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書道 Shodo Calligraphy

Midsummer Shodo brushing the Orchid Pavillion Preface
Four Vast Vows Blair Thomson Japanese
Japanese shodo calligraphy at the Beautiful autumnal Cowden Garden
Shodo of the autumn moon shining in the green pool.. 
Brushing Zazen Meditation and Enso Zen Circle
Embracing the Spring breeze at shodo calligraphy
Shodo at Queens Park Arena Glasgow
Midsummer Shodo brushing the Orchid Pavillion Preface
Shodo of the autumn moon shining in the green pool.. 

Immerse yourself in the inspiring practice of Shodo

Enjoy learning and practicing Shodo 書道 Japanese and Chinese calligraphy with Blair, who first studied the way of calligraphy in Osawano, Japan in 2002 with Master Wakabayashi. He then pursued Shodo and Shakyo sutra tracing at Japanese Zen and other temples with monks and nuns, exploring meditative and mindful aspects of Shodo, and in more recent years with advanced and highly respected kind teachers in Tokyo. He loves sharing what he has learned and helping people explore the styles, history and materials.

We offer One to One sessions with Blair, as well as groups. Please read more info or make a booking below.

Why Shodo?

At our physical groups we practice calligraphy with traditional Japanese sumi ink and fude brushes on washi paper, suitable for complete beginners or those with more experience. At online groups or one to one lessons you could take part with simply a brushpen or fudepen and any paper. We often beginning simply making marks with the ink and trying out some of the strokes, or practicing the meditative zen enso 円相 circle, then working from inspiring Chinese and Japanese characters, relating to nature, meditation or poetry. 

We enjoy trying out the different styles, exploring with our own hands how the kanji changed over the centuries from the origins in the ancient oracle shell and bone characters into the Tensho 篆書 curvy enigmatic style, the width of Reisho 隷書, and the more modern boxy – around 6th Century ? – Kaisho 楷書 style designed for the brush. The fluid Gyosho 行書 and faster flowing Sosho 草書 ‘grass’ style is always a joy to work with too. We also look at examples of masters of the styles such as Chiei from the 7th Century Sui dynasty.

This is a practice where we can really enjoy using the ink and brushes, and be totally immersed in the moment of brushing the character, naturally embracing our imperfections without judgement, feeling grounded, and nurturing our creativity and expression.

Great also for folk with an interest in Japanese or Chinese culture or arts, poetry or language, Zen or Buddhism, and no previous experience is needed to take part. We have regular calligraphy groups online or at the tranquil and welcoming Kagyu Samye Dzong Tibetan Buddhist Centre – please see our events page for what’s on.

To see past Japanese calligraphy activities, please check the Japanese calligraphy news page.

Testimonial

Spirit of the way in each Shodo stroke

“I enjoyed trying to write the Japanese characters. For a long time I had an interest in these characters. I enjoyed working with all the supplied materials. There was a great variety. The tutor was very helpful, knowledgeable and encouraging. An excellent course. I would recommend any future courses to my friends.”

Ken

Shodo calligraphy group online – Zen Brush

Brushing Zen

Book a One to One Shodo lesson

Are you interested in taking one to one private lessons from Blair, or booking a time slot for someone else? Here is our calendar for you to book a 1 hour online Zoom session, select your time below.
Booking for someone else without deciding a time – book on this page instead.

Shodo Calligraphy online

1hour: £45

Book below

How to book a session

  1. Book with Blair using the calendar – Please first click on a suitable day, then select a time and click confirm. Then enter your details with name and email address, and select which session you are taking.
  2. Please next pay for your session by clicking the Pay with PayPal button. Choose to either Pay with a Debit or Credit Card, or use a PayPal account if you have one.
  3. Lastly please click Schedule Event – that’s it, you’ve booked your session! A confirmation email with Zoom link will be sent (please check your spam if you don’t get it). If you don’t have the Zoom app click here to download. Looking forward to seeing you!
Payment & Terms

Session by Zoom, price for one person. Non refundable but a session can be rearranged (once only) within 3 months, by contacting us with 24 hrs notice. Drawing and Painting Studio accepts no liability for injury or damage. Children must be supervised by an adult.

One to one sessions

Are you interested in taking one to one private lessons from Blair, or booking a time slot for someone else? Here is our calendar for you to book a 1 hour online Zoom session, select your time below.
Booking for someone else without deciding a time – book on this page instead.

Shodo Calligraphy online

1hour: £45

Book below

How to book a session

  1. Book with Blair using the calendar – Please first click on a suitable day, then select a time and click confirm. Then enter your details with name and email address, and select which session you are taking.
  2. Please next pay for your session by clicking the Pay with PayPal button. Choose to either Pay with a Debit or Credit Card, or use a PayPal account if you have one.
  3. Lastly please click Schedule Event – that’s it, you’ve booked your session! A confirmation email with Zoom link will be sent (please check your spam if you don’t get it). If you don’t have the Zoom app click here to download. Looking forward to seeing you!
Payment & Terms

Session by Zoom, price for one person. Non refundable but a session can be rearranged (once only) within 3 months, by contacting us with 24 hrs notice. Drawing and Painting Studio accepts no liability for injury or damage. Children must be supervised by an adult.

Join our online or physical classes

We hold regular classes, including our monthly Zen Brush Shodo group online on Zoom, for tickets and more info please have a look at our Events and Art groups page.

Mysterious universe calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush
Skybrush Earthbrush

About Blair

Blair Thomson is a skilled and versatile artist who has exhibited widely (from U.K. to U.S. to Japan) and tutored many individuals and groups since graduation in 2002. At Glasgow School of Art he was traditionally trained in drawing and painting, before going on to study various approaches with other teachers such as master calligrapher Wakabayashi Shujo. He has curated exhibitions and been part of public exhibition selection, so he has a wealth of experience to tap into (info at his website below).

Moreover Blair is a kind listener and always enjoys helping others with their artwork. You will feel safe to confide in him about your interests and any worries or uncertainty you have. Any questions you have or guidance you need, Blair will help you.

Blair - Drawing and Painting Studio