Listening - watching
taking a moment
drawing the world
finding the way to connection
again and again.

For upcoming classes and events
visit my website – BarbaraBash.com

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

In the Laundry Room

I am living in Colorado Springs right now,
in residence for four months at Colorado College
learning how to teach my mindfulness art practices online in this new world,
also hosting NVC and circle practices for the college on zoom.
Hopefully I'll be returning to the Hudson Valley in mid-May.

I am sequestered in a nice old house near campus that is divided into
apartments for visiting faculty, but I'm the only one in the building these days.
Here it is, surrounded by spring snow . . .


I couple of weeks ago I realized that the laundry room off the kitchen would make a nice studio -
so I moved in - stretched out ! It is sunny and spacious with big tables and a washer and dryer of course. I do my brush work here and my zoom calls, as well as African dance classes and even
some cello playing (rented one in town).




I put some lively letters on the wall -
always good to have the alphabet at my back . . .


I am taking walks each day with my face mask on,
staying in contact - with myself - with others - with the world -
and the creative spirit through it all . . .

Here is one of the little books I've made recently.
using fragments of big brush strokes for the imagery.

May this journey nourish you during these difficult times. 












Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Beyond Calligraphy

I am currently out at Colorado College as the Mindfulness Resident for
Creativity & Innovation, offering my art practices widely.

Last week I attended a dance performance at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
by the Guangdong Modern Dance Company from China.

The first part of the evening was movement inspired by Chinese calligraphy.
The writing styles were projected on the stage wall as the dancers moved.

As the house lights dimmed I opened my sketchbook
and did blind contour drawing - in the dark !
Later I added some color and words.

After the concert I went searching for the scripts that had inspired the choreographer.

Oracle bone script 
Carved onto tortoise shells and used for divination
(by sticking a hot needle in the shell and interpreting the pattern of cracks).
Here is an oracle bone inscription from the Bronze Age (1339 - 1281 BCE) .


The dancers movements were symmetrical - abrupt - balanced.


Regular script
Emperor Hui-Sung of the Sung Dynasty (1082-1135) was a gifted artist with a personal style
he named "slender golden thread". He was also a disastrous ruler because of his dedication to
aesthetic pleasures. During his reign the country was overrun by Jurchen forces, ending the
Sung dynasty. He and his family were taken prisoners.
Here is an example of his elegant writing . . .


The dancers movements were sharp and spotlighted -


Cursive script
Huai Su (737 - 799) was a calligrapher and monk in the T'ang Dynasty who was fond of wine
and wrote quickly and beautifully while drunk. He was poor and did not have the money to buy
paper so he planted banana trees and used the leaves for writing.
He is one of the most renowned writers of the cursive script.
He called his writing "the calligraphy of an intoxicated immortal."


The dancers movements were fluid and connecting.
My pen did not leave the page . . .


The second half of the program was titled "Ink Wash Painting".
Long banners hung down with soft washes of overlapping mountains projected on the fabric.


Here the banners reflected patterns of water.


All the dancers took a bow at the end,
standing solemnly in a long line,
bending over together
all the way to the ground.


Here is a video of some clips from the performance -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtJyB-EtfOE