Yesterday I took part in a 'Calagraphic Abstractions' art class (Ha, that had you guessing....). It was run by two women, Marianne Hvass Kure who is a Danish artist working here in Thailand and Lucia Nascimento who is Brazilian and also working here. The aim of the workshop was that each participant would produce an abstract painting on canvas using rice-paper, acrylics and Chinese ink.
It was brilliant - we started by looking at various Eastern Calligraphic signs and then each person selected one that meant something to them. (It didn't matter whether it was the actual meaning of the sign that inspired or the sign itself). Then we were given some rice paper, ink and a calligraphy brush and we spent the morning practising producing that symbol or, in my case, attempting to produce the symbol. Chris sent me a text message at lunchtime asking how I was getting on and my reply was 'I'm having fun. Not producing anything particularly pretty but I'm having fun!!' (I tell you....It's a hell of a lot harder than it looks!!). After lunch we were given our canvas, selected our paint and were given some ideas on how to use the symbols we had been looking at and shown techniques on how to produce abstract art.
It was really amazing to see what everyone produced - they were all so completely different. One women had scrunched up her rice paper, stuck it onto her canvas and then painted over the top, another had painted a background and then stuck her symbol on top of it and one of the other women had used her symbol graphically and had turned it into a dancing figure (Actually I thought it looked like an Octopus but she said dancing figure so.....).
I went along to the class because I am slightly afraid of paint - I'm always very controlled when I draw and you can't control a brush the same way you can a pen or pencil which makes me nervous. I figured that it would be a good way to try something new and I was right (am feeling quite inspired and am going to try out a few other techniques). Below is the painting I produced (Chris really liked it) - the symbol means 'a perfect ending'