Good Morning Sunshine! Thoughts on art therapy and an explanation of Shibui.

This was exactly how the sun came in at times in the big old house I lived in as a child. How can you not respond to such sunlight? Its radiance and warmth? It made me feel all was well with my immediate world.

Good Morning! Black coffee to the right! It’s in my “I love grandma” cup. I went for a second cup. I still have the “bed braid” running down my back. I will put a clip in this because I am excited about the books that came in the mail. At last info about how the brain works, (two books) and another about art therapy, which I already own. I will pass this one on to Julia a budding instructor of Shibui Found Image Art. Her own development is wonderful! Although we are not art therapists we should understand their roles if we are to work with them. So, a bit of self-education. My goal is to develop a tool that they can use it. I hope to get feedback on how it works for art therapists. But first, the manual, complied with what I have learned about the creative process of Shibui. It is an important point to make artists are not art therapists, nor am I as a developer. Those who make such claims should not no matter how therapeutic their art may be. They should see it as teaching skills that can help people without making claims to sell what they do. yes, Art is therapeutic, but that is not the point. I do happen to understand some things as I was going for my MA in Art therapy. I do research to answer questions for myself, that I can ask intelligent questions. But research and incites do not sum up to a degree.

A bit about Shibui

I have not heard of anyone doing what I am doing. There are things out there on creativity and the mind. I am beginning to find them. The mind itself and how it works are not fully understood. I am very curious about what is known. My question is “How does the mind work as it moves through the creative process?” How does it heal? What do we know about this? Are there things people can do to make the mind heal quicker? We know we respond to color, and that people see colors uniquely as they do, it can be similar or a different tint is my understanding. My first husband saw red as pink. I know this as I would be looking at something red, and he would call it pink. I think darker reds were reds for him.

When it comes to Shibui: My question is does healing happen if we can focus longer as we create. Then does this mean problem-solving art is the way to go with art therapy? And then is this true for everyone using that particular objective. What are the exceptions? And how do you get around them? What is creating this exception? Belief? Brain Damage? Is there a need to train the mind so that there is a familiarity with objects? by this I mean training the mind by spending time with certain shapes, colors, and other images for example? We know that the mind files away info, and this info is called up, the mind predicts what we want or what we think of. New information is stored, and the mind will go to this more or with the old information? The mind loves to learn. For example, once people learn the problem-solving nature of finding events in a Shibui foundation, we the developers of Shibui are finding “events” quicker, as well as interpreting what the field of a foundation is. We are understanding; seeing the possibilities with the edges of wet mediums quicker. To marry what is in the field is design work. Events are what stand out and can become something.

The following is from the manual I am writing about Shibui Found Image Art. A few thoughts about the design work of Shibui. “There are seven elements of interior design, these are considered building blocks of design. These are space, lines, form, light, color, texture, and pattern. All are components of Shibui Found Image Art. They can be manipulated to create an overall design that satisfies the function of a space. In the case of Shibui, it is the foundation that holds the “space” within the confines of the size of the paper used.

There are differences in the application of Shibui and traditional art forms. The reason for this is there is no pre-drawn understructure. Yet, all are things to consider when building (problem-solving) a Shibui. When working on a foundation we are building on its components through stages. First, we are looking at the space of the foundation. The field is that space to be worked. The action art creates what I call marks for a lack of a better term, these marks are splatters, drips, drops runs, etc. Once a foundation has dried and we begin to solve the puzzle before us we find what is there. What we see, what has triggered the mind so that it finds identifiable things, possibilities? What has the mind predicted? Once those events are found, and we determine what will be the event, and what will be a part of the field, We set to the task of defining the Shibui. We work on the form of the events to define what these will be. The problem to solve then becomes a question. Do we connect one mark with another event, perhaps a smaller event in the field to make a whole found image. This is one possibility. If one looks like a body and the events nearby look like they can be turned into an arm or leg____?

When creating a Shibui it is the same as with traditional art we need a light source. The question is: Where is our light source, once we establish where it will be, it’s stationary! This means we can begin to create shade, which means developing three-dimensional shapes. However, this only happens once events are established.

Color takes on a role all over the foundation. With color, a Shibuiest can direct the viewer to travel around the whole image. The Shibuiest role is to create the illusion of reality or abstraction. To bring the viewer closer and into the Shibui as if he or she was in a small space vehicle riding past what he or she sees in the beginning. Traditional art does this same thing!

The texture of a Shibui is something we build into the foundation in the very beginning. It is done during the action art part of the process. It may be due to the rag or paper towel we use or salt, oatmeal, or other absorbing material. We can see the results once action art takes place and the foundation has dried. The developer or Shibuiest elaborates on what is there, designing it by making relationships and creating a whole something or other that appears the illusion of realism or abstraction. Patterns are found and built-in using line and various design solving techniques. If there is an apparent pattern we can make use of it.

Composition is another consideration when it comes to Shibui Found Image Art. Composition depends on the image found and the placement of the events within the foundation. The art composition rule is first to provide a starting point for deciding on what the composition is to be. it is deciding where to put things. In traditional art, The Rule of Thirds is the easiest art composition rule to follow when creating a painting. Shibui is a painting, however, I think from experience this rule may make its presence known or it simply may not. The composition of a Shibui is made from action art. Boom! And it is there! The wet medium landing as it will on the paper’s surface. There is no preplanning, no drawn understructure to guide a Shibuiest, but he or she has the same goals as any other artist and that is to create the illusion of realism or abstraction. Composition is about creating balance, and this is done through intentional work, or what is Shibui’s design work. Intentional work often means design work through the creation of lines. The first lines establish the boundaries of the found image (the event). Essentially the Shibuiest is working with lines, shape, texture, color, value, form, within the space of the foundation. All a consideration regarding composition. The Shibuiest is working in the realm of possibilities made through action art, and the resulting events that make up the field, the found events, both big and small to create all of these so there is harmony within the arrangement of what is in the foundation. The results? The story of the image, whatever is found determines the story to be seen.

By Pejj Nunes

I live in Southern Maine. I am the owner of Anisette Studios. My website is Here you can view and purchase Shibui, sign up for my newsletters, blog, and read articles about Shibui Found Image Art. Patrons get great deals several times a year and special items at times. My site makes it easy to contact me. My primary art form is Shibui Found Image Art. Shibui begins with action art and stems from the imagination. It is like seeing something in the clouds or solving a puzzle. Its creative process has its own rules and requires what I call reverse engineering due to a lack of an understructure and purely out of the imagination. In addition to those who patron me, my target groups are those who use art therapy. I will soon be teaching live. Contact me if you would like to learn live. I use Zoom. I request that although my art, other images, and what I write is now published by me here on WordPress; I do ask you do not to use my artwork, poetry, or the information about Shibui Found Image Art without my permission. I am quite available to make such requests. I wish to share the following: The existentialist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir wrote a book called The Ethics of Ambiguity. In it, she lays out a guiding ethic in response to the philosophy of existentialism. It might be somewhat familiar to you already. She writes, “To will oneself free is also to will others free. This will is not an abstract formula. It points out to each person concrete action to be achieved.” Best wishes to all! Have good times and keep safe! Pejj

Leave a comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: