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D+P Studio News

Here is a wee bit of news from the D+P Studio!

Currently browsing Category: Art Groups

Brushing Zen at online Shodo

27 June 2020

Brushing Zen
The history of the styles of zen and chan, and the meanings within the kanji, brushed by Blair

At our recent Zen Brush shodo group – our first online 🙂 – we enjoyed brushing the character 禅 Zen in four very different styles, which were developed over centuries. It was really intriguing to explore the meanings of the different parts of the kanji character and how this can be understood with the reading of it as zen and the connections with awareness, coming partly from the translation of dhyana.

Brushing Zen
A participant’s meditative setup with Buddha and incense, and laptop for Zooming
Brushing Zen
Brushing Zen
One of the participants has combined the four styles of Zen with inkan hanko stamp of Zen (carved at the March Japanese garden group) a lovely setup with a variety of brushes, a nice dark smooth stone as bunchin paperweight, and photobombed by Pooka!

After some loose marks and practice of horizontal and vertical strokes, we worked with kaisho style first, before going on to the sosho. We were inspired by the Chinese calligrapher Chiei with both these styles. He wrote these in his 千字文 Senjimon or Qiānzì Wén- Thousand Character Classic – a beautiful work.

Brushing Zen
The stroke order of the kaisho which Blair brushed – based on Chiei
Brushing Zen
Zen Brush participant has nicely added his name to his piece, and stamped one too 🙂

Then we had some fun with the wider reisho and the taller more linear tensho , both fascinating styles to brush, which use a different technique from the previous two styles. 

Brushing Zen
Four styles in a single sheet of paper by one of the group

Some of us had large fude brushes and liquid ink, and some of us used smaller brushes or fudepen or brushpens, or solid ink, but we all had enough materials and time to appreciate the kanji and each stroke.

Brushing Zen
Enso zen circle by Blair

We talked a bit about how to practice shodo calligraphy to get a feel for the kanji zen, and also how to work on it more meditatively. Also we discussed how and where to write our name on the paper. So we covered a fair bit in this group, and had some fun too!

Inspiring video by participant Alan
Blair writing Zen in the old Tensho, which was originally carved
Blair showing the fun contrast of method of two styles

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Practicing zen in different styles of shodo calligraphy

16 June 2020

禅 zen shodo practice

At our Zen Brush 🖌 calligraphy group coming up on Monday the group will be working from the varied styles and strokes of the mysterious and graceful character 禅 for Zen. And we will explore the multi layered meanings within the kanji character itself. It can be brushed as a meditation too! 🙂

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Shakyo – bringing the Sutra to life with each brush stroke and pen mark

8 June 2020

Shakyo - bringing the Sutra to life with each brush stroke and pen mark

Our first online Shakyo 写経 practice event saw us come together from Scotland, and elsewhere such as the rest of the UK and Canada, forming a lovely group of sutra tracing and copying practitioners. 

Beginning with an introduction about the history of shakyo and the development of it from Tang dynasty China to modern day Japan, with descriptions of experiences and process in Japanese Buddhist temples such as Zen and Hossou schools, and then we discussed the meditative as well as practical techniques, demos and tips to prepare us. 

Shakyo - bringing the Sutra to life with each brush stroke and pen mark

We also talked about the Boundless Life Ten Phrase Kannon Sutra 延命十句観音経 and its connections to other sutras, looked at particular kanji characters and phrases, and how the sutra has been popular and cherished over the centuries as one that aids wellbeing in times of sickness or difficulty.

After our tea, we lit the incense, rang the bell, chanted and began quietly tracing or copying, working from the short but meaningful and energetic sutra, assisted by worksheets with the kanji and meanings. Some people simply used pens with plain paper whilst others had brush pens or shakyo brush with suzuri inkwell and Japanese paper. It was great to see the the sutras of everyone, here are some examples.

Shakyo - bringing the Sutra to life with each brush stroke and pen mark
Shakyo - bringing the Sutra to life with each brush stroke and pen mark
Shakyo - bringing the Sutra to life with each brush stroke and pen mark
Shakyo - bringing the Sutra to life with each brush stroke and pen mark
Shakyo - bringing the Sutra to life with each brush stroke and pen mark
Shakyo - bringing the Sutra to life with each brush stroke and pen mark
Shakyo - bringing the Sutra to life with each brush stroke and pen mark

It was a peaceful and meditative atmosphere and one where we could practice with care, feeling and attentiveness working on each stroke bringing each character and letter to life. We connected with our senses, felt grounded and connected with the sutra. 

Shakyo - bringing the Sutra to life with each brush stroke and pen mark
Shakyo - bringing the Sutra to life with each brush stroke and pen mark

We wrote our wish in the traditional manner (in Japanese and English) in the allotted space as well as the date and our name, passing the merits beyond our group, and then we completed our practice with a short chant and some time to briefly chat together about our experience.

Shakyo - bringing the Sutra to life with each brush stroke and pen mark
Shakyo - bringing the Sutra to life with each brush stroke and pen mark

Thanks to all the participants for their wholehearted practice.

Shakyo - bringing the Sutra to life with each brush stroke and pen mark
One of the participant’s set up with Japanese paper, worksheet, suzuri, solid ink and fude brush

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Soothing sounds and flowing rhythms

17 March 2020

Soothing sounds and flowing rhythms

Last week at Clydebank art group we enjoyed a carefree evening of painting. We’re sorry to say that this night marked the end of the project for the adults group for the time being (please note for updates on the Wednesday afterschool art group for young people please contact Centre81).

Soothing sounds and flowing rhythms
Soothing sounds and flowing rhythms
Soothing sounds and flowing rhythms

Many thanks to the funders West Dunbartonshire Council and Flightpath fund (Glasgow Airport) and to the fabulous Centre81. This has been a wonderful group with so much creativity and very relaxing and inspiring to be part of 😄 It is a lively and close community.

Soothing sounds and flowing rhythms

Recently we were inspired by the textures of stones from hills and seashore, as well as the spaciousness of clouds and water, and we developed this with by exploring sea shells too. In this group there was always lots of freedom to go your in different creative directions, and lots of help and encouragement when needed 🤗 and help to make participants feel settled and enjoy a sense of wellbeing. Thanks to Centre81 Steering Group for all their support co-organising this group.

Soothing sounds and flowing rhythms

Exploring the fun world of painting whilst relaxing at Clydebank art group, inspired by nature and the soothing sounds and flowing rhythms of the sea.

Soothing sounds and flowing rhythms
Soothing sounds and flowing rhythms
Soothing sounds and flowing rhythms

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Peering into the spacious textured worlds of stones

11 March 2020

Peering into the spacious textured worlds of stones

Recently we were inspired by the textures of stones from hills and seashore, peering into their worlds, as well as the spaciousness of clouds and water.

Peering into the spacious textured worlds of stones
Peering into the spacious textured worlds of stones
Peering into the spacious textured worlds of stones
Peering into the spacious textured worlds of stones
Peering into the spacious textured worlds of stones
Peering into the spacious textured worlds of stones
Peering into the spacious textured worlds of stones
Peering into the spacious textured worlds of stones
Peering into the spacious textured worlds of stones
Peering into the spacious textured worlds of stones
Peering into the spacious textured worlds of stones

We’re sorry to say that we’ve reached the end of the Clydebank Art Group project so this is our last evening for the adults group for the time being (please note the Wednesday afterschool art group for young people will continue weekly, for updates contact Centre81).

Many thanks to the funders West Dunbartonshire Council and Flightpath fund and to the fabulous Centre81. This has been a wonderful group with so much creativity.

West Dunbartonshire Council
Flightpath

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Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden

10 March 2020

Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden

On a blustery day with the March sun shining through the clouds into the garden and our cozy workspace, we enjoyed practicing Tenkoku 篆刻 seal carving to create our own stamps or inkan (more commonly known as hanko).

Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden
Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden

It is a captivating process and was wonderful to see everyone embracing it, from the design of their stamps on paper to the stone carving technique and the method of inking and pressing the stone onto Japanese paper.

Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden
Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden

We learned about the history of Japanese and Chinese stamp making and looked at varied examples and the ways of numerous of working with the tensho style of characters, and working with names or making natural designs.

Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden
Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden
Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden
Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden

In the quiet moments while everyone was working we could hear the echoes of the chipping sounds of the cutters on the stone and also of the participants enthusiastically blowing the dust off the face of their stones!

Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden
Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden
Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden
Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden
Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden
Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden
Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden
Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden
Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden
Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden
Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden

It was inspiring to be surrounded by the elemental trees and hills with all the textures and colours and breathing the fresh woodland air.

Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden
Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden
Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden
Seal carving and blowing stone dust at the Japanese Garden at Cowden

The Japanese Garden at Cowden
https://www.cowdengarden.com/

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Mysterious universe calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush

5 March 2020

Mysterious universe calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush

the heavens and earth
are dark and yellow
the universe and time
boundless

Senjimon 千字文
thousand character classic

We continued to work from the Thousand Character Classic 千字文 – Senjimon this time at the last Zen Heart Brush, working with genkou 玄黄, partly inspired by the delightful calligraphy of Chiei 智永. It was intriguing seeing how the shapes together with meanings of the characters originated and having fun with the very varied styles.

Mysterious universe calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush
Mysterious universe calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush
Mysterious universe calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush
Mysterious universe calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush
Mysterious universe calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush

千字文 Thousand Character Classic
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thousand_Character_Classic

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Atmospheric tree painting night

26 February 2020

Atmospheric tree painting night

Last week we had lots of fun with different pens, pastels, pencils and paints, tree landscapes guided our imagination 🌲🌳🌴

Atmospheric tree painting night
Atmospheric tree painting night
Atmospheric tree painting night
Atmospheric tree painting night
Atmospheric tree painting night

More fun arty workies from last week at Clydebank Centre81 art group!

Atmospheric tree painting night
Atmospheric tree painting night
Atmospheric tree painting night
Atmospheric tree painting night

It was a lovely atmosphere with everyone enjoying and trying out the combinations of art materials with watercolour paints🎨🖌️, whole heartedly having fun with the process without worrying about the result 👍😀

Atmospheric tree painting night
Atmospheric tree painting night
Atmospheric tree painting night
West Dunbartonshire Council

Kindly supported by West Dunbartonshire Council and Flightpath

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Inspired by the examples of calligrapher Chiei

19 February 2020

Inspired by the examples of calligrapher Chie

At the last Zen Heart Brush we explored the Kaisho and Sosho styles of shodo calligraphy, working with tenchi 天地. We were inspired by the examples of calligrapher Chiei 智永 from his version of the fascinating Thousand Character Classic 千字文 – Senjimon.

Inspired by the examples of calligrapher Chie

His name means wisdom eternal – in Buddhism this wisdom is jnana (pronounced gyana in English) pure awareness unrestricted by concepts. Chiei is from the 7th Century Sui dynasty. He is the great great great…..great grandchild of Ogishi ( 王羲之 4th Century, one of China’s four famous calligraphers).

Inspired by the examples of calligrapher Chie

Thanks to Blair’s teacher Kobayashi Sensei in Japan for the encouragement to work with this text.

Inspired by the examples of calligrapher Chie
Inspired by the examples of calligrapher Chie
Inspired by the examples of calligrapher Chie
Inspired by the examples of calligrapher Chie

千字文 Thousand Character Classic
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thousand_Character_Classic

王羲之 Wang Xizhi
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Xizhi

Inspired by the examples of calligrapher Chie

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