So finally we have started practising Chinese characters. Below is page one in our textbook. There are six characters on a page and we start with the one in the top right and work downwards. I thought trying to do all six characters straight away would probably make my head explode, so I was relieved when we were told to just practise the first character over and over again. Here’s one of my papers hanging on the fridge
The frustrating thing with calligraphy is trying to be consistent all the time. One mistake and the whole thing’s gone to pot – if say, the first stroke is too short or long, then the size of the character will be wrong.
Next week we have to bring in our homework and put it up on the wall (there’s a green wall in the classroom with magnets especially for this purpose.) Then the teacher will mark our work with orange ink. He told us not to be embarrassed about putting our work up for all to see, but there were still some nervous gulps around the room. Actually I’m ok with this. It reminds me of being at art college years ago where we often had to put our work up for ‘constructive criticism’.
The tutors (and sometimes fellow students) could be pretty brutal. They said it was to toughen us up as we would have to accept negative comments out in the real world. Anyway let’s not linger on the past. I’m over all that now. (let me just wipe away a tear so I can get back to work) And anyway, I am confident that the students at my calligraphy class will be a lot kinder to each other.