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D+P Studio News

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

Currently browsing Tag: Shodo calligraphy

Brushing Zen at online Shodo

27 June 2020

Brushing Zen
The history of the styles of zen and chan, and the meanings within the kanji, brushed by Blair

At our recent Zen Brush shodo group – our first online 🙂 – we enjoyed brushing the character 禅 Zen in four very different styles, which were developed over centuries. It was really intriguing to explore the meanings of the different parts of the kanji character and how this can be understood with the reading of it as zen and the connections with awareness, coming partly from the translation of dhyana.

Brushing Zen
A participant’s meditative setup with Buddha and incense, and laptop for Zooming
Brushing Zen
Brushing Zen
One of the participants has combined the four styles of Zen with inkan hanko stamp of Zen (carved at the March Japanese garden group) a lovely setup with a variety of brushes, a nice dark smooth stone as bunchin paperweight, and photobombed by Pooka!

After some loose marks and practice of horizontal and vertical strokes, we worked with kaisho style first, before going on to the sosho. We were inspired by the Chinese calligrapher Chiei with both these styles. He wrote these in his 千字文 Senjimon or Qiānzì Wén- Thousand Character Classic – a beautiful work.

Brushing Zen
The stroke order of the kaisho which Blair brushed – based on Chiei
Brushing Zen
Zen Brush participant has nicely added his name to his piece, and stamped one too 🙂

Then we had some fun with the wider reisho and the taller more linear tensho , both fascinating styles to brush, which use a different technique from the previous two styles. 

Brushing Zen
Four styles in a single sheet of paper by one of the group

Some of us had large fude brushes and liquid ink, and some of us used smaller brushes or fudepen or brushpens, or solid ink, but we all had enough materials and time to appreciate the kanji and each stroke.

Brushing Zen
Enso zen circle by Blair

We talked a bit about how to practice shodo calligraphy to get a feel for the kanji zen, and also how to work on it more meditatively. Also we discussed how and where to write our name on the paper. So we covered a fair bit in this group, and had some fun too!

Inspiring video by participant Alan
Blair writing Zen in the old Tensho, which was originally carved
Blair showing the fun contrast of method of two styles

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Practicing zen in different styles of shodo calligraphy

16 June 2020

禅 zen shodo practice

At our Zen Brush 🖌 calligraphy group coming up on Monday the group will be working from the varied styles and strokes of the mysterious and graceful character 禅 for Zen. And we will explore the multi layered meanings within the kanji character itself. It can be brushed as a meditation too! 🙂

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Let’s write Spring Equinox

20 March 2020

Try out writing spring (or vernal) equinox – Shunbun  春分 – using Japanese Shodo calligraphy, or in your own style in any language!

These two kanji on their own literally mean spring and segment/part/share.

Let’s write Spring Equinox

March Equinox – this is the time equal day and night, when the sun is directly above the Equator. In the Northern Hemisphere it is the Spring Equinox, and it’s called the Autumnal Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere.

Find out more about the Spring Equinox https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/march-equinox.html


Laura, thanks so much for writing spring equinox, your piece looks great and we can see how much you’re enjoying the mizu de kaku water paper – you did well to photograph it before the watery brushstrokes disappeared into the mists! Love the poem, it is so tranquil and soothing 🍃🌱🦆

Let’s write Spring Equinox

Nice one Ken thank you for sending your image to us by email, great idea to try out using the procreate app on your ipad, that’s interesting you told me you used abstract ‘Triangulum’ brush on the app, it gives a 3D marky feel 🥰

Let’s write Spring Equinox

More of us are being at home now, so we are bringing you some regular fun and relaxing activities – Creative Time – to encourage you to have some creative enjoyment and stay in touch!

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

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Mysterious universe calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush

5 March 2020

Mysterious universe calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush

the heavens and earth
are dark and yellow
the universe and time
boundless

Senjimon 千字文
thousand character classic

We continued to work from the Thousand Character Classic 千字文 – Senjimon this time at the last Zen Heart Brush, working with genkou 玄黄, partly inspired by the delightful calligraphy of Chiei 智永. It was intriguing seeing how the shapes together with meanings of the characters originated and having fun with the very varied styles.

Mysterious universe calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush
Mysterious universe calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush
Mysterious universe calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush
Mysterious universe calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush
Mysterious universe calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush

千字文 Thousand Character Classic
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thousand_Character_Classic

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Inspired by the examples of calligrapher Chiei

19 February 2020

Inspired by the examples of calligrapher Chie

At the last Zen Heart Brush we explored the Kaisho and Sosho styles of shodo calligraphy, working with tenchi 天地. We were inspired by the examples of calligrapher Chiei 智永 from his version of the fascinating Thousand Character Classic 千字文 – Senjimon.

Inspired by the examples of calligrapher Chie

His name means wisdom eternal – in Buddhism this wisdom is jnana (pronounced gyana in English) pure awareness unrestricted by concepts. Chiei is from the 7th Century Sui dynasty. He is the great great great…..great grandchild of Ogishi ( 王羲之 4th Century, one of China’s four famous calligraphers).

Inspired by the examples of calligrapher Chie

Thanks to Blair’s teacher Kobayashi Sensei in Japan for the encouragement to work with this text.

Inspired by the examples of calligrapher Chie
Inspired by the examples of calligrapher Chie
Inspired by the examples of calligrapher Chie
Inspired by the examples of calligrapher Chie

千字文 Thousand Character Classic
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thousand_Character_Classic

王羲之 Wang Xizhi
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Xizhi

Inspired by the examples of calligrapher Chie

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生命 – life springing up with shodo calligraphy

6 December 2019

生命 - life springing up with shodo calligraphy

At the Zen Heart Brush in November, we practiced ‘生命 seimei – life’ in the cosy Kagyu Samye Dzong, Tibetan Buddhist centre. Winter has arrived and energy is waning in Glasgow just now but we vigorously enjoyed writing ‘life’!

生命 - life springing up with shodo calligraphy
生命 - life springing up with shodo calligraphy
生命 - life springing up with shodo calligraphy

We talked about life, the elements, universal symbols such as 三角 – triangle, 四角 – square, 丸 – circle, and we made various marks and strokes and worked on kaisho, tensho and gyosho styles.

生命 - life springing up with shodo calligraphy

生命 - life springing up with shodo calligraphy

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Feeling the autumn colours in our shodo calligraphy group…

1 November 2019

In October at our Zen Heart Brush group, we hamonized with the season and decided to write ‘koyo, 紅葉’ autumn colours.

To help us get in the mood and connect with the natural feeling, there were some red and golden leaves on the table to catch the essence of the season. The meaning of the kanji ‘紅葉’ is crimson leaves, we hope everyone enjoyed the autumnal season in the room!

The meaning of the kanji ‘紅葉’ is crimson leaves, we hope everyone enjoyed the autumnal season in the room! We looked at the origins of each kanji character and how the styles changed over the centuries, which guided our shodo practice, and helped us enjoy the different possibilities.

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Japanese shodo calligraphy at the beautiful autumnal Cowden Japanese Garden

1 November 2019

Japanese shodo calligraphy at the Beautiful autumnal Cowden Garden

We had a lovely day at the Cowden Japanese Garden with enthusiastic people taking part, it was a colourful autumn day and tranquil atmosphere, a perfect setting to enjoy a workshop of Japanese shodo calligraphy.

Japanese shodo calligraphy at the Beautiful autumnal Cowden Garden
Japanese shodo calligraphy at the Beautiful autumnal Cowden Garden
Japanese shodo calligraphy at the Beautiful autumnal Cowden Garden

After a short talk about shodo we slowly strolled outside, meditatively walking in the garden to admire different features in the garden and interact with our senses, especially we paid attention to ‘karesansui, 枯山水’ dry landscape which was related to our theme that day!

Japanese shodo calligraphy at the Beautiful autumnal Cowden Garden
Japanese shodo calligraphy at the Beautiful autumnal Cowden Garden
Japanese shodo calligraphy at the Beautiful autumnal Cowden Garden

Then we went back to the room, we started to try out the ‘enso, 円相’ circle to loosen up. Then we moved onto ‘sui, 水’ and ‘san, 山’ which can be combined as ‘sansui, 山水’ mountains and water. We had demonstrations and wrote the characters in very varied styles of calligraphy which the participants enjoyed!

Japanese shodo calligraphy at the Beautiful autumnal Cowden Garden
Japanese shodo calligraphy at the Beautiful autumnal Cowden Garden
Japanese shodo calligraphy at the Beautiful autumnal Cowden Garden
Japanese shodo calligraphy at the Beautiful autumnal Cowden Garden

During the break we had delicious scones and empire biscuits with hot drinks 😉

Japanese shodo calligraphy at the Beautiful autumnal Cowden Garden
Japanese shodo calligraphy at the Beautiful autumnal Cowden Garden
Japanese shodo calligraphy at the Beautiful autumnal Cowden Garden

The garden is a delightful and peaceful place to visit, (it reminds Blair of Kenrokuen garden in Kanazawa) and the setting in the foothills of the Ochills near Dollar is inspiring 🙂

https://www.cowdengarden.com/

Japanese shodo calligraphy at the Beautiful autumnal Cowden Garden
Japanese shodo calligraphy at the Beautiful autumnal Cowden Garden
Japanese shodo calligraphy at the Beautiful autumnal Cowden Garden
Japanese shodo calligraphy at the Beautiful autumnal Cowden Garden
Japanese shodo calligraphy at the Beautiful autumnal Cowden Garden

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Summer months of shodo calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush

30 September 2019

In June at our Zen Heart Brush Japanese calligraphy group, we practised the chapter title from poet and zen mater Dogen’s Shobogenzo “有時” uji – being time, and talked about the meanings of this, and the meanings of the individual characters themselves, which was surprising and mysterious!

Summer months of shodo calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush
Summer months of shodo calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush

In August we practiced ningen “人間” which means human beings in Japanese, but curiously in China it means society or human world. It was fascinating to explore how the kanji changed over time from the earlier shell and bone examples which are very visually communicative and lifelike.

Summer months of shodo calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush
Summer months of shodo calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush
Summer months of shodo calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush
Summer months of shodo calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush

In our September session, we had a full group (sorry didn’t manage photos until afterwards) and after working on enso zen circles we practiced the key eight strokes of a Chinese character. The Chinese character “永” ei contains all of these strokes – known as eiji happou, there are various versions of ei which vary in balance and dynamic, we had fun trying these out. We also looked at the fluid rivery meaning and visual in the kanji character. The faster more fluid styles were popular tonight 🙂

Summer months of shodo calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush
Summer months of shodo calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush
Summer months of shodo calligraphy at Zen Heart Brush

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October Japanese themed groups 🙂

23 September 2019

We are having some Japanese themed groups this October.
One is “Cloudbrush, Treebrush” with Margaret Kerr, on Sunday 20th October from 10.30am – 4.30pm in the open countryside of Lenzie. Combining Japanese calligraphy and meditation, we will explore the relationship between clouds, water and the character of trees.

More info:
https://drawingandpaintingstudio.com/e…/cloudbrush-treebrush

Cloudbrush Treebrush

Also we are delighted to be running two events at the beautiful Japanese Garden Cowden near Dollar, one is Suibokuga Japanese painting and the other is Shodo. Please click below for full information, the tickets are sold by the Japanese Garden.

– Japanese Suibokuga Landscape Painting, Sunday 6th October 10.30am – 1.30pm
– Japanese Shodo Calligraphy, Sunday 27th October 10.30am – 1.00pm

More information and tickets:
https://www.cowdengarden.com/…/japanese-suibokuga-landscap…/
https://www.cowdengarden.com/pr…/japanese-shodo-calligraphy/

Cowden Japanese Garden

We hope you can make it along and enjoy autumnal groups together! 🙂🍂

Suibokuga landscape
Suibokuga by Margaret Kerr and Blair Thomson

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