Drawing and Painting Studio - create + relax + enjoy

D+P Studio News

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

Love 愛 Ai in Shodo calligraphy

18 October 2020

Brushing Love 愛 ai in the old tensho style of Japanese and Chinese calligraphy with deep orange-red sumi 🙂

Ai is also fun to brush in the more flowing sosho grass style of shodo calligraphy, in a much more simplified form.

As well as love or affection or care, it can also mean craving or attachment.

We will find out more about this famous kanji character at our Zen Brush shodo group.

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Dynamic lines at Tenkoku seal engraving

12 October 2020

It was an easygoing and peaceful 篆刻 tenkoku (seal engraving) group where we each worked on designs for stamps (in 印) or worked on our stones or erasers (the keshigomu method). Thanks for taking part 🙏

There was some time to look at the very varied and quirky versions of styles possible to carve for the single kanji character 山 san – mountain. 

Tenkoku styles Blair Thomson D+P Studio

So many fascinating styles. Blair showed how to match kanji styles for different kanji also, which makes it possible to combine characters harmonically in a stamp design.

Joan try2

Above Joan’s stamp in progress combines kuu and shu for emptiness/sky and hand – working with a small eraser, craft knife and lino cutter, excellent work!

We enjoyed some stamp cutting techniques for the main two types of stamps with a demo from Blair using a seidenseki stone and other traditional materials.

Tenkoku stamps 11-20

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Creative time – delighting in autumn colours

12 October 2020

On the West Coast of Scotland here in Glasgow the autumnal colours have been rich and changing from day to day.  🍂

Creative time - delighting in autumn colours

For this fun creative time challenge we photographed some of the colours and shapes near us.🍁 Please send us any photographs, poetry and haiku, or artworks that have an autumn feeling. Many thanks for sending to us!

As we walk through the North of the city there are so many different trees expressing themselves with their colourful leaves blowing in the breeze. The whispering foliage stirs in the wind as we stop and listen and watch – the greens almost turning yellow and gold in front of us.

Creative time - delighting in autumn colours

Here is a translation (by Blair with the kind help of Kokuu) of Dogen’s joyful waka five line poem:

on September’s
crimson leaves
the falling snow
who among us
would not be moved to song?

Creative time - delighting in autumn colours

Joan’s photos of maple leaves from British Columbia, the colours are so vivid with the blue sky peeking through.


Northern Glasgow captured by Elaine with wonderful reflections, water and open spaces 🙂


Dominika has kindly shared her deep red and orange painting, and inspiring and spacious piece which takes us into a different world, soaring with the birds.

https://www.instagram.com/dominikanomed/

Creative time - delighting in autumn colours

An expressive and warm feeling haiku poem by Laura, surrounded by lovely drawings of leaves and horse chestnut.

Creative time - delighting in autumn colours
Creative time - delighting in autumn colours

Complementary colours animate Ken’s strikingly visual and light filled short haiku poems.

Creative time - delighting in autumn colours
Creative time - delighting in autumn colours

Mark has sent us photos from the West Coast of Scotland – Benmore Botanical Gardens in Argyll – and also the waterfall at Rouken Glen. A delightful balance of greens, reds and yellows.


this rushing wind
with nowhere to go
I pour another
bowl of tea
and listen to the rain

Kokuu


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

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Shodo – Brushing the wonderful with Myouhou 

12 October 2020

妙法 Myouhou – all life and things wondrous – was captivating to brush in the kaisho and sousho styles of Shodo calligraphy 書道. On its own myou means mystery, or excellent, strange or wonderful and hou can mean method, teachings, dharma, or process ✨

It was a lovely group of folk at our Monday Zen Brush online group. As well as some relaxing marks to get used to the fude brush and some stroke practice, we looked into the inspiring origins and meanings of myou and hou. 

Myoho kaisho and sosho Blair Thomson D+P Studio

The curious sheep god shape in the old kinbun metal engraving of hou was fascinating, one participant remarked that it looked like a climbing sheep 🙂

Myohou origins and styles Blair Thomson D+P Studio

The group enjoyed the sousho grass style which is very free and open after the defined strokes of the kaisho. Thanks to the participants for sending us some of their images.

Myoho appears in the poetic Lotus Sutra, which has inspired so much calligraphy and ink painting in China and Japan, here is an example from the text full of beautiful natural imagery.

Shodo - Brushing the wonderful with Myouhou

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Carving seals and stamping onto calligraphy and artwork

5 October 2020

Here is an example of stamped calligraphy (this is kokotsubun shell and bone style). You can stamp on your shodo calligraphy, artwork, poetry or sutra copying, or anything else you fancy 😊

This example is of stamped artwork by Blair was inspired by the dynamic skyline of Tokyo, using Japanese gansai pigments.

To join our stamp making online by zoom, you only need pencil and paper to get started. Enjoy and practice working with traditional tenkoku 篆刻 materials or the simpler keshigomu eraser to carve your very own hanko はんこ stamp.

In this video Blair has fun stamping a few papers, using the L shape to guide the alignment of stamps for shodo (very handy!), whilst going for a more squinty off angle approach on the artwork, and stamping in the middle of an enso circle.

Stamping is such fun, the physical pressing down and moment of suspense to see the stamp impression. After first designing the 印 – such as name or artist name, then carving or cutting into stone or eraser. It is enjoyable to work on each part of the process.

Blair is carving his zen name, using the insho clamp and into cutter. He can help you translate and choose suitable katakana Japanese or Chinese characters for your own name 😊

This picture is of some reisho 隷書 calligraphy Blair was stamping a few days ago✨

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Exploring vast spaces through small stamp designs

17 September 2020

At our first regular 篆刻 tenkoku (seal engraving) group on zoom we had fun pioneering Japanese and Chinese stamp making online! This time we mainly worked on designs for our in 印 stamps.

Exploring vast spaces through small stamp designs

After a short intro by Blair to the practice, his experience of it in Japan, and the history of it in China, we learned how to take our initial ideas and then work with kanji characters, and combine in certain ways using the old styles.

He showed some of his stamps he has made over the years, ones with his name in Katakana, Bu-re-a, others with artist name or his zen dharma name.

The designing is such an enjoyable and fascinating part of the process when you can engage with kanji Chinese characters that are thousands of years old, and discover their varied styles and choose which ones, adjusting the sizes and shapes to suit your personal design. And some stamps can use simpler Japanese script, or English, or images, so the options are really boundless.

Exploring vast spaces through small stamp designs

It was fascinating to see how different each person’s designs were – with characters for mountain, sky/ emptiness, fish, crow, and hand there was a lot of images coming through the tensho style of characters and the other stamp styles.

So we swam together through deep waters and soared over peaceful fields towards distant hills 🙂

Towards the end Blair gave a short demo about how to use traditional materials – stones and cutter – as well as the alternative and popular ‘Keshigomu hanko’ method cutting an eraser with craft knife.

Exploring vast spaces through small stamp designs

At this group participants work at their own pace and Blair guides them, so each person will design or carve or press their stamps – the ‘try not to hold your breath’ moment 🙂 –  at different times. It is an easygoing and supportive group.

Exploring vast spaces through small stamp designs
Exploring vast spaces through small stamp designs
Exploring vast spaces through small stamp designs
Exploring vast spaces through small stamp designs

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Practicing intuitive wisdom with each small stroke 

16 September 2020

We gently traced and copied the famous and inspiring Mahayana Buddhist Heart Sutra, or to use the full title, the Great Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra.

Practicing intuitive wisdom with each small stroke

After Blair and the group discussed about the Shakyo practice and some of the meanings and structure of the sutra, which can often seem very mysterious and baffling, and the fun history bit, he gave a short demo of how to practice, whether tracing or copying using a brush and solid ink, or simply a pen or pencil freehand.

Practicing intuitive wisdom with each small stroke
Practicing intuitive wisdom with each small stroke

Blair lit the incense, rang the bell and some of us read or chanted the Kaikyoge verse for opening the sutras. Then we practiced meditatively, taking time and talking here and there about how to copy certain kanji characters or strokes, or about some meanings.

Practicing intuitive wisdom with each small stroke

Here are some pictures from some of the participants. It was a lovely group, many thanks to all who wholeheartedly took part 🙂

Practicing intuitive wisdom with each small stroke
Practicing intuitive wisdom with each small stroke
Practicing intuitive wisdom with each small stroke

Also here is a delightful short haiku by Andy Kokuu inspired by ink and brush:

ink brush
night wraps paper
wraps stone

Practicing intuitive wisdom with each small stroke

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Eternal peace with the eight strokes of 永 Ei – Yong

2 September 2020

Eijihappo The Eight Strokes of Shodo Calligraphy

At Zen Brush we worked with the graceful eight strokes of eternal eijihappoh 永字八法, also known as the eight principles of yong – getting a feel for them and having some fun with the flow of the brush.

Eternal peace with the eight strokes of 永 Ei - Yong

Inspired by some Japanese haiku and old waka poetry we brushed 永平 eihei – meaning eternal peace – also the name of Master Dogen and his Zen temple Eiheiji- which is such a lovely combination of kanji characters.

Eternal peace with the eight strokes of 永 Ei - Yong
Eternal peace with the eight strokes of 永 Ei - Yong

It was great to see the participants on zoom enjoying the shodo calligraphy practice, and embracing the two styles this month – kaisho and the fun reisho which comes from the cliff faces of China. Many thanks to some of the participants for sharing images of their calligraphy below.

With a buzzing cry
A bee shifts on the bloom sought
By a butterfly
Taigi

Eternal peace with the eight strokes of 永 Ei - Yong
Eternal peace with the eight strokes of 永 Ei - Yong

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Creative time – From late Summer to early Autumn

28 August 2020

Creative time - From late Summer to early Autumn

As the season gradually changes from summer towards autumn and we reach out for more jumpers and get cosy during the darker nights, let’s take a moment to notice the atmosphere and what going on around us. And write a haiku or short poem about it! Or just a few words about something that you saw or happened.

You could type some words, draw or brush the words, or use a drawing app on your phone or iPad. Here are some lovely examples from participants, thanks for sending to us 🙂


Ken's Haiku

sharp breeze
change in the weather
sycamore ‘copters

Ken

dashing under the sycamore we take cover as
the august rain starts to pour

Blair (in response to Ken’s haiku)


Creative time - From late Summer to early Autumn

Shodo

Look! A pheasant’s tail
I grasp the reigns of a horse
Night spills on parchment.

Laura

Gently squeezing the soft hair of the brush
I wash away the sumi traces as the autumn breeze beckons

Blair (in response to Laura’s haiku)


sand martins or swallows?
swooping through the sky
above the yet to ripen blackberries

M

giving up foraging as the thorns block our way
we take a moment to savor the mid afternoon pause 

Blair (in response to M’s haiku)


Creative time - From late Summer to early Autumn

one footstep
after another
– temple bell

Andy

bathed in soft light
I return to the cushion

Blair (in response to Andy’s haiku)


Creative time - From late Summer to early Autumn

Broken Broken yet
perfect the Harvest Moon
Upon the Rivulet…

Mike

Slowly dancing purple shadows
Massage the rippling golden currents

Blair (in response to Mike’s haiku)


Creative time - From late Summer to early Autumn

The wind
and a dream
The leaf on the breeze

Creative time - From late Summer to early Autumn

Walking and watching
toying with composition
and colour

Creative time - From late Summer to early Autumn

Misty morning
breeze bringing
golden music

Haiku by Alan, inspired by his sketchbooks and photos of the west coast of Scotland.


Creative time - From late Summer to early Autumn

Wind hisses in the grass
Gorse branches rattle
Crowns of tangled thorn

Margaret


Creative time - From late Summer to early Autumn

fading colours of flowers and grasses
effortlessly merge as I unhurriedly cycle 
alongside sparkling canal waters

Blair


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. post on our Facebook page or 2. email us your image.

Creative Time

Category: Art Tags: ,