Tuesday, August 08, 2006

chinese proverbs and calligraphy

A while back I said I would post projects from my Chinese calligraphy class. And today is the day that I do.

I took the class this past spring, but I've been wanting to take it since 2001. It was a dream, and I did it. The reason I wanted to take it? I was in China, November of 2000. My American friends and I were walking through a park in Beijing. The weather was cool, and it was overcast as usual.

As we walked along, I saw an older Chinese man. He was holding a paint brush that was nearly as tall as he was, and he was standing straight, painting Chinese characters on the sidewalk. But the brush was made of sponge, and the 'paint' was actually water. He would paint a row of beautiful Chinese characters and by the time he got through several rows, the first row had faded away to nothing.

It was spontaneous art, and the beauty of it overwhelmed me. The man didn't care how fleeting his art was, he was only intent on creating it. Right then I decided I wanted to learn Chinese calligraphy. I didn't think I'd ever get the chance.

Then I came to ASU in 2001 and saw that they offered Chinese calligraphy courses once a year! The planets never aligned until this year. It was one credit hour; it was fun. Chinese calligraphy is very relaxing, and I think I'm actually good at it!

Here are a couple of projects.



This first one is a rough draft of the final project we had to turn in. I don't know what the writing says; it's from an inscription written on somebody's tomb. This is the project my teacher was so impressed with she offered to frame it while she was in China! I was speechless...

And this last pic is actually a project I did after the class was over. I made it for my husband when he graduated from ASU with his MPA. I can't remember the exact translation, but here's the gist: "When you have climbed the highest peak, the mountains below you seem small."

Anyway, I love Chinese calligraphy. It's an art form that I would like to keep up because it's beautiful, it's relaxing, and it's a hobby that's pretty unique (unless you're in China!).

6 comments:

TK said...

those are beautiful! i can't believe how talented you are (well, yes i can). i remember when you first started. you sure have come a long way!

east of eden said...

I love it. You know, this could be your next money making plan. I would buy this.

Erin said...

I love your blog and I love that you found me again. Your calligraphy is stunning. Serioulsy Holli, you are and always have been full of talent and surprises. And I haven't forgotten that I owe you an email.

reva said...

geez, those are soooper cool!! I wish I had the chance to learn how - every time I see someone do it or try to explain, they get so intense I swoon. Congrads on not swooning!

holli jo said...

You guys are so kind. And yeah, maybe I will sell them someday...

Ally said...

WOW! Holli, those really are beautiful! You certainly have a gift for the artform. Sorry, I've totally sucked at reading your blog for a long time, but I'm glad I stopped by today. Thanks for sharing pics of your talent.

Als-pals