Drawing and Painting Studio - create + relax + enjoy

D+P Studio News

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

Springy summery leaves and rippling water at Clydebank art group 🌿🌞🌸

21 May 2019

Inspired by the canal area next to the Centre81, the leaves and flowers and shoots at the banks of the gently moving waters, we enjoyed some easygoing doodling and sketching with pens, pencils and coloured pencils. Relaxing and fun πŸ˜„

Springy summery leaves and rippling water at Clydebank art group 🌿🌞🌸
Springy summery leaves and rippling water at Clydebank art group 🌿🌞🌸
Springy summery leaves and rippling water at Clydebank art group 🌿🌞🌸
Springy summery leaves and rippling water at Clydebank art group 🌿🌞🌸
West Dunbartonshire Council
Flightpath

Kindly supported byΒ West Dunbartonshire Council and Flightpath

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Deeply, slowly and softly – Shakyo tracing at KSD

8 May 2019

Deeply, slowly and softly - Shakyo tracing at KSD

The last of our series of free events related to Japanese calligraphy and meditative practice was Shakyo copying – tracing a sutra.
We started with a talk where Blair discussed the history of Shakyo (and of course including the famous story of Genjo / Xuanzang c 602 – 664 which was popularised in the Saiyuuki / Monkey Magic series, itself based on the fictionalised Chinese novel Journey to the West) and his experience of participating in Shakyo practice in Soto shu and Hosso shu temples in Japan taught by monks and calligraphy masters, connecting with wider zen practice.

Deeply, slowly and softly - Shakyo tracing at KSD

We then had a look at the structure and some of the many meanings in the sutra, the shortened essence or heart of the massively longer epic Dai Hannya (as the monks call it) or Vast Perfection of Wisdom Sutra.
Then we approached this session like a period of meditation, working peacefully and being absorbed into the very process of tracing each character of the chosen Heart Sutra. This is a very tranquil activity best done slowly. 

Deeply, slowly and softly - Shakyo tracing at KSD

In many ways it is also very different from Shodo calligraphy (which we explored in the other groups in this series), such as we worked on many small characters in vertical rows with small kofude brushes, grinding our own ink (listening to the sound as we did so and noticing the speed of the grinding) and connecting to the sutra rather than working with large brushes and kanji in the much more dynamic process of Shodo.

Deeply, slowly and softly - Shakyo tracing at KSD

This type of Shakyo group working with the these traditional materials and methods and looking deeply at the ideas in the sutra is new to Scotland and the UK, and we were delighted to host this and see the participants engage wholeheartedly, enjoy it and want to practice it further. Thanks again to the GB Sasakawa Foundation for their support for this project.

Deeply, slowly and softly - Shakyo tracing at KSD
The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

Kindly supported by The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

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Meditative calm and connecting to spaciousness and light

1 May 2019

Meditative calm and connecting to spaciousness and light

At Kagyu Samye Dzong Tibetan building we had a large turnout for this free Shodo calligraphy group (apologies to those we couldn’t accommodate) and enjoyed a gentle introduction to the way of Sho.

Meditative calm and connecting to spaciousness and light

Before working on the kanji characters, we talked about the history of Shodo and kanji characters, and Blair’s experience in Japan and in particular with calligraphy and meditation. We looked at the traditional materials, from bunchin paper weight to shitajiki felt mat to suzuri inkwells and fude brushes, pausing reflectively to notice and feel the textures such as of the hanshi paper.Β 

Meditative calm and connecting to spaciousness and light

In the peaceful atmosphere of the garden room (where groups such as the Glasgow Zen Group or Tibetan Buddhist group meditate) we worked on several kanji and built up to working on Koumyou ε…‰ζ˜Ž – radiant light or luminous brightness – in the kaisho style and tensho styles.Β 

Meditative calm and connecting to spaciousness and light
Meditative calm and connecting to spaciousness and light

We also had time to try some of the strokes practice, and some participants also experimented with using the brushes to write fluidly in English alongside the kanji characters.

Meditative calm and connecting to spaciousness and light
Meditative calm and connecting to spaciousness and light
The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

Kindly supported by The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

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Enso zen circles and old bone language at Maryhill Art Group

30 April 2019

Enso zen circles and old bone language at Maryhill Art Group

In this session generously supported by the GB Sasakawa Foundation, our group of adults with children were able to try out Japanese calligraphy for the first time and find out about some of the history and culture behind the beautiful characters.

Enso zen circles and old bone language at Maryhill Art Group

The participants enjoyed the challenge and variety of making an enso circle in a single mark – reflecting their experience and being in that moment,Β and in some ways a meditation in itself. Time to breathe, relax and connect helped to settle into the calligraphy, but folk were very quick to get going and try out the kanji characters.

Enso zen circles and old bone language at Maryhill Art Group

As we have worked a lot with natural materials in this group previously it was ideal to try out characters such as moku 木 – wood, and kumo ι›² – cloud.Β 

Enso zen circles and old bone language at Maryhill Art Group
Enso zen circles and old bone language at Maryhill Art Group

The younger participants engaged very readily to the older tensho, kinbun and kokotsubun styles – back to the shell and bone language which evolved into kanji. We considered the connections to the old Scottish Pictish and Viking Norse visual languages and found these to be closer than we would have thought.Β 

Enso zen circles and old bone language at Maryhill Art Group
Enso zen circles and old bone language at Maryhill Art Group
Enso zen circles and old bone language at Maryhill Art Group
The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

Kindly supported by The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

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The way of sho

24 April 2019

At Zen Heart Brush this time we worked with the characters for Shodo – the way of writing. ζ›Έ Sho/ kaku can mean to write, to draw or to paint so has a fairly broad range of interpretation. Lots of horizontal strokes in this character!

The way of sho
The way of sho
The way of sho

道 Dou/ michi – meaning way, road, teachings such as Buddha way – visually varies a lot from tensho to kaisho styles, especially the foot moving forward on the left side (hen radical), itself meaning walk or advance. We looked briefly at the roots of meaning of this Chinese character which are ancient and shamanic.

The way of sho

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Kokyou – the eternal mirror

24 April 2019

Kokyou - the eternal mirror

We first had some fun loosening up with some markmaking before working on the kanji character 叀 ko / furui for old or ancient. Exploring the oldest bone carving style of character was really fun in addition to the tensho and kaisho styles.

Kokyou - the eternal mirror

鏑 Kyou/ kagami meaning mirror had a lort more strokes to work with but we enjoyed the contrast with the ko character. This relates to the old Chinese bronze mirrors.

Kokyou - the eternal mirror
Kokyou - the eternal mirror

Combining both kanji together with the resulting sound Kokyou, has a very old Chinese meaning – mirrors are the origin of yin and yang and regulate the body eternally – as well as a later meaning in Buddhism – in the ancient mirror nothing is discriminated, everything is shown.

Kokyou - the eternal mirror

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Mysterious shapes and energy of trees

29 March 2019

Continuing from last week’s theme of spring growth we probed the branchy twisting shapes within trees, more easily seen before all the leaves come out.

Mysterious shapes and energy of treesMysterious shapes and energy of treesMysterious shapes and energy of trees

Thinking about the graceful shapes and sense of wisdom that trees convey, we were free to make more artworks and find connections between roots, branches, seeds, shoots, buds and the energetic positive feeling of Spring.Mysterious shapes and energy of trees

Mysterious shapes and energy of treesMysterious shapes and energy of trees

Mysterious shapes and energy of trees

Mysterious shapes and energy of trees

Using coloured pencils and pens we each drew our own tree of life.

Mysterious shapes and energy of treesMysterious shapes and energy of trees

Mysterious shapes and energy of trees

Mysterious shapes and energy of treesMysterious shapes and energy of trees

 

Glasgow Connected Arts Network

Kindly supported by Glasgow Connected Arts Network

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Spring growth and life emerging

29 March 2019

The buds of spring and shoots, and young green leaves inspired us over two nights at Maryhill Art Group. We used our senses to look closely at the buds, daffodils and other spring shoots and flowers we had brought in, also smelling the scents.

Spring growth and life emerging

Spring growth and life emerging

Spring growth and life emergingSpring growth and life emergingAfter some leaf like curvy doodles with organic shapes in various colours, we listened to some poetry and words about the spring, the changing season, and seeds sprouting.

single wish
to sleep a night
below cherry blossoms

Ryokan

Different types of coloured pencils were used fro drawing, some finer and more delicate as well as chunkier richer coloured ones. These were ideal for giving a sense of the delicate colours at the start of this season.

Spring growth and life emerging

Spring growth and life emerging

Spring growth and life emerging

 

Glasgow Connected Arts Network

Kindly supported by Glasgow Connected Arts Network

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Expansive vistas, soaring gannets, flying marks

28 March 2019

Freedom in open spaces and big marks! Continuing from last session’s rocky theme of rocks under the earth in Glasgow, we took this into wider dimensions with more spacious scenes of sea, islands, birds.

Expansive vistas, soaring gannets, flying marks

Expansive vistas, soaring gannets, flying marks

Expansive vistas, soaring gannets, flying marks

Expansive vistas, soaring gannets, flying marks

This was influenced also by the rock and raked gravel dry gardens of Japan and China garden design, which placed carefully chosen stones of particular shapes into spaces to create a harmonic landscape world of mountains, seas, waterfalls and forest.

Expansive vistas, soaring gannets, flying marks

Fine pens as well as prockey pens and metallic pens were ideal for drawing from our expanded amount of stone – one of the participants kindly brought a beautiful collection of stones and minerals of mesmerising colours and textures.

Expansive vistas, soaring gannets, flying marks

Expansive vistas, soaring gannets, flying marksIn the second half of the group we used black ink and different types of brushes to explore totally different ways of markmaking, still keeping the textured or smooth feel of the stones, and with the spaciousness of the sea and garden spaces.Β Β Β  Expansive vistas, soaring gannets, flying marksExpansive vistas, soaring gannets, flying marksExpansive vistas, soaring gannets, flying marks Expansive vistas, soaring gannets, flying marksExpansive vistas, soaring gannets, flying marks
 

Glasgow Connected Arts Network

Kindly supported by Glasgow Connected Arts Network

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