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Messages - SunnyMoni

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Hey everyone! If you were on my list I apologize! We have had a major life event occurring and that has taken priority. Your letters will be sent very shortly. They are finally complete and are sitting on my writing desk, ready to go. I am so incredibly sorry to have fallen behind like this.

I have received your letters and they are beautiful!!! It's always so exciting to get such beautiful mail. Thank you so much.

Please forgive me for my lack of speed and focus. It's been a wild couple of months and things are finally starting to slow down and go back to normal.

So my reply is partly a response to you and partly to some comments. I'm talking mainly about the comparison of my everyday handwriting to Copperplate. I'm sure this may vary with type of calligraphy.

My handwriting really suffered for a while after learning Copperplate. My everyday writing was a mix of print and cursive. After learning Copperplate it was a mess. I suddenly couldn't remember how to form letters normally. After some time I stopped confusing the two and now they are entirely separate. Tools don't make a huge difference on my everyday writing except with one except. I normally hold a pen pretty hard but if I'm using a fountain pen I try to write very lightly. This has a direct effect on my writing because I have to change what I'm doing. With a fountain pen I tend to write in either full cursive (not so often) or in italic print letters (more often).

There was a question about if you thought about handwriting as if it were calligraphy and what would happen. I kind of touched on that with my confusing forms at the beginning. I don't think it's easy to form letters in the same way because Copperplate specifically is drawn in a way that appears flowing and connected but has strategic lifts. Everyday handwriting may or may not be this way.

Another aspect that comes to mind is the difference between writing the letters and drawing them. I don't draw my everyday handwriting but I do draw the letters for calligraphy.

Brush Calligraphy / Re: Zen Calligraphy
« on: February 12, 2016, 11:00:39 PM »

So, with that all said, I would love to see what these practitioners are doing, and to hear from someone who does practice purposely meditative calligraphy in a western or hybrid tradition. Or someone with a counter view of things. Or both.  :D

I really appreciate your comments and they gave me a lot to think about. When I think about whether or not it's okay to use something from one culture or tradition, adapting it for use with one's own culture/language/traditions/etc, food comes to mind. We take food from cultures all around the world and adapt the ideas/flavors to make them our own. Most Mexican food found in the U.S. isn't traditional Mexican food, it is a hybrid. I don't think that lessens it in any way. It just makes it different. When considering calligraphy I think more than the performance of it has to be considered. What are the reasons behind adapting for language? What methods are being used? Is the zen part of the practice still practiced in the same way? I guess this would vary from person to person.

Aside from my friend I mentioned earlier who has attempted zen calligraphy in English I am familiar with the work of Thich Nhat Hanh. He is a zen buddhist who practices mindful calligraphy and his work is sometimes done in English. Here's an example of his work:

Brush Calligraphy / Re: Zen Calligraphy
« on: February 08, 2016, 06:51:05 PM »
I really appreciate your well thought out reply. I'm going to think about everything you've said for a while before I reply.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: If you could have...
« on: February 08, 2016, 12:07:50 PM »
Umm, talent...can I have that?

If not, I guess a room dedicated to calligraphy and crafty type things.  Oh, and a couple of boxes of dream nibs.

Talent may be limited by its rarity. :)

(But I like the answer and wish to appropriate it for myself)

Otherwise, really good, antique paper. I'm talking the fine stuff from the 19th-century. Like some of the Royal Irish Linen paper they made from scraps from the Irish linen mills I see advertised in the old journals. May also be limited by rarity.

How about a beautiful old writing desk with lots of pigeon holes, and a wafer-thin mint OLED light screen carefully inlaid into the surface with a yielding, transparent surface on top of the screen? Turn off the light, and it looks like a writing desk with a writing surface. Turn it on and it's a light box built into a massive old writing desk. (don't forget the pigeon holes, and a secret compartment or two).  Not rare, just very expensive.

Oh, and room to hold the massive writing desk, but I guess that's two things. Oh, what do I need a dining table for?

I'm sure my wife would go along with that. Don't you?


As far as the writing desk goes, Craigslist can be your best friend! My husband found an antique writing desk for me for $40. That center piece lifts out so he measured it out to convert that section to a light table. You can use LED light strips and a sheet of acrylic or plexiglass for that part if you can find the right thicknesses. Plus, it's then interchangeable with the leather piece that goes in the center. Anyways, that item is more than likely possible BUT it's not a huge writing desk. We haven't set it up yet to convert to a light table so I'm totally with you on that one.

That'd be the one thing I want right now out of anything. That or a custom pen holder.

Oh, I forgot to mention, I did get all of the letters sent out. I also received my first letter. I can't remember who from at this moment but it was beautiful! Now I feel like I must apologize for my lack of effort in comparison. Though... I know I shouldn't compare. We're all doing our best.

Open Flourish | General Discussion / If you could have...
« on: February 07, 2016, 09:15:23 PM »
If you could have any one calligraphy-related item, what would that be? Cost doesn't matter, rareity does. So it must be able to be something that is at least obtainable.

Brush Calligraphy / Re: Zen Calligraphy
« on: February 06, 2016, 11:14:51 PM »
The only zen calligraphy I know of is brush and ink Japaneseor Chinese calligraphy. Is there a strain of European/American zen calligraphy?

I've met one person who practices zen calligraphy with brush and ink but by using English words. I'm not sure this is necessarily common practice or if it would still be considered the same thing.

Brush Calligraphy / Re: Zen Calligraphy
« on: February 06, 2016, 09:55:22 PM »
Can't form coherent sentences . . . .

Ah, you're approaching no-mind! I've been striving for a state of no-mind for a long time. Probably not in the way Dogen would have taught, but it works for me on a Saturday night.  :)

I do appreciate calligraphy as a semi-meditative practice. I can see doing the exercises, with the repetition, as closer to a meditative practice. But as the traditional practitioners of Chan (Chinese) or Zen (Japanese) would say, anything can be a part of meditative practice if done with Right Mind and focus on the here and now. Sweeping the floor, chopping wood, practicing your Spencerian ovals. These can all be done mindfully, with full focus on the present without grasping to the past or future.

As a point of focus, calligraphy, by forcing us to "forget" all else around us, can be an effective meditational practice.

I do take Monica's question seriously, though. What was the context of your question?

Maybe it would help if I give some background and what led to me being curious if anyone out there practices zen calligraphy. i was in a meeting discussing what if done so far on my masters thesis. While discussing some current research I came across (a study on mediation and creative thinking) with my major professor we sort of got side tracked onto the topic of meditation, which both of us are familiar with and practice. This led to talking about meditation in connection with creativity and naturally led to the topic of zen calligraphy. I left that meeting thinking about zen calligraphy and how simple yet beautiful it is. I am familiar with it but have never tried to practice the true form of zen calligraphy. So, I became curious if anyone else had especially considering I've seen discussed on here that some people think of calligraphy as being meditative in a sense yet I'd never seen reference to zen calligraphy. Mostly it was just me being curious but also because I find it so beautiful and wanted to learn more.

Brush Calligraphy / Re: Zen Calligraphy
« on: February 06, 2016, 06:32:03 PM »
I love what this person says, especially in the last paragraph of his post, about the use of the word zen:

Now I will shut up, as this is really off-topic and not about calligraphy.

I certainly don't disagree with you.

Brush Calligraphy / Re: Zen Calligraphy
« on: February 06, 2016, 04:24:33 PM »
Are you asking about formal Zen calligraphy done with a brush
the dovetailing of "Zen" with just about everything else - like Zentangling and Zenspirations.

Many teachers refer to the meditative feel of practice. Calligraphy can be very meditative without being Zen.

It seems like *Zen* gets tacked on to almost everything these days. Not sure how Zen masters feel about that. Maybe there is a difference between Zen and zen. Interested to see what others have to say.

If you have studied Zen meditation - or anything else - it seems logical that you would bring those teachings to whichever form of art you decide to practice.

I'm referring to formal Zen Calligraphy associated with Zen Buddhism.

I absolutely agree with the comments on the overuse of the word zen. In this case though, I do mean true Zen Calligraphy and not more recent developments such as zentangles. (Though I'm not sure if that is a recent development. I'm not very familiar with more than just the name.)

Brush Calligraphy / Zen Calligraphy
« on: February 06, 2016, 10:23:53 AM »
I assumed this is the best category for this question. I'm curious if anyone practices zen calligraphy. I know it's very different from the calligraphy general talked about here on Flourish Forum but I've been thinking a lot about how calligraphy (in my case, copperplate) is as much meditation as it is art. This led me to think about zen calligraphy. So, purely out of curiosity, do any of you practice it?

Coffee & Nib-bles / Re: Copying others work - been around a while
« on: February 05, 2016, 08:56:18 PM »
I'm still laughing about this. I mean...really?

Coffee & Nib-bles / Re: Copying others work - been around a while
« on: February 05, 2016, 05:18:37 PM »
This is so interesting and somehow amusing!

Open Flourish | General Discussion / Re: I got Palmer's signature!
« on: February 03, 2016, 10:25:41 PM »
Thanks for sharing! I love these certificates and I've seen a bunch of different versions out there. 

Here's my Grandmother's from 1915. I love how Palmer's signature is perfect Palmer style.

And isn't it funny that nothing on that certificate except his signature is written in Palmer style? They understood that it was only for rapid business writing, and not anything decorative.

Very interesting point. I don't think I would have noticed that myself.

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