I’d been giving classes in Chinese Calligraphy for Beginners as a volunteer tutor for a number of years. Two years ago I retired but now the teacher who took over from me has quit and I’d been asked to return. I have agreed to giving a one-of workshop to see if there’s interest in a full course.
Teaching illiterate adults the art of beautiful writing is a challenge. One must learn to write before one can write beautifully, right? People are often attracted to an artwork in a wild cursive script and say it’s beautiful without knowing the meaning of the word/words or how to write them. Some came to class expecting to be flinging a brush around and making beautiful blotches on the page. Nothing could be further from reality.
Students must learn about the Chinese calligraphy brush, ink and paper that do not behave in the same way as the pen and paper used in western calligraphy. To make a distinct line on the page is a challenge for a novice who must learn how to load and hold the brush and control it to make the desired lines and shapes, stroke by stroke.At the same time they must learn the stroke sequence that, like spelling of letters, must be written in a particular order.
It will be a long time before beginners can hope to produce the kind of artwork that they may have admired in art galleries but with practice, many of my students have exhibited their work with pride; most recently at the Art Space in Chatswood.
Those students had been attending classes for three to twenty sessions.
I had hoped to further cross cultural understanding by offering these courses to non-Chinese but they have attracted more Australians with Asian ancestry than Caucasians; though all students achieved equally good results.
Booking is essential for The Introductory Chinese Calligraphy Workshop at MOSAIC Centre, Chatswood on Tuesday September 15, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tel. 9777 7952.
P.S. This workshop was cancelled due to lack of interest.