Selection of brushes 

Sen Shin

Materials and Process



Taking inspiration from Shodo (see 'Sen Shin'  and 'Talisman Tree' opposite) I try to absorb the meaning of the 'zengo' and apply it to a tree that resonates with that meaning for me.  This uplifting tree which has strength, grace and balance fits so well with the zengo Sen Shin which means “...Wash off all worldly desires and confused imagination from your soul to purify it...” - Shozo Sato.  I paint each brushstroke with awareness and absorbtion.


 All of the pieces are painted using handmade brushes and very dilute acrylic paint.  I use handmade Japanese paper when possible as each piece of paper retains the character of the maker.  The larger tree banners are painted on unbleached Kozo which has been made using machine processes.  I paint on the ground in Kew Gardens or if I have managed to grow suitable plants I paint on my studio floor.  I stretch and iron the paper once the painting is complete and apply bookbinder's paste to a simple wooden batten for easy hanging that allows the full sheet of paper to be seen.

Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood', Kew Gardens and Hansarashi Kozo

Light through Shoji paper - unbleached Kozo paper banners

Handmade Kozo paper from top to bottom:  Yuumashi, Washi Artist - Elaine Cooper, Rakushikan and Hansarashi