Calligraphy lesson 6 already practising 8 Chinese characters


So last week I only practised one Chinese character at home – because I THOUGHT that’s what we were told to do! But when I got to the class this week EVERYONE else had done ALL EIGHT characters! Oops! We didn’t have to put our work up on the wall this time – just bring our homework one at a time to the teacher’s desk where he marked it. (see below) So how bad was my effort? Well, not bad (but I did only practise ONE character all week! 😉 ) I should have equal space between each of the three vertical strokes on the left side. And the four horizontal strokes on the right side should be the same length not higgledy-piggledy. grrrr.

My excuse for misunderstanding what we were supposed to do is ……. I did a bit of calligraphy (on and off) in Japan before I came to Korea. But the style of teaching was very different there. The paper was only about A4 size for a start. And so we would sit and practise just one Chinese character over and over and OVER (and over) again. Until the teacher decided that it was good enough and we could move on to the next character. I should have realised that this slow and meticulous approach was not going to fly in bali bali Korean culture! :)

But still I’m surprised at the pace we are flying along at my calligraphy class here in Seoul. It seems we have to practise eight new characters from the textbook each week. This way makes practising a lot more interesting. The paper is much bigger, the brush is bigger, and I’m already on my second bottle of ink! And I like having to think how each character works in relation to the next one. But on the other hand, I feel like I have so much to think about that none of the characters are presentable – in fact they are embarrassingly bad! 😉

In retrospect I was glad that I only practised one character last week because I could really focus on detail. This week, now that I have realised I’m meant to do all eight characters, it’s proving to be a bit overwhelming. I feel like there is so much to correct here that the teacher won’t know where to start! He’s probably going to run out of orange ink!

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