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Japanese ink painting, also known as suibokuga or sumi-e

is a creation of pure energy of an artist submerged in a meditative state.

The art of sumi-e ink painting

could be compared to the art of rock climbing, where moves are slow and supple when needed, whereas sometimes the body is trusted with full power towards a perfect spot, exploding in a split second with unconstrained energy to move higher, and lift the body weight upwards. Similarly, on paper, the delicate ink lines disappear or are cut off in half abruptly, to reappear soaked in kinetic energy pouring out of our souls, to finally retain our thoughts and energy within the strokes, the energy that rules our creative minds.

Techniques applied in Japanese ink painting

continuously improve when I paint.
Mariusz Szmerdt Sumi-e Art Gallery

The energy and dynamism of ink painting

is a never-ending journey that leads me to discovering new lands. Only black ink, calligraphy or ink painting paper, brushes, inkstone, water and me. The meditative monotony of hand movement, gently grinding ink on the inkstone, sets free a whole new spectrum of possibilities, brewing new ideas out of soot, animal glue and water, as if it was a master alchemist. Whenever I tend to reach my destination, new planes are being revealed to me. It is a real of unknown dimensions, where the only guides are my mind and brush, and the traces for next generations to follow, who may take up on a similar journey, are the traces of ink left on paper. Person admiring ink painting art, follows the spiritual path designed by the brush strokes, and, without realising it, he is kidnapped for an adventure into the world of art within art, marked by the harmony between white space and splashes, made in all possible shades of black and grey.

Japanese ink painting suibokuga, or sumi-e

is like climbing up the mountain. When still at the base of the mountain, we fail to appreciate its monumental size. However, once we begin our climb, through studies and careful assessment of self, we start to see things from a different perspective. Our moves are more precise and controlled, and our strength grows. Slowly, the border between the subject and the artist dissipates, and becomes the act of creation.
If I was asked, what the Far Eastern ink painting means to me, I would say it is a symphony of ink, a symphony that does not fade, and never repeats its themes. When I listen to it closely, and I am made to believe that the music will cease, I am awakened by a tone of most delicate nature, that takes me away on the back of a sound wave, far into the wild, where no one has yet dared to enter.


Mariusz Szmerdt

22.02.2013 Sumi-e

English translations of all the articles within the site: Ponte Ryuurui


  1. Posted August 20, 2013 at 7:49 am by carmela | Permalink

    amo tutto quello che è oriente…
    la sua arte maestro mi è entrata nell’anima….
    Cordiali Saluti

  2. Posted September 16, 2013 at 3:00 pm by Orlando Sanchez | Permalink

    Marius you are truly talented. Thank you for sharing your work with us. In regards to the T-shirts is it possible to make one for karate?

    • Posted September 16, 2013 at 4:34 pm by Mariusz Szmerdt | Permalink

      Hi Orlando.
      Yes, as I’m going to implement a hand painted t-shirts to a permanent offer, karate will be too.
      Just please follow.

  3. Posted March 20, 2014 at 7:47 pm by mike sims | Permalink

    Great description of the art! i am just beginning the journey!!

  4. Posted March 11, 2015 at 4:51 pm by maurizio | Permalink

    Good afternoon Mr. Mariusz Szmerdt,
    I’m Maurzio from Bologna and I love Your drawings .
    I should produce a line of scarves made ​​of 20 different designs in a limited edition of 50 pieces each .
    My wish would be to buy 20 of Yours drawings and use them for my product .
    Would you be interested in the project ?
    I guarantee seriousness and if You wants to advance payment .
    Please contact me

    Best regards

    Maurizio Cavigliano

  5. Posted March 29, 2015 at 4:55 pm by Fanny | Permalink

    Hello Mr. Mariusz Szmerdt, I’m really impressed by your art work. Thank you for share it. I’m planning to spend a month in Japan this summer and I would love to take sumi-e classes while I’m there. I’m searching in internet but I don’t find anything… do you know by any chance a place or school in japan?
    Thank you very much!

    • Posted March 29, 2015 at 7:47 pm by Mariusz Szmerdt | Permalink

      Where do you go?

      • Posted March 30, 2015 at 9:03 pm by Fanny | Permalink

        I’m thinkig somewhere near Kyoto, as I practice zazen and I would like to spend some time in a temple meditating aswell. I’ve heard that there are many temples in Kyoto.
        I suposed doing both things at the same time would be great but must be dificult to fit… so I could be like 2 weeks meditating and 2 weeks learning sumi-e.
        Thanks a lot for your quick answer! :-)
        Best regards,

  6. Posted August 31, 2015 at 8:38 pm by David | Permalink

    Hi I am starting a skateboard company and I wanted to do
    Something unique I wanted to create skateboards with some original art work in the sumi e style.

    I would like to know if you can do some art work for us that we can purchase and put on our skateboards.



  7. Posted September 11, 2015 at 6:04 am by adela | Permalink

    I want to practice Sumi-e that I learned long time ago. thanks.

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