Wanted to let everyone know that I’ll have some updates very soon here. Its been a while but I have not given up 🙂 Too much good stuff not to share.
Some of the answers echo what 11th Generation Tea Master, Ohi Toshio (大樋年雄) said in his workshop I attended. Tradition & Innovation. Expectations vs Dreams & Desires. It’s a very deep and rich subject.
Please enjoy the find.
My attempts are no where near as beautiful or nuanced. I lean towards the graphical elements more than anything else. But its the concept that counts in my eyes and attempts.
Wow that really transitioned from what I thought it should be into what it wanted to be. It’s all about the brushstroke, which is the essence of the one wielding the brush. Am I tense? Am I shaky? Am I relaxed or confident? So although I am not strictly doing Chinese or Japanese pictorial characters the essence remains the same. It’s the maker turning themselves into visual medium to convey both the meaning of themselves and the meaning they are trying to convey. Is it any good though? If you’ve done your best it doesn’t matter in the least. Oh how smart and philosophical I sound! I’m not anything special. At this point I am just convinced that it absolutely does not matter the medium of expression – Martial Arts, pottery, sculpture, dance, calligraphy, film, writing, painting, playing in the sand, having a conversation, resting, working, pondering, indulging in sadness, raising a family, being a friend, being alive – Not only is there the interconnectedness of all things, it’s ALL the same thing. Do your best & try not to hurt anyone.
- A small handmade bowl to hold the “ink”
- A hakeme brush made from bristles of a broom bound together to create something of a whisk. The desired amount of thick ink is poured into the bowl, then water added slowly and whisked to the desired amount and consistency.
- Three cheap calligraphy brushes. They shed bristles a bit but I think they finished with that after a few sessions and being washed. These give the classical look of the brushstrokes of Chinese / Japanese Calligraphy. Brushes are a subject unto themselves. I have done a small amount of research, enough to know that I’m not anywhere good enough to be shelling out big $ for a specialty brush yet. You could spend an entire lifetime working with a single type of brush. Or even longer looking for the perfect brush. Don’t get stuck in the “I cant produce good work unless I have ____”. You can pluck a few stray hairs from your dog and make a brush and I’m sure many people have.
- A large round brush (which I have not found the perfect use for).
- A 2″ Wooster Vintage Effects Angle Brush. What makes it vintage I have no idea. We just happened to have it new on hand for some other project. The angle makes it interesting because you can go from semi thin strokes and rotate it to get a wide 2″ stroke. I love the end of a brushstroke that has the fading and becomes separated. (does anyone know the term for this?) It has synthetic nylon bristles that produce a very nuanced look.
- Just to have something black to be my “ink” I chose a big bottle of Flow Acrylic. Its non-toxic, does not separate, can be thinned with water to the preferred consistency and it cleans up reasonably well with soap and water.
- A pad of quality paper. The paper below is quality, but probably not the type of quality that one desires for calligraphy or sumi-e. It is perfectly absorbent, does not bleed but it does warp the paper which I am not fond of. I believe that this company does make one type of paper that is meant for acrylic.
Some of my attempts. Not much yet but you gotta start somewhere! 🙂