Monday, June 2, 2014
Chop Carving and Enso Painting
Last week my friend Frank Satogata invited me to his studio for a morning of chop carving and enso painting. A chop is a printing stamp used as a signature. Frank had seen the one I made to sign my cicada sketchbook and wanted to learn how I made it. So I brought over my sheet of Safety-Kut and my carving tools and he carved his name (in reverse) in Japanese into the stamp above.
Frank has been into painting ensos lately and offered to show me his technique and use his brushes. An enso in Zen Buddhism is "a circle that is hand-drawn in one or two uninhibited brushstrokes to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create. The ensō symbolizes absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and mu (the void)." (Wikipedia). He had several books dedicated to the enso and I love the philosophy behind it.
As you can see below I had lots of fun practicing. I also attempted a little Japanese calligraphy.
When we were done Frank posed with his beautiful companion Ellie. You can also see some of Frank's brush collection on the wall. He has been experimenting with different brushes and I can't wait to see him using the giant brush hanging behind him in a full body performance. I told him so and he showed me a video that blew me away. If you like big brushes you will love this video!