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Written by (作者): Cooka Huang 黄翌云

Photos by (图片来源): BigStock


 

I started learning “Pen Calligraphy” when I was in kindergarten. During our early studies we had to memorize and memorize until we knew the characters by heart. My mom helped me practice regularly. I write down a word and she would erase it until she was satisfied with the penmanship. I hated this and therefore came to hate calligraphy. The practice eventually paid off though, because when I was in primary school my calligraphy was so good that it was often used as an example for lessons. Having learned of my skills, I began taking calligraphy seriously and moved on to “Soft Brush Calligraphy.”

The use of a brush for writing calligraphy in China goes back for ages. There are three kinds of brushes: stiff, soft, and mixed. Stiff brushes are good for practice and writing small characters. Soft and mixed brushes allow for more fluid characters and creativity.

I love writing calligraphy with a soft brush because it is the traditional method. I also like the feeling of writing on Chinese parchment with a soft brush. Coherency plays a key role in the art of calligraphy, so it’s important to practice. If you’re new to writing, I’d recommend using the calligraphy copybooks of Xun Ouyang or Shen Yimo.

I’ve found that calligraphy is a sort of meditation. It is my greatest joy to feel the stroke of the brush across the parchment, soft strokes, hard strokes. Today, most people are busy with work and don’t have much time for anything like proper meditation. Practicing calligraphy, or taking time out of the day to do so, helps with this. Writing calligraphy is like writing your own Heart Sutra (Xīnjīng), and it is very relaxing. As the saying goes “an hour in the morning is worth two in the evening.” Morning is the best time to write calligraphy, with the gentle breeze and scent of sandalwood and ink.

Calligraphy isn’t something that you pick up in a day. It takes years and years of arduous practice. It takes time to adapt and get used to the stroke patterns and methods. When you begin learning, it may be dull because you need to try practicing one word for an entire day. Therefore, patience is the most important thing when starting out. Even though it may take weeks to get one character right, don’t give up! Your attitude and outlook should be positive. It’s best to keep this in mind: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”


 

我在幼儿园的时候开始学习硬笔书法。那是一段”不堪回首”的苦痛记忆。我妈妈坐在我边上,我写一个字她就擦一个字。如此循环,直到写到她满意为止。所以那时我对写字是有抵触心理的。后来上学后,因为自己的字经常被老师当为教导其他小朋友的范本,再加上小孩子的心思特别单纯。老师夸我写的好,那我就更加认真地写咯。其实这也是一个良性的循环过程。硬笔学习了一段时间,我开始学习软笔。

在中国书法中毛笔的使用可以追溯到很久以前。有三种不同类型的毛笔,硬,软,和适中的。硬的毛笔适合练习小字,软毛笔则益于流畅创意类字体。

比起硬笔书法,我个人更爱软笔。首先,我觉得毛笔骨子里就带着一股特别传统,特别地道的中国风。二来,我喜欢那种在宣纸上洋洋洒洒一笔挥下的感觉。写毛笔讲究的是”一气呵成”,及起承转合,连贯而下。这就要求,每日勤练。刚开始写的时候,从可以挑选几本楷书的字帖进行临摹,比如欧阳询的九成宫醴泉铭,沈尹默的楷书毛笔字帖入门。

练习书法可以静心。这是我学习过程中最大的感受之一。当今社会,多是心浮气躁之人,忙着工作,忙着生计。很难有时间沉静下来,去好好思考一些东西。手抄心经,我觉得可以让你的心回归比较安静、纯粹的一个状态。俗话说“一日之计在于晨”,早晨抄写心经自然是极好的时候。开点小窗,徐徐微风,桌上一盏檀香伴随着淳淳墨香,格外美好。

习字是一个漫长的过程。这指的是你需要一个很长的时间去适应它,习惯它。刚开始学习书法,你可能会觉得枯燥无聊,对着一个字写上一整天。学写字的路很漫长,你的耐性就显得尤为重要。可能你坚持练了一周的字,你发现没什么进步,好像和第一天练的时候差不多。所以你就想放弃了。其实不然,可能你再坚持一个礼拜,就会发现有很大的不同。没有谁生来就可以把字写好。重要的是,你对写字的态度.中国有老话说“有志者事竟成”。即你的勤奋和努力终不会被辜负,只要你踏踏实实地往前走就可以了. 要始终相信天道酬勤。

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