After a long haul my next and in my opinion the most important course will be published within a couple of weeks. It is a course on Oriental calligraphy. It took me quite a while to accomplish this as I wanted it to be as accessible as possible. Also, I was not sure as to how far to take this course and how it will be accepted or understood especially by those who are only interested in sumi-e painting.
From some of your comments, I have realized that the concept of utilising calligraphy in the painting process is foreign and ununderstood. The reason is that many if not all have been introduced or taught Chinese/Japanese painting through patterns and shapes, rather than by utilisation of the way the calligraphic strokes and characters are created.
Historically the traditional oriental painting was also based on those strokes but unfortunately, through the centuries the understanding of it got forgotten and the teaching became more and more based on patterns and shapes to be copied by the students (almost like painting by number), thus limiting the new artist’s self-expression.
To stay true to the authentic way of painting and the vision of my late teacher, Tomoko Kodama, I have decided to create the course. In her teachings, which were geared towards teaching the westerners, she initially would start with the Roman alphabet and then move to the Oriental calligraphy but throughout my teaching years, I have realized that the students learn faster diving right into Oriental calligraphy. In my future courses, I might explain/demonstrate the concept of the use of the Roman alphabet though.
To make it clear, it not the calligraphy (the meaning of the symbols or the recognition of it) per se that we need for sumi-e, but the way it is executed. The method I teach it is mainly if not only focused on that (the execution), but those who want to pursue or to experience the art of calligraphy (shodo) can easily implement it. athis method will make the art of shodo much more accessible.
Much more on this in the course. Follow me if you haven’t already and stay tuned for the announcement of the course’s publication.
As for a beginner I would recommend to start with the “Essentials for Learning Sumi-e Painting” and “Meditation With The Brush” courses first. I have bundled those two courses together in the “Beginners Bundle”.