Drawing and Painting Studio - create + relax + enjoy

D+P Studio News

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

Discovering Japanese and Chinese characters at 漢字 Kanji Club

2 February 2021

Kanji Club

The theme for our first Kanji Club was お正月 Oshougatsu – New Year! It was a lively and lovely group, thanks to everyone who took part and embracing the language and cultural elements of the class.

We learned about Japanese and Chinese characters, finding out from Blair how to engage with them, and looking at the fascinating history and evolution of styles over thousands of years. 

We had time for our writing practice, and vocabulary related to New Year and the chosen kanji for the group, and our enjoyable kanji quiz game which opens up the meanings and sounds of the characters. 

Kanji Club

Category: Art Groups Tags:

Shodo calligraphy – brushing Shoshin beginner’s mind

2 February 2021

Shodo returned again in the new year of the cow!

This month we brushed the characters from the spacious 初心 shoshin meaning first time, heart mind, or commonly as ‘beginner’s mind’. Writing this and discovering more about the deeper meanings of the kanji characters in this word that zen monk and calligrapher Suzuki Roshi beautifully used, was a lovely way to start practicing Shodo calligraphy together this year.

Shoshin Shodo Blair Thomson D+P Studio

‘In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few’ (Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind)
After some loosening mark making and strokes practice we worked on the more jaggy kaisho style, and also the curvy flowing sosho style which participants particularly enjoyed!

Shodo calligraphy - brushing Shoshin beginner's mind

Here is the short hopeful and poetic quote by Shunryu Suzuki that Blair read at the group  –

‘Before the rain stops we can hear a bird. Even under the heavy snow we see snowdrops and some new growth.’

Shodo calligraphy - brushing Shoshin beginner's mind

Notice in the picture, in Blair’s bunchin paperweight there is the shape of a cow and the kanji for ushi  丑 cow. It was a gift to him twelve years ago in the last ushi year. 

Thanks to the participants for taking part and sending their images.

Joan

Category: Art Groups Tags:

Doodly relaxing with snowy and icy winter shapes 

2 February 2021

Winter Blair Thomson

At our Destress doodling and drawing group we had an easygoing time with a seasonal wintry theme of snow lines and icy shapes and patterns to inspire us.

Winter 2 Blair Thomson

Folk who joined us used whatever they had to hand, such as a pen or pencil or coloured pencils or felt tip pens. 

Doodly relaxing with snowy and icy winter shapes

After some laid back doodles of lines and shapes (and some bird and animal footprints!) Blair talked a bit about wintry walking by the river near him and the experience of being outside and enjoying the spaciousness and patterns and cooler subtle and silvery colours of the season – after this and listening to some short poetry we drew some more and had plenty of time to explore our doodles more and bring in some more colours too. 

Doodly relaxing with snowy and icy winter shapes

Drawing in this way gave us freedom and a supportive space to just enjoy making each piece without judgement or worry, a great way to de-stress. Thanks to those who wanted to send their pictures for sharing.

Jean
Mark1
Mark2
Sally
Chris
Amy

Category: Art Groups Tags:

Creative Time – Reaching out to wintery open spaces

2 February 2021

This month’s Creative Time is very laid back – please send us any photos you have taken of your wintry environment, or any poems you have written about the season. 

Mark

The February days are becoming longer and there is more sunshine to energise us. If you are able to get out for a walk you could take a picture then, or from your window of the sky for instance if you are mainly indoors. You could also doodle some words or shapes related to the season.

Winter Park Blair Thomson
Mark
Ken

Have fun, doodle or come up with some creative words at our free online art community. Our regular relaxing activities – Creative Time – encourage you to have some creative enjoyment and keep in touch with us and find inspiration from other participants in Scotland and beyond!

It would be great if you would like to send us an image of anything you make, for us to show online if possible, please either 1. email us your image, 2. post to instagram with this tag #dandpstudio_creativetime or 3. post on our Facebook page.

Creative Time

Category: Art Groups Tags: ,

Creative Time – Celebrating New Year with Colour and Pattern 🎉

4 January 2021

Let’s celebrate the New Year with some colour and pattern. For our first Creative Time activity of 2021 why not enjoy some fun doodling with any materials you have at hand – such as pencil ✏️, pens 🖊️, colouring pencils, or paints. 🎨🖌️ 

To inspire us D+P Studio participant Maria has kindly sent us her lovely artworks that she has been delighting in making, she says she really likes experimenting with ‘abstract, with a hint of realism, like rainbows, cityscapes, etc.’


Ken
Thanks Ken for sending your two images, this is a very funky and colourful digital image, a joyful start to the year 🙂
Ken
A very different atmosphere in your next iPad artwork, thanks Ken. We enjoy the transparent space and energy in your mark making.

Mike
Thanks for sending your surrealist painting Mike, very mysterious! You said ‘it’s abstract for January, one face looking into the past where we’ve been and another looking into the future where we are headed..’

Have fun, doodle or come up with some creative words at our free online art community. Our regular relaxing activities – Creative Time – encourage you to have some creative enjoyment and keep in touch with us and find inspiration from other participants in Scotland and beyond!

It would be great if you would like to send us an image of anything you make, for us to show online if possible, please either 1. email us your image, 2. post to instagram with this tag #dandpstudio_creativetime or 3. post on our Facebook page.

Creative Time

Category: Art Groups Tags:

Season’s Greetings 🎄

21 December 2020

Best wishes for the festive season!

We hope you are keeping warm and well and enjoy the winter holidays. Here is our Season’s Greetings card with images of some of the many wholehearted and inspiring works by participants 💖 Huge thanks for all your encouragement and support this year and we look forward to meet with you again in 2021 as the winter sun rises ❄️🌞

From Blair and the D+P Studio team.

Category: Art Groups Tags: ,

Unsurpassed and deep – tracing the Kaikyōge and Fuekō

15 December 2020

Unsurpassed and deep - tracing the Kaikyōge and Fuekō

At Shakyō Sutra copying practice (online on zoom) we traced or copied two short verses which are often read or chanted in zen and other schools – the Kaikyōge Opening the Sutras Verse and the Fuekō Turning of Merit. 

They are deep and inspiring short verses, the Fuekō directly coming from the Lotus Sutra. Some of the people who joined the shakyō practice copied with a pen and others used a small brush. Blair gave a demo of the shakyo meditative process and how to use the traditional materials, such as the fude brush with the hair of life tip, as well as easier to find alternatives – like a pencil and copy paper! 

Unsurpassed and deep - tracing the Kaikyōge and Fuekō

With it being the middle of December, and having chosen two short poetic verses to trace, we naturally had time for a break for a sweet snack – for Blair a mince pie and dark choc with green tea 🍵😊 and after chanting the Kaikyōge and ringing the bell we restarted the practice.

It was nice that some folk tried the Japanese and also English versions of the verses. And added stamps if they had them! 

The first two lines of the Kaikyōge can be translated:

‘Unsurpassed, deep, minute, wondrous Dharma,
In a hundred thousand million years is rare to encounter..’

Unsurpassed and deep - tracing the Kaikyōge and Fuekō

The group was a nice way to close this year’s shakyō, and write our wishes for health and wellbeing and other things close to our hearts. Thanks to all who joined the practice this year.

Please see some examples below of works by participants.

Joan Ja
Joan En
Ma
BASHO
Mark

Our next session↓😉

Category: Art Groups Tags:

Discovering beauty in Japanese and Chinese stamps

14 December 2020

Discovering beauty in Japanese and Chinese stamps
Master Wakabayashi’s stamped shodo calligraphy

We looked closely at the styles of in 印 stamps at the Tenkoku 篆刻 seal engraving group, particularly at Japanese Master Wakabayashi.

Wakabayashi Shūjō was like a grandfather to Blair who started studying shodō calligraphy with him in 2002. He kindly introduced Blair to Tenkoku seal engraving and the materials to use and Blair could discover the many stamps made by him, mostly of his creative name 舟城 Shūjō meaning boat castle. In his calligraphy on shikishi board, he stamps this with a rectangular red letter type stamp.

His stone stamp are full of character and dynamic beauty, with the textures of the engraved lines and marks varied and alive and always interacting with the spaces.

Discovering beauty in Japanese and Chinese stamps

At the group we looked at and copied some of his inei stamp impressions, and participants had time to ask questions and to work on designs or carving at whatever stage they are at, some folk planning a new design. 

Blair gave a detailed demo of how to stamp and work with, as well as care for, the lovely deep red indei ink. Also he gave tips and examples about where in an artwork to stamp harmonically.

Discovering beauty in Japanese and Chinese stamps
Discovering beauty in Japanese and Chinese stamps
Discovering beauty in Japanese and Chinese stamps

Below is a lovely example of a stamp by one of the participants, with some of the texture and movement seen in Master Wakabayashi’s stamps.

Joan

Our next session↓😉

Category: Art Groups Tags:

Time to doodle and relax with the changing season

14 December 2020

Time to doodle and relax with the changing season

At our comfortable and easygoing Destress drawing group online on zoom we started with some gentle free doodles, such as flowing lines and zig zags, before making our own patterns to colour. See some of the pieces participants worked on below, very varied ✨

Time to doodle and relax with the changing season

Blair said some words about the season and we imagined gazing up through twisting branches from a forest full of golden leaves, up to a glowing moon, which helped us to doodle some more and find our own fun creative paths. He read some poetry by Ryokan also, here is a snippet:

The moon appears in every season it is true,
But surely it’s best in fall.
In autumn mountains loom and water runs clear.
A brilliant disk floats across the infinite sky..

Time to doodle and relax with the changing season

We had a friendly group with a nice atmosphere, and folk didn’t have to show any works they were doing, so there was no pressure to be creative or come up with anything specific, this group is more about enjoying the doodling and drawing process , finding calm and connection and the sensory meditative side of drawing.

Mike1
Mike2
m2
m1

Our next session↓😉

Category: Art Groups Tags:

Shodo of the autumn moon shining in the blue pool.. 

14 December 2020

Shodo of the autumn moon shining in the blue pool.. 

Inspired by one of Chinese poet Han Shan’s Cold Mountain poems, we brushed the characters for autumn moon – shūgetsu 秋月, at our online Shodo group Zen Brush. Some of us were lucky to catch a glimpse of the waxing crescent moon in the early evening above the horizon glowing yellow or orange 🌙 before quickly sinking into a blanket of clouds!

Shodo of the autumn moon shining in the blue pool.. 

First Blair talked about the two kanji characters and their background and styles, fascinating to see how the shape of the pictogram for moon 月 had changed over thousands of years, and within the older kanji for autumn 秋 the fire and light of the sun on the grain as well as the insect too in some versions.

Shodo of the autumn moon shining in the blue pool.. 
Shodo of the autumn moon shining in the blue pool.. 

After some demos we worked on each kanji in the more boxy kaisho style and then the fluid curvy sōsho ‘grass’ style which simplifies and connects many of the strokes. The style that Blair demonstrated of the sōsho is based upon the master Chiei from the 7th Century Sui dynasty. His work is often copied by Japanese calligraphers.

Shodo of the autumn moon shining in the blue pool.. 

It was delightful connecting deeply with this thought provoking short zen poem by Han Shan, looking at calligraphy inpired by it, and then writing part of it in shodo ourselves.

Shodo of the autumn moon shining in the blue pool.. 

Please see some examples by participants in these photos.

Joan
Shugetsu

Our next session↓😉

Category: Art Groups Tags:

1 2 3 4 5 6 21