Tuesday, February 17, 2009


to linda (who laughed) & katie (who encouraged)...i miss you both more than words can say.

i love different writing styles & am constantly working on new font inventions & unique monograms. i guess my dad, who is an incredible calligrapher & painter, sparked this obsession. if there is a pen in his hand & a spare moment, he'll design a beautiful monogram or an abstract sketch. he is truly amazing! a couple years ago i started to borrow his calligraphy pens & teach myself the different strokes of each alphabet. i fell in love. ever since then, i've always dreamed of mastering this gorgeous art form. 

when i decided to move to japan, i promised myself that i would learn to write japanese kanji characters (which are the most intricate form of calligraphy). little did i know how difficult & time consuming this is! i gave up for a while until last weekend, when i had an actual lesson from the tiniest, most precious, japanese lady. i learned so much in such a short period of time: the terms of the strokes & names of the brushes, which way to angle the brush, how to apply ink & the natural rhythm of kanji. it was amazing & has opened my eyes to this ancient artistry, called shodo.   

i only did one character, the word ai, which means "love". the woman guided me initially, by holding my wrist & directing the strokes of my brush. it was quite complicated, so naturally i panicked when she took her hand away & gestured that i finish alone. but--i did it! here is my final product. in the bottom left hand corner is my name (liiiii-ahhhh & a red, year of the cow, stamp). i must admit its pretty terrible, but hopefully after more practice i'll improve! 



Katie P said...

You are the most precious person alive and I miss you like the devil! I just imagine you talking to little old women in the supermarket and pretending to be involved in a group of twenty-somethings conversation and it makes me so happy you have no idea. It was the highlight of my day getting to talk to you and I can't wait til we do it again! Love you!

hideGF said...

wow, what a great work!!
i cant believe its your first time :).

Anthea said...

Wow it's beautiful! I love this post it was so much fun ne? haha I will put a link to it on my post I am making tonight!

Hayley Rose Davis said...

Leah your blog is so inspiring and I'm so excited for you that you're pursuing your love of art through writing in kanji! How cool! I love all your quotes, references to dad, etc. Love it! I need to start every day off with reading your blog. It's like a moment of zen!