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Thread: Play on Calligraphy

  1. #1

    Play on Calligraphy

    So I'm not artist, and I found that out earlier this year when I got this gut instinct to do something special for my wife's birthday. I love gut instincts, and personal gifts are awesome.

    Anyway, even though I'm not a proficient artist, I actually enjoy it quite a bit. I've always had a creative streak, so I'm going to do another project in the upcoming months - maybe during Ango.

    I did a lot of research, I found a local art shop asked a lot of questions, bla. I felt like I entered a whole new world. It's amazing. So, I decided I would do acrylic because everyone says that's a good beginner medium, so I picked that. Initially I wanted to paint a sumi-e (ink painting) inspired Sakura tree -- or Japanese cherry tree in bloom. I love that image, we had a dog named Sakura, so it would be really symbolic and heartfelt

    Except, I realized, that I didn't have the skill level to pull it off (it's so much easier in my mind haahahha), and even though I'm not an expert, I wanted to still do something that looked ok. So I chose calligraphy. I love calligraphy, and I soon realized it is very difficult. Very difficult. And when you are using acrylic you are really painting more than doing calligraphy.

    So anyway, I wanted to stick with acrylic because I wanted to make sure it lasted, and I figured I could get brush to canvas much more quickly, although one of my dreams is to actually study sumi-e painting and calligraphy. I've always loved it. I love the strokes, I love the red signature stamps and how they pop against the black figures.

    So I set up an adhoc studio in my cube at work to keep this completely secret. I had to sand the canvas, apply this medium (I think that's the correct term) called gesso to make sure that the canvas would be as smooth as possible. I repeated this 2 additional times, waiting about 24 hours between gesso coats.

    Then when I was ready, I used paper strips and tape to frame out where I would paint each character. I'm no good at freehand; holy cow is that hard. So I wanted this to be as symmetrical as possible.

    Ultimately, and sorry for the long story, but the process is so much fun even if the end product isn't good.

    My wife was adopted in the US when she was 7, but she's South Korean, so I wanted to mix something that I really love (calligraphy) with something about her.

    So I did this Korean calligraphy that says "Darling, I love you". Now on the lower right, instead of this being a traditional signature stamp, it looks like one, but it actually says "Happy Birthday". So it's a play on traditional calligraphy, and I'm pulling at the heart strings to compensate for lack of skill. hahahahah

    If you click on it, it should appear a little bigger in a pop-up.

    IMG_0953.jpg

    Gassho,

    Risho
    -sattoday

  2. #2
    Treeleaf Unsui Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego County, California
    I think it's nice! The strokes are imperfect yet deliberate, and it adds a very honest charm.

    Gassho, sat today
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Redding California USA
    I think she will love it!

    Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Gassho,

    Shugen

    #sattoday
    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  4. #4
    oops sorry - I wrote it in my mind but not in my post; this was for her birthday in May. She did love it, but I was so nervous making it; my hands were shaking because I didn't know what I was doing. It was a real case of beginner's mind. lol

    Gassho,

    Risho
    -sattoday

  5. #5
    Aw what a beautiful surprise that must have been, great job Risho!
    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  6. #6
    No doubt about why she loved it, looks great!

    Thanks for sharing

    Gassho,
    Andoitz

    SatToday
    太 Tai (Great)
    陽 Yō (Sun)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Geika View Post
    I think it's nice! The strokes are imperfect yet deliberate, and it adds a very honest charm.

    Gassho, sat today
    Yes, lovely Risho .... and glad she loved it, I can see why. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    s@today
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  8. #8
    Joyo
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    oops sorry - I wrote it in my mind but not in my post; this was for her birthday in May. She did love it, but I was so nervous making it; my hands were shaking because I didn't know what I was doing. It was a real case of beginner's mind. lol

    Gassho,

    Risho
    -sattoday
    I draw, and paint, so I understand your nervousness and wanting to be perfect. But just have fun with it, the more you relax and don't even care about the outcome, the more fun it becomes.

    It is really nice, btw. =)

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  9. #9
    This is really nice.....and what a lovely surprise for your wife !
    Gassho,
    Marina sat today

  10. #10
    Hi Risho, absolutely beautiful!!!
    You probably made a few die-hard calligraphy predecessors roll over (as in re-distribute their ashes) in their funeral urns but what a wonderful heart warming gift. And, you did great for a first attempt. Can't wait to see what you're doing in 25 years

    thanks for sharing
    gassho, Shokai
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  11. #11
    I wish I could read Korean, but sure looks like Korean to me.

    Lovely.

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I wish I could read Korean, but sure looks like Korean to me.

    Lovely.

    Gassho, Jundo
    I think so too ... the circles give it away. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    s@today
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  13. #13
    What a lovely thought - thank you for sharing.

    Gassho

    Willow

    ST

  14. #14
    Awesome attempt! Looking nice. Thank you for sharing, Risho.
    I too love the calligraphy and have a strong intention to begin learning
    how-to soon.

    Gassho
    Washin
    ST

  15. #15
    What a happy, thoughtful, loving gift. Your attention to detail is apparent, and brush strokes uninhibited. Good job.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Anne
    ~st~

  16. #16
    What a perfect gift!

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  17. #17
    Eishuu
    Guest
    What a beautiful and thoughtful present. It's really evenly spaced, with a nice sense of balance. Really impressive for your first attempt!

    I'm really interested in calligraphy too and have bought the brushes, ink and paper and am reading a few books on Shodo.

    Gassho
    Lucy

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