Drawing and Painting Studio - create + relax + enjoy

D+P Studio News

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

Lava rising from patterns of earth and rock

28 March 2019

Inspired by the rocks under our feet in Glasgow, from the carboniferous to the metamorphic hundreds of millions of years ago. We drew and doodled from our rock collection as well as from our imagination, thinking about lava rising up through the sea to create mountains, and rocky hills lowering to valleys and streams with animals and people active below the peaks.

Lava rising from patterns of earth and rock

Lava rising from patterns of earth and rock
 
Our doodles were tectonic and very craggy.

Lava rising from patterns of earth and rock

Lava rising from patterns of earth and rock

Lava rising from patterns of earth and rockWorking on black paper with oil pastels helped us explore rocky textures, and enjoy trying out some funky colour combinations. The weight and feel of the stones and rocks helped to guide us. Some of us drew or wrote words about what rocks an rocky places meant for us.

We also had time to relax, thinking about this theme and feeling nice and grounded!

Lava rising from patterns of earth and rock

Lava rising from patterns of earth and rockLava rising from patterns of earth and rockLava rising from patterns of earth and rock

Lava rising from patterns of earth and rock

 

Glasgow Connected Arts Network

Kindly supported by Glasgow Connected Arts Network

Category: Art Groups Tags: ,

Spring experiments and lots of tensho!

16 March 2019

The primary school group on Saturday at North United Communities in Maryhill Hub tried Japanese calligraphy for the first time and had lots of fun!

To begin with we did some short meditation together, just grounding and breathing, settling, and then touching the materials which everyone enjoyed. Then we poured the sumi ink and straight away they were making marks with the fude brushes and engaging with the pictorial aspects of the characters, and the shapes of the strokes.

They were especially keen to try the tensho and kinbun styles of characters, and we chatted about the meanings behind these and how they related to our experience of being connected to nature. There was a fair bit of experimentation in this group with the children exploring the dense quality of the ink and also the hanshi paper which was is a lot thinner they are used to. 

明 akarui – bright was a nice kanji that was enjoyed, and also 春 haru – spring – and dai 大 – great – with other kanji also being worked on. The meanings and rich visual language of each character was quickly absorbed by the young people.

The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

Kindly supported by The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

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Workshop for North United Communities

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Clouds and heart-mind at Maryhill Hub

15 March 2019

Clouds and heart-mind at Maryhill Hub

Secondary school young people at the Friday night North United Communities group embraced Japanese writing and Shodo calligraphy. The group had some meditative time first to feel the textures and weight of the materials, such as the types of fude brushes, suzuri ink well and bunchin paper weight, and to settle and breathe deeply, before beginning.

Clouds and heart-mind at Maryhill Hub

Kumo 雲 – cloud – was especially popular in the kaisho style. And with a few participants being anime fans such as of Natsu Dragneel, so we worked on natsu 夏- summer – as well as a bonus!

Clouds and heart-mind at Maryhill Hub
Clouds and heart-mind at Maryhill Hub
Clouds and heart-mind at Maryhill Hub

Some young people also enjoyed working on kokoro 心 – heart or mind. One young participant even worked on the hiragana syllabary which was fantastic and we explored some of the pronunciation of these as well as the kanji characters.

Clouds and heart-mind at Maryhill Hub
Clouds and heart-mind at Maryhill Hub
The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

Kindly supported by The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

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Workshop for North United Communities

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Shodo calligraphy at Ruchill Community Centre

14 March 2019

At our first Sasakawa Foundation sponsored event in Ruchill, local children and staff tried out Japanese calligraphy for the first time, using traditional materials such as fude brushes and sumi ink to write some Chinese kanji characters. We explored a natural theme of light and space. 

Shodo calligraphy at Ruchill Community Centre

We started with some discussion about the styles and type of imagery, and just a little about the history! Then after some demonstration, we worked from tsuki 月, moon, and hi 日, sun or day. The young people really engaged with the peaceful and attentive way of working, and with the tensho and kaisho styles, and surprisingly told us it was so easy! They wanted more kanji to work from 🙂

Shodo calligraphy at Ruchill Community Centre

Next we worked on mountains and water, or landscape, sansui 山水, a nice simple word with two characters. Then ai 愛, love, and onto dai 大, great or large, which has a lovely balance and contrast between the type of brushstrokes. No problem for the Ruchill young folk! 

Shodo calligraphy at Ruchill Community Centre
Shodo calligraphy at Ruchill Community Centre
Shodo calligraphy at Ruchill Community Centre
Shodo calligraphy at Ruchill Community Centre
Shodo calligraphy at Ruchill Community Centre

We then worked on each person’s name in the katakana syllabary, which we encouraged them to add to some of their pieces, or just try it on a single sheet of paper. 

Shodo calligraphy at Ruchill Community Centre
The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

Kindly supported by The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

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Workshop for North United Communities

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Sights of Glasgow painted at NUC Breakfast Club

2 March 2019

We started off sketching the main shapes of the composition – of the Clyde river and Hydro, Armadillo and Tall Ship, then added the great Glasgow icon of the Duke of Wellington with his stunning traffic cone hat 🤠 Next the Squinty bridge, Finnieston Crane, some flats and the Riverside Museum. The young folk were keen on an Irn Bru bottle being included too! We had a flurry of energetic painting and have about half still to work on soon. 🎨

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Workshop for North United Communities

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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


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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: , ,