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D+P Studio News

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

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

1 March 2019

In January Blair visited Japan as part of a project kindly funded by the GB Sasakawa Foundation. He had an exciting packed schedule learning about various Shodo calligraphy styles of Japanese calligraphy with Shodo masters in Tokyo, and investigating mindful meditation practices with different teachers and monks in Tokyo and the Hokuriku area.

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

He met respected Japanese Zazen meditation (Zen) teachers to investigate connections between mindful meditation practice for calm and well-being, Japanese harmony with the environment and Shakyo practice. Shakyo is a peaceful, meditative method of tracing the Japanese and Chinese kanji characters of sutras such as the Heart Sutra (copying the old version of traveler monk Genjo in the temple artwork below, Blair enjoyed this in Soto shu and also Hosso shu temples in Tokyo). His teachers introduced him to Ganshinkei’s (Yan Zhenqing) calligraphy being exhibited at Tokyo National Museum, as well as an exhibition of shodo pieces he visited in Ueno.

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

Visiting Okamoto Taro’s studio museum in Aoyama was also an inspiration as this is an artist that inspires some of the D+P Studio artwork collaborations.

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

It was a fun trip for Blair and he was able to stay in an old Soto Shu temple as well as learn from masters like Issho Fujita who are knowledgeable about many Japanese practices related to Buddhism and mindfulness. In different temples he found varying and subtle styles of meditation practice (such as in Soto and Rinzai temples). He also visited Natadera temple and caves, an old Shingon temple dating to the 8th century – he found connections there between the sacred earth and nature worship of Shinto, Hakusan mountain reverance and Buddhist meditative practice.

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

There were many mysteries and places he would have liked to spend more time delving into, but he couldn’t stop too long before hopping on the next bus or shinkansen train to reach a new Zazen meeting or Shodo workshop! Blair is very thankful for all the support he received in Japan, from many kind and helpful individuals as well as teachers and monks.

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

From March to May we are running a series of free workshops in the Glasgow area exploring the themes mentioned above.

7th March 2019
Ruchill After School P4-P7 Shodo Japanese Calligraphy

8th March 2019
Maryhill 12+ Shodo Japanese Calligraphy

9th March 2019
Maryhill Breakfast Club Shodo Japanese Calligraphy

25th April 2019
Maryhill Art Group – Japanese calligraphy night

28th April 2019
Introduction to Japanese Sho Calligraphy

4th May 2019
Introduction to Shakyo – Tracing the Sutras

We will have fun trying out and discussing Japanese Shodo calligraphy, meditation and mindful awareness, and investigate how these practices can help us connect with our environment through markmaking. Also we will look for shared cultural connections for instance with Celtic and Pictish symbols and pictograms. There is very little knowledge about mindful Shakyo practice, which is a calming and activity aiding wellbeing and awareness, this is a new practice for people in the UK.

Winter clarity and creative exploration in Japan

 

The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

Kindly supported by The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation


Category: News Tags: , ,

Love is in the air, with satellites whizzing by the stars

28 February 2019

Love is in the air, with satellites whizzing by the stars

After some relaxing doodles of love hearts to celebrate the group being on Valentines day, with some joyful Ryokan poetry, we picked up the cityscape-cosmos theme again with some smaller doodles first then prepared for a large piece.

Love is in the air, with satellites whizzing by the stars

Love is in the air, with satellites whizzing by the stars

Love is in the air, with satellites whizzing by the stars

Love is in the air, with satellites whizzing by the stars

One of the group brought in an excellent book about the solar system which helped us to draw some planetary shapes and asteroids. And the combination of visuals with words in concrete poetry helped inspire us too.

We chatted about some ideas for a composition for the big joint piece on thick cartridge paper, which we cut to match the size of the tables. We painted with watercolours and used pens also and just had fun creating something together on a large scale (3 metres wide approx).

Love is in the air, with satellites whizzing by the starsLove is in the air, with satellites whizzing by the stars

Love is in the air, with satellites whizzing by the stars

We worked on this in only 45 minutes before the end of the session, it amazed us how we could cover this size and not be short of ideas either. We encouraged each other, swapped places to freshen things up, and enjoyed the freedom of working with what felt like no boundaries.

Love is in the air, with satellites whizzing by the stars
Love is in the air, with satellites whizzing by the stars Love is in the air, with satellites whizzing by the stars Love is in the air, with satellites whizzing by the stars

 

Glasgow Connected Arts Network

Kindly supported by Glasgow Connected Arts Network

Category: Art Groups Tags: ,

Dippy drops into Kelvingrove museum and art gallery

25 February 2019

The marvelous huge cast of Dippy  (cast in the early 20th C), the famous Diplodocus dinosaur of late Jurassic period, 155 to 145 million years ago, has strolled into Glasgow and is gracefully standing in the central space of the Kelvingrove gallery.

Dippy drops into Kelvingrove museum and art gallery

It is a super scene to draw or gaze at, and the architectural details of the interior of the museum are fascinating too, from the ornate light fittings to arches and of course the towering organ.

Dippy drops into Kelvingrove museum and art gallery Dippy drops into Kelvingrove museum and art gallery Dippy drops into Kelvingrove museum and art gallery

 

 

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Exploring the cosmos, with a slice of watermelon 🙂

21 February 2019

Exploring the cosmos, with a slice of watermelon 🙂

‘Art is magic’
‘Art is explosion’

Two quotes by the Japanese 20th Century sculptor and painter Okamoto Taro. His large sun and moon heads inspired us to develop some drawings based on the heavens and its deep connection to us in the city environment.

Exploring the cosmos, with a slice of watermelon 🙂

We listened to some poetry about the sun, moon and stars, and thought about the effect of their presence and energy on the earth, people and creatures below to get some ideas for doodling and writing a few words too.

Exploring the cosmos, with a slice of watermelon 🙂

Exploring the cosmos, with a slice of watermelon 🙂

As well as prockey water based pens, we used posca paint pens and then art brushes (cartridges are coloured inks) which folk really enjoyed the freedom of – the silky flowing strokes and dry brushy finish worked well on textured paper.

Exploring the cosmos, with a slice of watermelon 🙂

Exploring the cosmos, with a slice of watermelon 🙂

Some aliens appeared in the drawings as well, and one participant creatively moved from drawing a black hole explosion to a colourful watermelon explosion.

Exploring the cosmos, with a slice of watermelon 🙂

Exploring the cosmos, with a slice of watermelon 🙂

Exploring the cosmos, with a slice of watermelon 🙂

Exploring the cosmos, with a slice of watermelon 🙂

Exploring the cosmos, with a slice of watermelon 🙂

Exploring the cosmos, with a slice of watermelon 🙂

Exploring the cosmos, with a slice of watermelon 🙂

Exploring the cosmos, with a slice of watermelon 🙂

 

Glasgow Connected Arts Network

Kindly supported by Glasgow Connected Arts Network

Category: Art Groups Tags: ,

Meditation and Qigong with young people

10 February 2019

At Maryhill Hub on Saturday, Blair working with the NUC young people – a short session of mindfulness meditation for children with some fun Qigong moves😃

 

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Workshop for North United Communities

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Category: Art Groups Tags: , ,

Arts and culture project – calligraphy, meditation and Shakyo

3 January 2019

Mushin and Unsui calligraphy at Heart Brush

Supported by the Sasakawa Foundation, we will be running some free workshops in the North, West and central areas of Glasgow for young people and adults to discuss, explore and have fun trying out Japanese Shodo calligraphy, with some meditation and mindful awareness, such as the peaceful and meditative practice of Shakyo. Look out for dates in late Winter and Spring 2019! We will announce which groups are free to join (please note Zen Heart Brush is not part of this project).

Tracing the Sutras – Shakyo Peaceful practice following the Heart SutraTracing the Sutras – Shakyo Peaceful practice following the Heart Sutra

We hope to inspire people in and beyond Glasgow to connect with their environment through markmaking and look for shared cultural connections between Japan and Scotland, for instance with Celtic and Pictish symbols and pictograms.

Mushin and Unsui calligraphy at Heart Brush

Skybrush Earthbrush

 

The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

Kindly supported by The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

Category: Art Groups Tags: , ,

Season’s Greetings ❄⛄🎄

23 December 2018

The Drawing and Painting Studio wishes you a peaceful and relaxing festive holiday!

Thanks for all your support and creative energy in 2018.

Merry Christmas banner by North United Communities kids group!

Merry Christmas banner by North United Communities kids group!

Category: News Tags: ,

Exploring the calligraphy of the great earth at Heart Brush

21 December 2018

In this last session of the year, we talked about the meanings of Daichi 大地, great earth or vast earth, and the various styles that could be used for both these characters.

Exploring the calligraphy of the great earth at Heart Brush

We especially looked at the possible styles for Dai – 大, a kanji – Chinese character – meaning big, large or great, which appears so simply with its three strokes, but has quite a balance to it. The symmetry of this character can change a lot depending on how it is brushed, and if using the tensho, kaisho, gyosho or sosho styles. It is interesting how the original pictogram of a person changed into the meaning of large or great.

Exploring the calligraphy of the great earth at Heart Brush

Exploring the calligraphy of the great earth at Heart Brush

Exploring the calligraphy of the great earth at Heart Brush

Participants experimented with smaller characters using fudepen 筆ペン brush pens, as well as takepen 竹ペン bamboo pens ( handmade and not that easy to find in Japan, very beautiful marks) and noticed the different feel and style of the marks from the larger and softer fude brushes. Towards the end some folk tried the two kanji of Daichi together.

Exploring the calligraphy of the great earth at Heart Brush

Exploring the calligraphy of the great earth at Heart Brush

Category: Art Groups Tags:

Snowflakes and festive natural patterns

21 December 2018

In the last two sessions of Maryhill art group in 2018, with it getting closer to Christmas (and also the fact that the centre staff asked if we could make some decorations for the building) we had festive pattern themed groups.

Snowflakes and festive natural patterns

Snowflakes and festive natural patterns

Snowflakes and festive natural patterns

Folk seemed to take to this well, combining craft and drawing. Following our guidance they folded and cut thin paper snowfalkes in a variety of designs, mounting onto coloured paper or colouring the shapes of the negative spaces.

Snowflakes and festive natural patterns

Snowflakes and festive natural patterns

Snowflakes and festive natural patterns

Snowflakes and festive natural patterns

Snowflakes and festive natural patterns

Snowflakes and festive natural patterns

Snowflakes and festive natural patterns

Snowflakes and festive natural patterns

We also had some free doodling time, with natural geometry and more chaotic textures to look at such as fractal shapes, or of ice cracking, and this helped us create more free festive patterns such as with stars and simple trees.

Snowflakes and festive natural patterns

Snowflakes and festive natural patterns

Snowflakes and festive natural patterns

We hung and stuck on the walls many of the pieces in the Maryhill Hub building. Mince pies, chocolates, tea and ginger cookies helped make the nights enjoyable and relaxed 🙂

Snowflakes and festive natural patterns

Snowflakes and festive natural patterns

Snowflakes and festive natural patterns

Snowflakes and festive natural patterns

 

Glasgow Connected Arts Network

Kindly supported by Glasgow Connected Arts Network

Category: Art Groups Tags: ,

Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace

20 December 2018

“Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace” is locked Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace

“Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace” is locked Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace

It was a lovely time drawing together inside the peaceful environment of the Winter Gardens, such a shame it may have to close soon for renovation. We sat so that we could look at the glass and white painted metal beams of the glasshouse, plus see the plants, cacti, sugar cane and palms, and also over to the quirky interior brick structure of the People’s Palace.

“Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace” is locked Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace

“Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace” is locked Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace

“Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace” is locked Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace

After a little time just looking at things around us and getting settled, we began with some warm up drawings of the shapes in the glass, which we developed into pattern – there were some funky spacey shapes emerging in the drawings! – and then continuing with textures of the organic plants, using pencils.

“Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace” is locked Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace

“Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace” is locked Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace

“Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace” is locked Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace

“Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace” is locked Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace

The softness of the lead or sharpness of the tip of the pencil was ideal for experimenting with the spiky or soft qualities seen in parts of the palms and cacti.

“Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace” is locked Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace

There was also time to bring in some more colour with pens, taking in a some of the interior, even the benches, bins and stone pathways were an interesting complement to the exotic dark greens of the beautiful plants. The round windows on the brick wall also helped our drawings have a nice fun structure.

“Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace” is locked Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace

“Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace” is locked Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace

“Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace” is locked Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace

It was great to see the participants all enjoy being in the space and develop some pieces they liked working on.

“Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace” is locked Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace

“Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace” is locked Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace

“Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace” is locked Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace

“Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace” is locked Leafy palm trees and geometry at the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace

Category: Art Groups Tags: