Mat cutting weekend

Spent the past couple of weeks working on a project that ended with needing a mat cutter. More to come about the project..

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New goals

It’s that time of year again to look at past goals and set some new goals.

I did get a start on painting this year. I’ve been working on bamboo for the last few months. Next year, I’d like to work on other plants and flowers.

The perennial goal that I seem to never be able to do is create completed works. For some reason, I am super focused on learning and practicing, but not having works to show.

I shouldn’t have an excuse anymore. I have small seal script and one clerical script under my belt, so I should be able to complete a work.

For 2019, I’m making my goal more specific: two works of calligraphy. One by June, and one by December. Ideally I would like to do more, but since my past attempts have yielded none, it’s probably best to start small.

In terms of scripts, my goals are to learn a new standard script, and a running script. Depending on how well those go, I would like to start on a cursive script.

In 2019, I really need to put more effort into Western calligraphy. I need to get to a point where I am as comfortable with a Western calligraphy script as I am with any of my Chinese calligraphy scripts. My goal is to keep on practicing brush Roman Trajan. I also need to work on basic exercises for Copperplate script.

These goals do not seem like much compared to past years, but perhaps I was being too ambitious before. Or maybe I have hit a point in my practice where I know what needs to be done and it’s just a matter of doing it. Do you have any calligraphy goals for 2019?

Getting acquainted with painting

A few months ago I started painting bamboo. Little did I know when I started that it was the first thing to learn to paint, but also the hardest to master. I think I made reasonable progress. But the most important part is that I learned a different way of observing objects and portraying them on paper.

The painting style I’m learning is neither abstract nor realism. I’m not painting in detail, but need to have enough objects and/ or shapes to give the idea of the object I’m painting.I’m not that great at detail drawing, but when I see something, I see all the details and want to at least attempt to reproduce it.

It took awhile for these concepts and ideas sink in. But, I think I have the right idea and was able to apply it to the cat I painted recently.

Reviewing compared to learning

Ritual Vessel Stele was one of the first scripts I learned. I’m reviewing the script again after practicing seal script for quite some time.

When I first learned the script, I did not have any preconceived notions. Now, I am writing again with a lot of experience with seal script. It is a good transition since clerical script evolved from seal script. In particular, Ritual Vessel Stele still has some traces of seal script.

I am finding that I need to make an effort to emphasize the difference between clerical script and seal script to make sure the clerical script looks right.