Progress with my Chinese Calligraphy

I started my Chinese calligraphy lessons a year after my retirement.

I know nothing about it at the time. My first teacher taught me all the basics of using the brush, what paper and ink to buy, how the signatory words are to be added, what seals are to be used, how the words / columns are to be structured etc.

For three years, I have been learning several styles of writing from him. I have also imitated hundreds of writings by famous historical and contemporary calligraphers and sometimes making up my own writings.

Some styles of writings demand writing it in a formal manner, a rigid or regal manner, some in a flowing manner. More recently, I like the cursive style of writing. I learn that the words should be a mixture of big and smaller characters, of light and bold characters and that words should be visualized to be connected horizontally as well as vertical between the rows. What is more important is that the finished product must be attractive and likable to read.

Unfortunately, my mom was diagnosed to have incurable cancer four years ago. From that moment on, I was more occupied with caring for her and assisted in whatever possible manner. My calligraphy learning did not come to a stop; I still churned out all the required homework, but obviously, something was lacking – the heart and my concentration in practicing calligraphy was no longer there.

Now that I am progressively walking out of my grief period, I found that I started to have the concentration and the heart to do better calligraphy. Meanwhile, I have also found a new teacher whom I consider very attentive, artistic and have a deep knowledge of calligraphy and how it should be taught. I am happy that I found her.

Posted are three pieces of the same calligraphy written yesterday in cursive style. I have written them with slightly different character sizes and compactness; the results are somewhat different. It took me about 1.5 hours to write all three; I was trying which one works out better.

I have posted a few pieces previously. I just want you to know that I am still progressing – the learning will take forever, I am sure.

Progress with My Chinese Calligraphy

Have been learning Chinese calligraphy for almost five years now.

Prior to taking lessons, I knew nothing about the art nor the technique.

As always, I tried to do the minimum, which means every week I only wrote one piece to satisfy the homework requirement and hand it for the teacher’s critique.

Calligraphy requires a great deal of practicing to perfect it and also a lot of concentration and peacefulness when writing.

In the last three years, I loose that concentration and peacefulness as I was fighting alongside my mom in her battle against cancer.

That courageous battle is now lost. I am now slowly regaining that concentration and I am having a new teacher who is patient and kind to me.

The piece I am showing is an imitation of a calligraphy piece of the Ming Dynasty.

The characters have a flowing cursive style; letters are jam packed together.

This method of presentation is known as ” random stones scattered on a pavement”.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Alphabet (Chinese Character)

This week’s DP Photo Challenge is Alphabet.

I have said quite a few times that the recent challenges are quite difficult for me.

Born and raised in an area where we do not have Alphabets, this challenge also proves difficult for me.

The Chinese characters are not made up of a string of characters and the sound of the characters are not made up from the sound of the constituent alphabets.IMG_1458

We are only three weeks away from the New Year day of the Year of the Monkey!

Here is a character which means Fortune, but here part of the character is removed and replaced by the head of the monkey.

Hope you like it!


It is unbelievable that I now have 10,000 Followers!t015d3320b408df816d

Thanks everyone!

My special thanks go out to those who read my posts, the ones who “Like” them and, of course, the ones who field in their comments and chat with me.

I have started blogging since 1 January 2012.

I was most moved when more than 60 readers responded to my post saying they will pray for my mother who was diagnosed to have colon cancer and undertook an operation in December 2014.

She is still struggling with it. Her cancer has spread to her ovaries and other parts of the abdomen.

She is undergoing oral chemotherapy and has now completed two courses. Every night and day, I can only pray that God that will look kindly upon her and increase the mercy on her.

Suddenly, last night, all hell broke loose, she has to be rushed to the hospital and is staying there for a long battle.

I find strength when readers write to give me the moral support or join me in my prayers for my beloved mother. I would ask that readers join me again in my prayers praying for mom.

Going back to my blog, I have now reached a new bench mark.

The Chinese character I show here means 10,000.

The character is quite artistic and I hope you like it!

My Chinese Calligraphy Homework

Last year, I provided an update in the “About” page  on my activities in retirement.

This is about time I should provide another update.

I have been learning Chinese Calligraphy for slightly over one year now, I am struggling with learning my Spanish grammar and I have also started learning a special form of TaiChi known as the “Water Flowing” form which does not emphasize on the mechanical external form of the exercise – it focuses on the internal work of the body (really hard to explain and learn!).CIMG3702

This week, I have spent over one hour writing the attached calligraphy. This is for handing over to my teacher for his comment coming Saturday. In the past year, I have learned writing in  four different fonts of the Chinese characters. The one posted is the simplified free-flowing form. Every week, my teacher will tell me what are the problems with my writing and how I should improve.

Have also attended some Chinese calligraphy exhibitions locally.DSCF2722

What I enjoyed most was visiting the BaiWangShan garden in Beijing where they have some calligraphy carved in black slate for appreciation.DSCF2735

The slates have poems written by scholars carved into them. It was not only the calligraphy but also the Autumn foliage in the gardens which added to the poetic mood.

With the different Chinese fonts now readily available from the computer / internet, less and less people are learning or practising Calligraphy now.

It is foreseeable that Chinese Calligraphy could become a dying art as well!