• Troy Thomas

New (Neo-)Minimalist Artworks


For quite some time now, I have included circles or circular forms in many of my artworks. I am a little surprised it took me so long to learn about the ensō. Enso is supposedly a Japanese word that means "circle" or "circular form." (Can anyone fluent with the Japanese language verify that for me?)


After some searching, I found some large calligraphy brushes available online that a lot of the enso drawings/paintings are created with. I got one large calligraphy brush and some sumi ink and I went to work on a few pieces.


A lot of the masters spend years studying and training to create a perfect enso form. I do not have years to devote to the art of the enso, but I can still practice in my own time. When an enso is drawn, it is usually done so at a time when the mind is free from all thoughts, and the form is usually drawn in one stroke. I am attempting to do the same with my enso artworks. It is actually harder than it appears. The enso artwork pictured here is actually my very first attempt. I don't think it turned out too bad, but the couple that followed it were not as good.


I thought I had written a blog post about this previously, but I just checked and see that I did not write one. Therefore, I had to give you a little bit of a backstory before talking about these recent works.


Okay, on to the newest batch of artworks that I created. These can be seen in the image at the top of this blog post. Using the same calligraphy brush and sumi ink, I wanted to get away from the circle somewhat, and create some abstract, minimalist ink paintings similar to the Japanese and Chinese calligraphy forms. For each piece, I placed an 11"x14" sheet of Bristol board on my desk and then cleared my mind. I loaded the brush with ink and held it over the sheet until I felt that my mind was free of any thoughts and allowed myself to make some unmeditated strokes. It was very calming and I was happy with the results. I will be making more of these artworks.


With these abstract ink paintings being black and white, I think they would make great decor for anyone yearning for some minimalist (or neo-minimalist) art. While my original artworks are always available for purchase, I am (soon) going to make these artworks available through my Etsy shop as digital downloads for a very reasonable price. The purchase will not get you a physical print, rather it will give you access to some various files that you can then have a print made from. You could either print it off on your home printer, or have a professional print shop make a print for you. I would recommend that you take or send the file to a professional and have it printed on good quality paper. Since the original size of these particular artworks are 11"x14", you can't make them extremely large, but you could probably go up to about 3x the original size.


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