Janine Ibbotson

Zen Enso Circle Art and Practice Blog

Blog about the art and practice of drawing the Zen Enso Circle.

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Playing with Color

©Janine Ibbotson, "Cart Wheel," watercolor and ink on rice paper with Well Frog seal, 2014.

©Janine Ibbotson, "Cart Wheel," watercolor and ink on rice paper with Well Frog seal, 2014.

In the book, A Zen Wave, Robert Aitken talks about how haiku poets play with the three lines of their art form. He says that the word haiku means “play verse.” In a similar way, when drawing colored enso’s, I play with color and how it is conveyed in the brushstroke. I dip my brush in multiple colors of paint or ink then draw a circle.

I look and see what kind of brushstroke was created. If I like it, I might do the same thing again. Or I might change the proportion of the colors that I use or the way that I hold the brush. With this image, the brush was mostly blue but I dipped the edge of it in black ink.