Return to Simply Haiku Entry Page Previous Image First Image

Olga Hooper

Cats Haiga

Sumi-e - Brush & Ink


Simply Haiku March/April, 2004, v2n2

Olga Hooper was born in Siberia, Russia. She graduated from Tyumen State University with a master's degree with honors in history and social sciences. In postgraduate school her written thesis was in Russian history. For many years she has been a teacher in colleges and universities.

Married in 1998, she and her husband live in Michigan, USA with two cats, both of whom are featured in this gallery. Olga and her husband are also fortunate to be near their many children and grandchildren.

About 18 months ago, Olga discovered Japanese culture and is now a devoted student of sumi-e, haiku, ikebana, shakuhachi and koto music, Japanese literature, and Japanese cuisine. She had never before held an artist's brush. Olga took sumi-e and Chinese brush-painting classes from a local University. It was to her advantage to be a 'tabula rasa' [a blank and clean slate]. Sumi-e is a great challenge and not like anything she had experienced before. In sumi-e, it's considered not necessary to be precise in painting details of an object. The sumi-e artist strives to convey a core of the object, and to invoke in the viewer a feeling of "being that object." It's similar to haiku. That's why the sumi-e artist has to perceive a stone's roughness when s/he is painting a stone, and has to feel himself a flower when he paints a flower. Any details which are not considered important in the object are omitted, and the most important may be exaggerated. Olga says: "This is the whole new and different world, not like anything I have experienced before -- that's why I am doing this, that's why it's a great challenge. It may sound unusual that I feel myself to be a tree's bark when I paint the bark. But, it feels very natural and easy to me, because it is how I perceive the natural world. I have probably lived in Orient in my previous life ..."

Olga's works of art have been published in Simply Haiku magazine [Volume 1-#5, Nov. 2003, archives]; and she has a collaboration of haiga with Ashe Wood in the Green Leaf Files web site where she has a personal Photo Gallery.

Some of her haiga will also be published in an upcoming 2004 issue of Reeds: Contemporary Haiga, edited by Jeanne Emrich. In January 2004, she was among the winners of the World Haiku Association Haiga contest.

Olga is a member of the World Haiku Club, World Haiku Association, and Haiku Hut Poetry Forums.