Was greeted, yesterday with a mountain of gorgeous, breathtaking calligraphy and painting by my Mom and Dad, and I feel like the child I am, again. *laughs* Always. We also got an eight course dinner with duck, spicy whole fish, red cooked spare ribs, spinach, and other things we just can't get in Colorado.
It's good to be, in some sense, home again.
There's a script style calligraphy that's even more exact than the block style, it *looks* free flowing and wild, but actually every stroke, the depth of it, the width of it, the placement of it is even more exactly prescribed by tradition than the strokes and lengths of the print.
When one writes poetry in this style, each character is joined to the one next to it, so that each line must be done "in one breath". It's stupendously exacting and beautiful, and utterly amazing to really see now that I've been painting for a while.
Dad's teacher was made a forester during the Cultural Revolution and out in the woods he practiced his calligrapy day after day. When he was finally allowed back again, he entered some contests and place first... and his career has gone on from there. He can copy, to the exact thickness and speed of each stroke, scolls 1000 years old. He's also created his own style of script that people are emulating today... that, bemuses me. Style within structure.
One of my "uncle"s, a long-time family friend is publishing books of poetry in his calligraphy, both the conventional block style and the really, really old bones and curves style that's mostly used for chops now. Nearly no one does that with a brush anymore, but he decided he had to. *laughs*
And the *paintings*. My Mom and Dad's collection now makes much more of an impact on me. I understand, better now, what the heck's going on with them. What bemuses and amazes me is that Mom and Dad *like* the child's scrawls I've been doing, now. *laughs* It... means a lot to me that you folks like 'em, but to have someone that understands what I'm trying to emulate go... oh, you're doing pretty well... that's... wow.
And, actually, I was wrong. The picture of the ink stick that I said was my grandfather's? That's actually just a stick my mom bought and wasn't going to use, as she likes the bottled ink better. Yesterday, she gave me the wooden boxed ink stick that was her Dad's. It's... intimidating. *laughs*
What capped it all off was a fortune cookie, last night, that said, "Don't expect to find one right way to make yourself more creative."
I think I'd better listen.