The form of the circle is iconic to the formation of many languages, be it as a symbol for the moon, the sun, the wheel of reality. Known as the ensō in Japan, it is the most common subject of zen calligraphy. Its essence can be difficult to grasp. Is it just a circle painted in one stroke, or is it the totality of our existence? Is it creating an enclosure in the chaos or is it defining nothingness?
In its creation, the ensō challenges painter/practitioners to be present, to be open, to be flexible, and to be honest. It requires putting themselves totally in the stroke and totally getting out of the way in its expression at the same moment.
Painting the ensō is a koan in motion. Pick up the brush and get ready to leap into this moment. No experience or talent is needed; laughter and encouragement are guaranteed! Come learn the practice of grinding ink/loading brush, practice the immediacy of putting ink to paper, explore the honesty of working with these ancient materials, and discover how much can be revealed in painting a simple circle.
COST: $65.00, includes lunch and all materials
Bob Schmitt is a Quaker and a student and teacher of Chinese calligraphy and painting who lives and paints a stone’s throw from Minnehaha Falls. He began brush painting as a 12-year-old watching public television and has studied weekly with a Chinese painting master for over 20 years. Learn more at www.laughingwatersstudio.com.
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