Sunday, June 9, 2013

Words and images

Look for the word "cat" in the designs here. (you'll also find mouse, bird, window, kittens, and bowl).  
June is “Adopt a Cat” month. ( Just my cup of tea; I love cats!)  If you’ve read  Learn World Calligraphy, you know that I devote a whole spread to writing a word such as CAT so it looks like a cat and the word HORSE so it looks like a horse.  This lets English-speaking calligraphers writing phonetic letters share the visual experience of Chinese calligraphers writing symbolic characters.   
    Tips for design: 
  • To make a calligraphy picture, play around with the name of the thing you want to draw, looking for lucky coincidences.  The C in CAT, for instance, can have two pointed ears.  The A stands on two paws.  The horizontal stroke of T can lengthen into a tail.* 
  • Make a rough drawing of a cat, or pick out a photo of a cat.  Lay tracing paper over it and start to stretch, squeeze, and move the letters. 
  • This step is important: go away for a few minutes.  Then come back and look at your word, letting your brain see and read it at the same time.  Make sure that neither way of seeing dominates.  
  • Write the letters in ink, using brush or pen.  
*In the design for Mothers Day [May 12] the M s in MOM look like leaves and the O looks like a round flower. Keep looking for these similarities and you’ll start to see them everywhere.  

Remember, “A letter can be anything; anything can be a letter.” 

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