Kana Handel's Profile

About

I am a free-lance painter and illustrator originally from Tokyo, Japan living in Gainesville, Florida. I studied art at Musashino Art University in Tokyo.

Please visit my website at  Kanasarts.com

My work is a combination of traditional Japanese sumi-e with my own style and approach to painting. When I paint, I try to capture the feeling I had when I first drew or painted. I always had a big smile when painting, and I believe all of us still have a beautiful child's heart inside, even if we are grownups. I do not necessarily paint for or about children, but for the child in us all. When people look at my work and I see their eyes shining like a child's, that makes me very happy.

Because there are already too many negative things in the world, being the artist that I am, I want to create…

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  • Female
  • Born on November 1
  • Joined November 18, 2008

Favorite materials

Sumi ink, dry pigment, washi paper, rice starch, gansai watercolor, acrylic gouache, pencil, mulberry paper

Shop

  • kanasarts
    sumi, gansai watercolors, paintings & prints

About

I am a free-lance painter and illustrator originally from Tokyo, Japan living in Gainesville, Florida. I studied art at Musashino Art University in Tokyo.

Please visit my website at  Kanasarts.com

My work is a combination of traditional Japanese sumi-e with my own style and approach to painting. When I paint, I try to capture the feeling I had when I first drew or painted. I always had a big smile when painting, and I believe all of us still have a beautiful child's heart inside, even if we are grownups. I do not necessarily paint for or about children, but for the child in us all. When people look at my work and I see their eyes shining like a child's, that makes me very happy.

Because there are already too many negative things in the world, being the artist that I am, I want to create positive energy in my work. I do not avoid reality but believe imagination can help us heal. So even though realism shows up from time to time, most of my work is figurative and narrative--in that I love to tell stories. I filter all of the things that are going through my head--nature, politics, love, war, spirituality, peace--and they all come out through my brush in a story. And it's even better if the story you see is different than the one in my head; we are creating together.

I work in a variety of mixed media--from ink to milk. As an illustrator I primarily used acrylic gouache, but most of my current artwork is based on sumi-e ("ink painting"). Each time I paint, I stone-grind a deep rich black sumi ink, which I brush along with gansai water colors on handmade washi paper. I often mount finished pieces on canvas frames or paper sculptures. I also love to play around with various types of paper. I tear it, collage it, sculpt it, but most interesting to me is the way that sumi and gansai react to different papers and media. Sometimes it slowly spreads out to form a uniform circle, at others it's path is chaotic and unknown, resulting in what I like to call "happy accidents." When I use acrylic gouache or milk with sumi and gansai, it works as a resist, creating unusual patterns on various papers. I sometimes use kakishibu (fermented persimmon juice) for a dye, which adds a whole new property to the paper. I also print on various papers, using both mulberry and watercolor paper for my hand-pulled prints.

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