A Word on Calligraphy

In college as an art student, you're required to research your content and your inspiration to fully understand the motivation behind your work. It's been a long time since I've really done that and sometimes I wonder if that's why I've lost the ability to talk about my own work in a clear and concise manner. So I figured maybe it's time I start hashing this out. 

My favorite brush to paint with is a calligraphy brush. It's beat up and I have mistreated it for years - it's bent in a way it shouldn't be, but yet it continues to be the best size and shape for whatever I need. As a result, my mark is very closely related to a calligraphic mark. It's not a conscious intention, but I do think the intention is there beneath the surface. Wikipedia is my first stop. Read: Chinese calligraphy. (and yes, I'm actually half Chinese)

Chinese calligraphy and ink and wash painting are closely related: they are accomplished using similar tools and techniques, and have a long history of shared artistry. Distinguishing features of Chinese painting and calligraphy include an emphasis on motion charged with dynamic life. According to Stanley-Baker,

"Calligraphy is sheer life experienced through energy in motion that is registered as traces on silk or paper, with time and rhythm in shifting space its main ingredients."

I MEAN. That right there is maybe everything I need to know. The gesture of a mark is an evidence of life, transposing energy - whether it be quick quick slow or painfully repetitive. It's all left right there on the paper.


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