Playing with Japanese brush painting and Chinese calligraphy

Recently I was introduced to a new discount store called Daiso.  In addition to other things, they had Japanese brushes and calligraphy paper for only $1.50 each.  As it happened, I just came across an old Chinese Calligraphy book and decided to combine the two cultures in today’s playtime.  I did five sheets of the calligraphy paper with the symbol for eternal.  It combines several strokes and  I found that a nice challenge. The only calligraphy of this kind I had practiced was my Japanese signature for my name, so it doesn’t come easily to me.


With each combination, I found I did some things right and others not so right, or at least not like the sample.  What was interesting was that I kept changing what was better or missed the mark on each one. In paying attention to getting the first stroke straight, I forgot to make the next one the right proportion…sigh. On the first sheets I had also forgotten to take the extra water out of the brush near the ferrule with a paper towel.    But it was all play and my plan for these sheets is to use them as collage elements in my altered books. The thin paper will be wonderful as we should be able to see the elements underneath.


I finished up my play session with bamboo. This is a subject I have practiced a lot and wanted to end with a positive feeling. I messed up on some parts, but it is still fun for me to paint, and again it will be torn up and glued into my altered books.


So the next time you come up with art supplies or inspiration, combine a couple and see what you can come up with. I’d love to see what happens in your art space. Now go play!