A book is for life, not just for Christmas.

Sea of Ink

Last weekend in Seaways Bookshop in Fishguard I found a treasure. It sat on the shelf, cover facing outwards, a beautifully produced book, Sea of Ink, translated by Jamie Bullock, written by Michael Weihe.

” A beautiful novella in 51 short chapters and 11 pictures about the life of Baba Shanren, one of the most influential Chinese painters of all times.”

The book, it suggested, can be read in a couple of hours, like watching a film, but don’t do that. Sometimes just read one of the chapters and then take a while to think, about ink, about brushes, about what makes you paint, or sing or do whatever it is you do.

Looking further into Peirene I find that they are a small publisher who produce only 3 books a year. They have a facebook page, you can subscribe to them ( I suppose in the way people once subscribed to the Puffin club), a brilliant idea. You can also buy subscriptions to a year, or two for a friend. Such a wonderful birthday or Christmas present.

Sea of Ink came into my hands at just the right time. I love the swift making of paintings in ink, the holding in the mind’s eye the image, grinding the ink and sweeping the brush across the page. It is a form of painting that comes closest to meditation I think and this is a book I will return to time and again.

I am often asked how I developed my ‘style’. A curious question as a style to me implies an artifice that is disingenuous. Rather I have a language in which I paint, and subjects I chose to paint and this has developed using time and experience. Michael Weihe explains it far better than I. If you click on the image it will enlarge so that you can read chapter 33. ( Many thanks to my able studio assistants for holding open the page and making sure the grindstone didn’t move.)

Chapter 33. Many thanks to my very able new studio assistant, Genji, for holding open the page.

So, this is why I love independent bookshops. Because in them you can find treasure that may well change the way you look at the world.

Peirene also do marvelous events. Thank goodness for people with visions of beauty.

To see the beauty of a life spent sailing a sea of ink have a look on google images.

About Jackie

I am an artist and writer. I live in a small house by the sea in Wales where I write, paint, walk and watch and dream of bears and whales. I love to read, have a wish for wings and prefer the company of animals to that of humans, though at times I can be quite friendly. I am learning how to work with wood engraving tools and hoping to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
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5 Responses to A book is for life, not just for Christmas.

  1. Thank you so much for finding and posting this. You have single handedly solved the dilemma of my Mother in Law’s present. She is a reader of European fiction, she is also Finnish. Low and behold the first of the coming books… Well I will say no more, these are perfect and should be much loved.

    PS if you have not yet read it can I recommend Yuko Ogawa: The Professor and the Housekeeper, one of Monica’s gifts to me.

  2. Ana says:

    What a wonderful post, book, publisher… Thank you!

  3. Tammie says:

    thank you, this sounds wonderful!

  4. Pingback: #IBW2013 no 4: Seaways Bookshop, Castle Street, Fishguard. | Jackie Morris Artist

  5. Pingback: #IBW2013 no 4: Seaways Bookshop, Castle Street, Fishguard. | Jackie Morris Artist

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