Sumi painting of a pig by Russ Mead

Notes on this painting

I attempt to capture the spirit of a subject in only a few brush strokes. When I painted the pig’s full body, the personality was lost.  As soon as I focused on the snout, eyes, ears, and mouth, the paintings came to life. In particular, when I added a crooked smile to the pig, this painting went from ink on paper, to the representation of an individual with mischief on her mind.

Thoughts on pigs

I worked at “Farm Sanctuary”, the first farm animal sanctuary in the United States. I came to learn that pigs are a lot like people. Each pig has their own personality. The pigs I met included sweet nurturers, ambitious diggers, bullies and even pranksters.

About Zen ink brush painting
The art form has many different names. The most descriptive is ink brush painting or even just Zen painting. People around the world have been practicing this art form for over 2000 years.  One goal is to capture the spirit of a subject with a minimal number of brush strokes. Once the brush hits the paper, the ink cannot be reworked.

Traditionally, the same subject is painted over and over.  This is both to master painting the subject as well as provide focus and stability in the artist’s life.  Tools of the craft include an ink stick made of pitch and soot, an ink grinding stone, paper, and a brush capable of making a thin line as well as a broad stroke.
I am an animal rights lawyer living in Seattle, Washington. I have worked to pass laws to reduce animal cruelty, rescued animals from large scale animal hoarders and natural disasters such as hurricane Katrina, and educate others in the field of animal law. This art allows me to connect with the spirit of these animals. Selling the art allows others to connect with the animals in a way that can only be achieved through art.

I sell these painting, originals, not prints, size 8×10 matted to 11×14 for $25.00.
Size 18×24, originals, not prints, sent in a mailing tube are $75.00.


Artist Zen Ink Wash