Zen Brush is a form of Shodo - the Way of the brush. Moving with the breath cultivates mindful energy. One's spirit leaves its trace as the ink dances across the paper as a brush stroke. Brushwork, because of this nature, slows a person down; helping us to relax no matter what.
The Founder of Aikido - Morihei Ueshiba O-sensei (who was declared by Japan a sacred national treasure) - was a calligrapher of dynamic proportions. He is a good example of why Shodo is viewed not only as a martial art but as one of the most difficult. O-sensei was able to produce tremendous power in his calligraphy yet his brushstrokes reveal a gentle dynamism.
It is not easy to control the soft hairs of a brush with the loading and unloading of ink to produce something clean and bright. A Zen Brush piece may be finished with one stroke done in one breath. To practice in this way is to cultivate one's clarity and brightness by connecting one's entire being with the energy of nature. This is the Way of Zen Brush.
Susan Perry has practiced Zen Brush for over 35 years and holds rank in Shodo through a Japanese organization. She displays her work through the Pomona Valley Artists Association's Soho Gallery. Also, each year she participates in two judged annual exhibits through different artists associations. She has taught the Zen Brush class in Claremont for many years.
See Suzan's Zen Brush site at http://www.brightmoon.studio
How to prepare a new starched brush for practice.
How to clean your brush and suzuri stone.
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