festival

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Monday, September 7, 2015

My first Moonrise painting en Plein Air with Oil Pastels

This weekend we went out to see the annual music festival in Burrero beach. First night I had chance to observe the sky. I saw the moonrise around 2:00 am and in about half an hour reached to its highest point. First few minutes had incredible view, as it looked like a slice of golden orange reflecting the light to the sea. The second night I was prepared for making a quick oil pastel sketch of the moonrise. I tried to paint as much as quick because almost every minute the view and light were changing. So at the end I made a quick sketch and later on added some details at the studio. I really liked working with night light en plain air, will try it again with other mediums. I used white watercolor cold press paper to  use the grain wholes leaving blank so they looked like the stars. Lots of blending with smudging tool. (see pic below)

work in progress with smudging tool

A September night at Playa del Burrero by Birsen Ozbilge, 
27,5 x 21 cm., Sakura Cray- Pas Expressionist oil pastels 
on Rembrandt pastel paper

Finally I finished editing "CactuSueños" Exhibition clip. I created cactus related paintings and mosaic artworks during the first 10 years of my residency in Canary Islands. It was an on and off project, in between I had other solo and collective shows. Anyways, If you haven't had chance to see this exhibition now you can enjoy it! The exhibition held by the art gallery of University of Las Palmas for a month and a half last year in February. 53 pieces of artworks and a video installation exhibited. 
(see full exhibition pdf e-book at my website under media/press section) If you are interested in with any of these artworks, please e-mail me. (click at contact

CactuSueños Exhibition clip, click on image to watch

Have a great week!

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