A sumi zen ink wash painting of a dragon fly by Russ Mead.

Dragonfly painting

This is one of my simplest paintings. It has just five brush strokes. I start at the tail and make the line wider until I reach the head. Then with a push of the brush the head appears. A real breakthrough happened on this design when I was painting in front of a crowd at an art fair and my brush went dry. The ink on the brush started skipping. The result was a wing that had a translucent appearance, much like a live dragonfly. That has been a key element of this design ever since.

Thoughts on Dragonfly
Dragonflies are some of the most fascinating animals on earth. The have been flying around for 300 million years. They can fly like a fixed wing airplane, then stop and hover mid-flight like a helicopter. They can fly straight up as well as straight down. Some migrate 11 thousand miles. And if that is not enough, they mate in midair.

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