Kigel Studio

Xiexi vs. Gombi

Oriental brush work, consists of many styles of painting originating in China centuries ago and spreading throughout Japan and Korea.  "Freely controlled" brush strokes create the trademark of sumi painting.  Its essential tools, called "the four treasures," are the brush, ink, ink stone, and paper.  The brush, specially made in the Orient of bamboo and animal hair, forms a resilient paint reservoir unequaled by that of the Western brush.  The ink, or sumi, shaped from soot and glue into a stick, is slowly ground with water on an ink stone to make fresh ink before each painting session.  And the absorbent, hand-made paper, generically called rice paper, may be raw or sized.  Basic sumi-e techniques entail a variety of brush strokes and ink tones to which color is often added.  Sources of color include powdered jade, white pearl, rattan, and other natural elements.  Integral to the composition of all sumi paintings is the red chop, or carved stone stamp, which can signify the artist's name, hometown, or a bit of philosophy.  Kigel's work displays a variety of styles from purely Oriental to a combination of Oriental and Western.

A native of Maine, Kigel delights in capturing the essence of local flowers and fauna.  She specializes in the xiexi, or spontaneous style, creating loose, bold strokes - a series of splashes and plane side by side in seeming discontinuity - giving the magical appearance of things.  In contrast, she also paints in the gombi, or elaborate style, meticulously layering color on sized rice paper.  Kigel's mood chop, hand carved in China, translates to whispering waves, symbolic of the wind and water of her Back Cove, Maine Studio and home.



Inspired by the beauty of her native Maine, Kigel paints representational watercolors, often creating a series of the same subjects using Winsor Newton paints on D'Arches, acid-free paper.  Kigel's works are available with museum quality matting and frames.  Commission work is accepted and shipping is available.

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