Friday, December 12, 2008

Zen Board!

The Zen Board is cool! It uses what is known as "magic paper" - you simply paint on it with water, which then turns to a rich black...and completely disappears a minute or two later to a reusable state. Lights and low humidity contributed to faster-than-normal drying/evaporation in this video; however, developing speedy brushwork and thinking is invaluable for location and life painting/drawing. The video is in real time. I used my own music in the background. A big thanks to Princeton Art & Brush Company, whose fine Series 4050 synthetic sable brushes were used. Also thanks to my great friend Debra Halprin, who gave me the Zen Board. (insert hug and kiss emoticon here)

Turn up your speakers!


RHCarpenter said...

I saw one of these in a funky little shop years ago - but didn't buy it :( Now Cheap Joe's has the paper you can use - hey, you can always just prop it up on your painting boards :) Loved the couple in the snow scene and the 2 guys at the bar and...too much fun!

wayne said...

Wow Nick!! I love this concept and the Zen Board seems so apt to watercolourists, literally and figuratively! The music is fantastic(!!), the whole production is full of exuberance of brush and water, the calligraphy: outstanding, free flowing, ...a truly Renaissance composition.

You've set the key signature! I (hopefully) can join that symph very soon. I've been working (a good while now) on visual presentations of my theory/artwork/music (some on Principles of Nature website) -spanning 15+ years - but these 'clips' are all still 'WiPs'. (almost ready though...). But you have 'burst forth upon the scene', opening the symphony with a most inspiring first chord: music and art combined! Congrats+++++

PS I'll look out for a Zen Board and give it a go -- looks like the equivalent of watercolour-snow-boarding!!

Billie Crain said...

this is better than an etch-a-sketch! loved your music, too!

Marilyn Fuerstenberg said...

Nick, that was fun. Loved the music. Where can I buy it? the music not the board, although I am goin to look for one.

David Burge said...

Good Nick.
I can appreciate this. Sometimes do similar with butchers paper.
Great for loostening up and excersizing the body-brush connections.
Should be doing this as a daily ritual I think. It is very much the direction that weighs heavy on my mind and I suspect yours.

Nick said...

Rhonda - "magic paper" is the stuff you're referring to. I'll have to pick some up, because it does wear out eventually, and it would be nice to have a larger area to work with.

Wayne - I go to the PON website ( and chip away at the parts I sort of understand, hoping to work up to the stuff I don't. Science and math were my worst subjects in school, but I think if I had been exposed to someone like you, who can tie it in with music and visual art, things would have been different for me. I'm always hoping to see new paintings from WR, but I have a feeling painting just doesn't hold that much challenge for you anymore - you already have covered so much ground there, perhaps it's time to concentrate on less-earthly endeavors(?). You are the true Renaissance Man!

Bilie - get one, it just might get the creative juices flowing again

Marilyn - thank you, my CD is out of print, but I'm thinking of doing another run, and also one with new material.

Dake - I imagine we've gone through acres of paper messing around like this, there's something special about racing against the clock to get a "finished" image down in about 45 seconds - about the same time it takes me to find a piece of paper!

Stacy said...

Nick, it was so fun watching you work. Your brush strokes are expressive yet efficient. Every mark builds the image with confidence. I have one of these boards someewhere. I'll have to get it out again now that you've showed me its true potential.

Nick said...

Stacy, good to see you, yes it's excellent practice.


Oh look... a modern version of the 'sketch-o-graph!'
This is way too cool!
I love the spray bottle flourish which signalled the end of your performance!- Your signature style?!
'What a performance!' oh...and great music too!

Nick said...

PG, I know you love to draw, you ought to have one of these sitting around at all times