Oil and sumi ink are the two techniques I am using in my paintings. But if oil painting, consisting in overlaying successive brush strokes, can be characterized as an «art by addition», I am considering ink wash painting (sumi-e), which consists in expressing shades and depth by washing out ink and water in the depth of paper, as being «art by subtraction».
When painting a sumi-e, the painting is already completed in my mind. Steadily eliminating the useless lines, I start to move the brush after having determined the least number of strokes needed to express the inspired subject. As, in the blink of an eye, the work could finish in the waste bin, this operation cannot be avoided. By nature a minimalist, I tend to simplify the things I see in my paintings, but having been influenced as well by sumi-e, I paint «by subtraction» too when using the oil technique.
Before initiating the act of painting, I look at the paper, brush in hand, quietly, as long as it takes. Peacefully, I create inside my head until a complete grasp of the painting to be created is reached, a process that must probably be baffling for many people. Many times, I have been asked why I do not paint in a progressive flow: think while painting, add until satisfactory.
As a matter of fact, the drama cannot begin if I do not, beforehand, internalize and conceptualize the subject. In my view, the artist is as well a scriptwriter as a producer, and the part of colors, which are the performers, cannot come into play if, at that stage, the direction the drama is going to take is not to a great extent foretold in my mind. This is why one painting takes time to a point even I myself will be amazed.
Both subtraction and evolution of the drama through addition are alive on my canvasses. My hope is that the spectators of my works will lend an ear to the lines they express and participate to the interaction they are calling for.