I’ve been doing a lot of research recently on ink wash painting. I think the most immediate thing that stood out to me is that, on some base level, this medium can be seen as a study of diffusion and envelope. There is an attack, sustain, decay, and release in each stroke. As ink is pulled, it loses density. In a way, this makes the final product a documented temporal experience. Careful articulations of color within a field of negative space create an organic blend and transition of static and kinetic energy with the existing surface and the deliberate additions to it. Once painted, it cannot be changed or erased. This makes the medium physically and mentally demanding process as well.

Technicalities aside, there are evocative implications within the philosophy of the technique. Although I have been unable to find a single and specific source for the theory, an explanation found on Wikipedia truly resonated with me and my compositional approach. Stating; The goal of ink and wash painting is not simply to reproduce the appearance of the subject, but to capture its spirit. To paint a horse, the ink wash painting artist must understand its temperament better than its muscles and bones. To paint a flower, there is no need to perfectly match its petals and colors, but it is essential to convey its liveliness and fragrance. East Asian ink wash painting may be regarded as a form of expressionistic art that captures the unseen. In landscape painting, the scenes depicted are typically imaginary, or very loose adaptations of actual views, from which the artist may have been very distant.”

Lighter Shades, to me, plays out as a distant and happy tapestry of idealized memories: a Personal mythology of an imaginary landscape. Perhaps I was never there; I don’t remember anything anyone said or exactly what I saw, but I remember what it felt like. I hate to use the term “abstract expressionism” (or abstract impressionism), but nothing is concrete and yet there is still something to smile about. A clouded feeling of warmth and comfort. Foggy, but certainly not dark.

Garrison Gerard - Conductor
Alaina Clarice - Flute
Morgan Horning - Soprano
Ted Powell - Piano
Mia Detwiler - Violin
Michael Moore - Viola
Kourtney Newton - Cello