Category Archives: Kanji


Artist By-the-Sea 2 - 6-2014 WATERMARKThis collage combines watercolors, Japanese brush painting & my photography.  It reminds me of how my artist work table often looks.  A work of love painted from the heart by an artist by-the-sea.



Peony flowers practice 6-5-2014 - 4 WATERMARK

Tree Peony Kanji

After it has dropped,

the image of a peony

haunts me.

–       Buson

Japanese brush paintings of tree peony flowers painted on Chinese calligraphy practice paper. This method of painting Peony flowers is with traditional brush painting strokes.

Peony ink sketches 5-2013 WATERMARK

This method of painting Peonies is a “line drawing” technique.  I really like “line drawing” because it is just sketching with a paintbrush in my hand instead of a pencil.  I like how it makes me really look at how the Peony flower lives.  Painting these beautiful flowers “portraits” is a real pleasure.   

It’s always helpful to sketch your painting subject from real life, but if I don’t have live Peony flowers in front of me, I paint from my photos.  These photos were taken of Peony flowers at & purchased from Trader Joe’s.

 I would like to say here that painting from my photos is different than getting an image off of the internet because when I look at my photos, I’m remembering the moment I was in their prescence, how they smelled, the weather, etc.  This helps me paint as if they are real and not just a photo.  Knowing your painting subject is necessary to paint from your heart. 

One of the things I love about Peonies is that their buds are just round globes of tightly curled flower petals.  I don’t think any other flower has “globes” for buds.    

Peony flowers are heavily perfumed.   They are often painted with butterflies & bees.  Ants love peonies, too!  There are lots of Japanese Haikus about Peonies with butterflies & bees.  Traditional brush paintings of Peony flowers often include these insects.

 Peony practice painting on the left with “ghost” Peony painting on the right.  This was caused by an extra sheet of paper accidentally left under the piece I was painting on. Chinese calligraphy practice paper is very thin & fragile.  It’s a bit annoying to know that I’ve “wasted” a piece of paper, but on the other hand the “ghost” image is very ethereal & lovely.   I’m sure this “ghost” Peony will end up in a collage.

Peony flowers practice 6-5-2014 - 9 WATERMARK

Then the peonies

extinguishing all others…

opened their petals.

–       Kiichi

Peony Sumi Ink Instructions 6-5-2014 WATERMARK

Peony Brush Painting Instructions

The most important things to know about painting Peony flowers is to load your brush with dark ink or color on the tip of the brush, keep the tip of the brush on the inside of the flower petal, paint the flower petals with a “rolling brush motion”, start your flower with a center “cup” & then paint the flower petals around the cup in an irregular shape.  Painting Peony flowers is one of my favorite subjects to paint, but I think that might be because I really love these beauties!


Beach sand kanji with rock 3-1-2014Down at the beach today & thought I’d try my hand at writing kanji in the sand.  This kanji is the word BEACH.

Sea sand kanji 3-1-2014& this one is SEA

Seashell sand kanji - mussell 3-1-2014& here is SEASHELL with a mussell shell along side.Beach sand kanji 3-1-2014

& here is BEACH next to a giant kelp frond.  It was fun!