one-stroke / splash / zen

gallery of one-stroke, splash and zen paintings

from the brush of Bob Schmitt

 announcing the publication of Bob’s newest book of painting

click here for information to purchase book



16 enso & zen related paintings


what is this?


the willing heart is the dojo: detail


the willing heart is the dojo


if you penetrate one barrier there is another: detail


if you penetrate one barrier there is another


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one-stroke paintings

how much can be conveyed in just one single brush stroke?

onestroke example

What is a one-stroke painting?

one stroke chop

It is literally making a complete painting in one brush stroke.

For a one-stroke painting,  great care is taken in loading the brush.  Several tones
of ink or different color inks are loaded on the brush in multiple areas.

The painting is then executed with just one movement of the brush­—an entire
painting in one stroke.

an entire season in one stroke:









these four seasons one-strokes are available as 8×10 prints and in card sets.

What is a 4 seasons in one-stroke painting?

It is taking taking one-stroke painting one step farther:

It begins with the focusing on the shape, much like creating a calligraphic character.  The shape is created in just black ink. The intent is to paint four movements within one stroke, each representing the energetic essence of the season. This shape is then used as the basis for creating it in color.

The brush is loaded with colors for each of the 4 seasons. Painting begins, mindful of the essence of each season, remembering where on the brush each specific color has been placed, changing the energy/shape of each season within the discipline of containing all that movement and essence in just one-stroke.


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What is a splash painting?

splash superior

The brush is carefully loaded. The intention is to have enough ink, loose enough ink so that when the brush is flicked with the wrist, a highly energized splash of ink lands on the paper.  Not too wet, not too stiff and dry. The focus is on being as much in the moment as possible to be able to adjust the power, the movement of the splash as it is happening in the flick of the wrist.

The artist can stop just with the splash or add other elements or details to further call the painting out of the paper.

splash doty poem

 zen paintings

Ox herder’s tale

The Ox Herder’s Tale is, in the tradition of Zen Buddhism, a series of 10 paintings and accompanying short poems that are intended to illustrate the stages of a Buddhist practitioner’s progression towards enlightenment, as well as his or her subsequent perfection of wisdom. The pictures first appeared, as drawn by the Chinese Chán (Zen) master Kuòan Shīyuãn, in the 12th century.

Here they are interpreted by brush painter Bob Schmitt.


Oxherder print-1   Oxherder-print-2   Oxherder-print-3   Oxherder-print-4   Oxherder-print-5   Oxherder-print-6   Oxherder-print-7   Oxherder-print-8   Oxherder-print-9  

Oxherder-print-10 these ox herder’s tale prints are available as 5.5×8.5 print sets, and as a note card set.

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• see examples of Bob’s paintings

• see the nine gates series

• return to home

Contact Bob