A sumi zen ink wash painting of a breaching whale by Russ Mead.

Notes on this painting

I attempt to capture the spirit of a subject in only a few brush strokes. In the wild we seldom see more than the whale fluke. I incorporate a wide brush for the whale body outline and a very thin outline of the fluke edge.  To give the appearance of this massive body, the whale’s body is shaded.

Thoughts on Whales

Seeing a whale fluke up close will take your breath away. These whales have the agility of a gymnast with the power of a locomotive.  I have seen whales breach the water’s surface in the Puget Sound as well as in the wilds of Alaska. I celebrate the birth of each new whale when reported by whale preservationists.




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