Those who learn calligraphy must read it, it will be of great help

Shao Wenlong

Thousands of people learn calligraphy, and a few get married. Why? Because many people have fallen into misunderstandings in the process of learning calligraphy. Although they are persistent and determined, they still achieve nothing. Below, I will analyze and agree with fellow book friends on the ten most common misunderstandings in calligraphy learning.

1. Careless selection of posts and poor preparation of posts

1. How to choose posts?

Choosing a copybook is like becoming a disciple, worshiping the author of the copybook as your teacher. If you want to write well, you must learn from famous teachers. Only famous teachers can produce great disciples. Everyone wants to enter key middle schools and universities. Why? It’s because there are famous teachers. The ancients said: "If you take the Dharma from the top, you will get it from the middle; if you take the Dharma from the middle, you will get it from the bottom."

Chinese calligraphy has a history of 6,000 years, with numerous talents emerging throughout the ages. Wang Xizhi, Wang Xianzhi, Zhang Xu, Huai Su, Yu Shinan, Ouyang Xun, Yan Zhenqing, Liu Gongquan, Zhao Mengfu... and other ancient calligraphy masters are familiar to almost every Chinese intellectual. Their attainments in calligraphy are almost perfect and can be said to have reached the state of enlightenment. Their works have been carefully evaluated and evaluated by generations of literati, and were finally regarded as Dharma texts. Today, no calligrapher's work can truly be called "Dharma calligraphy." Obviously, ancient Dharma posts should be the first choice when choosing one. Of course, this does not mean that people today cannot learn calligraphy, but that they should study the tradition carefully and then absorb some of the strengths of modern masters.

2. Choose the Dharma sticker you like.

Likes and dislikes of a thing determine a person's interest, interest affects attitude, attitude affects behavior, and behavior determines results. When you like a post at first glance, its style will be more suitable for your aesthetics and more likely to resonate with you. When you study the post, you will pay more attention to all its details and try your best to imitate its various features. Technique and style. Even if you work hard for it, you will be happy with it. Therefore, when selecting posts, in addition to choosing Dharma posts and the best calligraphy posts, you should also consider choosing posts that you like, so that you can get started faster. Only after you get started, as you learn, understand and appreciate calligraphy, you will slowly become rational, that is, you will rationally examine the calligraphy styles of various schools in the past. In the past, the emotional choice of choosing calligraphy based on interest will eventually become You will overcome it and discard it completely. At this time, you have undoubtedly reached a new level in calligraphy.

3. How to submit a post?

Linting is also called copying. Lin means writing according to the copybook; copying means covering the copybook with translucent paper to make rubbings.

Lin Tie is an effective means of learning the calligraphy of predecessors, and it is an indispensable bridge to creative freedom. Only by laying a solid foundation at the post-writing stage and learning the experience and essence of previous creations can it be possible to create good works that "were not good in the past, but are not bad now". Although most people know the necessity of posting, they may not have a deep understanding of posting itself. There are differences in realms in calligraphy creation, and there are also differences in realms when writing calligraphy. Su Dongpo said: "The more precise the observation, the more spiritual the imitation will be." This means that the more precise the observation when copying, the more interesting the copied work will be. The level of imprinting will affect future creation to a certain extent, which is often ignored by calligraphy enthusiasts.

How to post correctly? Generally speaking, the state of Lin Tie can be divided into three levels: "careful viewing", "fine linting" and "deep understanding".

(1) Take a closer look

To look closely means to carefully examine the strokes, structure, and composition of the Chinese characters in the Fa Tie. It is necessary to grasp the shape of the strokes in a static way, and to understand the echo between the stipples and paintings in a dynamic way. In terms of structure, we should not only see the arrangement of the lines themselves in space, but also pay attention to the distribution of the white space after the lines divide the plane, and understand the principle of spatial distribution. In terms of the overall composition, attention should be paid to factors such as the spacing between characters, the correct relationship, and the density of the original text. The main solution at this stage is to improve the observation ability and be able to see the subtleties of Dharma stickers. Many casual practitioners have no choice but to write in broad strokes. On the whole, it seems that they are not far from the original text, but they miss a lot in the details. This is no different from copying a book. The beauty of ancient Dharma stickers is often found in every stroke, or even a small movement, which is full of charm. When writing a post, your eyes should be like a magnifying glass, able to magnify details that ordinary people cannot notice. Whether you can "look carefully" is related to whether your vision can be high. If you don't have a good vision, you will not be able to be high. Therefore, casual learners cannot blindly copy mechanically, but should read more posts and observe more.

(2) "Jinglin"

Sun Guoting said: "The heart never tires of finesse, and the hands never tire of familiarity." The so-called "familiar hands" not only mean that they are similar in appearance, but also in spirit. To achieve both form and spirit, the first stroke of the pen should naturally be slow and precise. Over time, when you practice to a certain level, practice will make you perfect, and your spirit will come naturally. In fact, "Jinglin" is inherently difficult for every scholar, but this is the basis of everything. Among the many practitioners, not many can actually do this. There are two reasons for this: first, at the beginning of practice, I failed to achieve the state of "seeing"; second, my mentality was impetuous, and my copying skills were still difficult to achieve.

(3) "Deep Enlightenment"

"Learning without thinking is useless." Feel with your heart, feel the form and echo of the stipples, feel the expression and care of the structure, feel the dynamics and gaze between words, feel the distribution and closeness between lines, and feel the arrangement and harmony of the whole article. The so-called "similarity" is nothing more than a deep understanding of the external form of Dharma stickers; in order to grasp the style, artistic conception and spiritual outlook of Dharma stickers, one must "understand from the heart" - to daydream and feel the emotional changes and emotions of predecessors when they were waving hair. The dynamics of brushstrokes and the inner connotation of works. Therefore, Wang Sengqian said in "Praise to the Writing Style": "The wonderful way of calligraphy is to have the spirit first, followed by the form and quality. Only those who have both can be introduced to the ancients." That is to say, the most important thing about calligraphy is the spirit, and it is important to write out the characters. There is life and dynamic expression; while those that are fine in glyph structure and strokes but lack expression can only be regarded as second-rate. If a person's writing is both exquisite in form and vivid in spirit, then he has inherited the essence from the ancients.

2. Doodle on your own and do not write on the inscriptions.

A friend asked me: "Can I write good calligraphy without posting?" I said: "No." My friend solemnly said: "Then according to what you say, whose calligraphy was the first calligrapher to write?" - I was embarrassed and speechless! Although I cannot answer the question "who came first, the chicken or the egg?", I am destined to fail to learn calligraphy if I don't do it.

There are three reasons:

First of all, if you don't practice calligraphy, you won't be able to learn rich techniques and aesthetic standards from it. Therefore, you can't get rid of your own vulgarity. You will scribble casually without a role model or reference. Even if you practice hard for a lifetime behind closed doors, you will never have a chance at calligraphy.

Secondly, Chinese calligraphy has a history of thousands of years. In the long history, generations of artists have continued to inherit the accumulated experience of their predecessors and repeatedly integrated it into their own aesthetic styles, gradually forming a complete and systematic theoretical system. It is a culture and art with rich and delicate technical rules. If you don’t understand or indirectly understand Chinese calligraphy, you will not be able to engage in calligraphy activities. Even if you have learned the calligraphy of anyone from your father, teacher, classmate, friend or neighbor, it is still a calligraphy, but it is not a copy of Dharma calligraphy. This can also make you progress, but this progress is slow. Yes, it has taken detours, but without exception it is an indirect inheritance of traditional calligraphy culture.

Third, whether a person's handwriting is good or not involves the aesthetic principles of calligraphy. What kind of calligraphy is considered good and what kind of calligraphy is bad? Good, how good is it? Bad, how bad is it? What is the reason? ——This all requires standards. Although there are no absolute standards for Chinese calligraphy, there are relative aesthetic rules. An excellent work must have two basic standards: one is the level of inheritance of traditional calligraphy art; the other is the level of personal aesthetic style incorporated into it. The so-called "inheritance and development" are the two basic standards for the evaluation of calligraphy works. Other detailed rules are based on this evaluation framework. If you don't post it, you reject tradition. If you don't inherit traditional calligraphy, it will fail at the first hurdle. What's the point of talking about it?

3. Emphasize the past and depreciate the present, or favor the present and depreciate the past.

Of course, when you first learn calligraphy, you must start with ancient methods. Whether you learn tradition well or not will determine your future calligraphy foundation. However, the purpose of learning ancient methods is to ultimately innovate the method, rather than to follow the ancient methods and stick to the rules. Many people have worked hard on traditional skills, even to the point where the form and spirit are exquisite, and the fake can be confused with the real, but they are unwilling to learn from modern people, have no contact with modern calligraphy, and denounce it as ugly calligraphy and bad writing; He never goes beyond the limits, and he is even less willing to create new methods. He always digs into the pockets of his ancestors, so that he has been a calligrapher for half his life and has never achieved anything. This is called inheritance without innovation. On the contrary, many beginners are now greedy for quick success and eager for success. They ignore tradition and directly take the works of so-called "masters and celebrities" and "contest gold medal winners", copy them by heart, and finish them quickly in a few months. Or after winning the award, he will be in a state of ecstasy, swaggering around, scorning tradition, and saying: "If you write all you can, you are a calligrapher! Those who write the rest are art!"

Of these two types of people, the former can be a craftsman, while the latter can only become obsessed with things.

4. Only read the inscriptions and do not read the inscriptions.

Friends who are initially writing posts generally attach great importance to the observation and copying of the strokes and structures of individual characters, but rarely pay attention to the relationship between characters. They neglect to grasp the overall composition of the work, let alone experience and comprehend the author's writing at that time. The emotions when writing and the signs revealed in the works cannot be said to be a grasp of the comprehensive personal accomplishment, creative style, and artistic conception of the works revealed in the works. This affects the quality and efficiency of postings to a certain extent. In the practice of calligraphy, there are people who have written calligraphy for decades. The handwriting is very similar, but it is more like a specimen. It is dull and rigid, has no spirit, and lacks aura. It is said that it is easy to draw a dragon, but difficult to put the finishing touches. The difficulty lies in whether there is spirit and vivid charm. To overcome this shortcoming, you have to read the post. Many authoritative explanations for reading posts are to read the content of the Chinese text in the post, understand what the post is saying, and then understand the author's emotions at that time. I think that although this statement has some truth, it is very incomplete and unconvincing. Just imagine, if we only need to read the text, we can call up a printed article of "The Preface to the Lanting Collection" from the computer. See, can you improve your calligraphy skills? Only a ghost can believe it! In fact, to put it bluntly, reading posts means reading posts, appreciating posts, and understanding posts. That is to say, look comprehensively from one word to one line, and from one line to one article, not only looking at the paintings and structure, but also looking at the composition, layout, style, and artistic conception. By reading more, you will understand the beauty of calligraphy revealed in the post, and repeatedly appreciate the artistic conception and style shown in it; finally, you will achieve enlightenment and realize the deep artistic quality, style of the times and the cultural connotation of calligraphy. In this way, we will get its "meaning" and forget its "form". Although the form is not the same, we can still have magical powers.

5. Focus on practice, not theory.

There is a story in history about how Mencius' mother moved three times. It is said that when Mencius was a child, there was a cemetery in front of his house, and people who died were often brought here for burial. A funeral ceremony was held when a person was buried, and the family members lay on the ground like oxen and horses, howling loudly. Mencius often stood by and watched, and was deeply affected and influenced. The biggest characteristic of children is that they are good at imitating. Every time after returning home, they would dig a hole in the ground in the backyard, fill it with dirty clay figures, and then cry loudly. Mother Meng was shocked when she found out, and worried that the child would go astray and be ruined. In life, I have to move quickly. So, children imitating funeral rituals without knowing the reason is out of childishness and ignorance; then if we see the grave and just lie down on the ground and cry without asking who is buried, won't we make a big joke? ——This is also true when learning calligraphy. You must understand the principle: Who wrote this post? Under what circumstances was it written? Which schools did you learn from? What are the characteristics? How's the taste? Is it suitable for me to follow his advice? What aspects should we learn? In addition, you need to know the general rules of learning calligraphy. For example, if you study theory, you can understand: there are methods for calligraphy, but there is no fixed method. There is no law but death, no law but chaos. Beginners seek the Dharma, those who have gained the Tao use the Dharma, and advanced people abandon the Dharma; formal writing is a means, knowing the Dharma is a requirement, and usage is the purpose; formal writing expresses the method, running writing expresses the idea, cursive writing is indulgent; there is no regular script, no ancient script, no regular script Unstable, the cursive script is not smooth without seal script; if the regular script has a heavy meaning, the script will be dead; if the script script is heavy, the script will be clumsy; if there is no script, the script will be sluggish; if you learn regular script, it is better to be old than to be young, and to learn cursive script, it is not as good as old...etc. Only by understanding these principles can we have a clear target when studying books. People often say that "if the theory is unclear, the practice will not work." To write good calligraphy, theory should guide you. Proper theoretical study can make you get twice the result with half the effort, but blind practice can only make you get twice the result with half the effort.

6. Practice hard behind closed doors and rarely communicate.

The truth becomes clear through debate, and learning improves through communication. Communication is not only about showing your works to others and asking others to point out problems; more importantly, it is about learning the strengths of others through communication, taking advantage of others' strengths, and making up for one's own shortcomings. When practicing calligraphy, some people sit in their study without leaving home, meditating hard, and persevering. Although they have achieved certain gains, the words they write still cannot be printed on rice paper. They have been calligraphers all their lives, but they have never truly become a calligrapher. calligrapher. The main reason is that he doesn't communicate with others and practices hard alone. He practices until the monk Zhang Er can't scratch his head, and practices until the frog at the bottom of the well can't see the sky.

7. Stand alone as a teacher and exclude dissidents.

At the end of the last century, Mr. Jin Yong's martial arts novels became popular all over the country. His novels vividly interpret the martial spirit of the Chinese people. In his works, knights in the martial arts world adhere to the tradition of their masters, stick to their own sect, and reject dissidents. As a result, their martial arts skills are mediocre and they are unlikely to become masters. They always want to dominate the martial arts world but their dreams are repeatedly shattered. Only Linghu Chong and Guo Jing are not trapped by their sect. Only those who learn from the strengths of other martial arts masters can eventually become a unique martial arts master. This phenomenon is the same in the calligraphy world. The ancients said, "When a book is written on thousands of steles, a style will be created." This has two meanings: first, it emphasizes that the amount of writing should be large, and second, it must be widely used by hundreds of schools and incorporate the strengths of all schools. Without the accumulation of quantitative notes, it will not lead to a leap in the quality of writing. "The Story of Ji An" is famous all over the world, but such a classic in small regular script is the state of the author's achievement after practicing tens of thousands of words every day. On the other hand, when learning calligraphy, one should learn from the strengths of many people, just like bees collecting honey, they collect the fragrance of flowers and brew the best-tasting honey. Only by "learning the words of hundreds of schools" can one "become the voice of one family." There is no future in learning calligraphy and sticking to being the head of the family.

8. Stop, stop, and be exposed to the cold.

Anyone who has been to Huashan Mountain knows that tourists do not walk as fast as mountain workers. They are unhurried and down-to-earth. Although they come from behind you, they are always in front of you in the end. Why is this happening? It is they who persevere and never stop. Many friends learn calligraphy based on impulsive enthusiasm, three minutes of enthusiasm, and then stop even before they have completed all the four treasures of the study; some people have long-term plans and plan to spend ten years learning calligraphy, but in these ten years they have failed. Three days of fishing, two days of drying nets, and sometimes I lost it for half a year. When I picked up the pen again, I felt that I had made no progress and lost interest, so I scribbled for a while and then stopped hastily. Practicing calligraphy in one day will make a difference; if you don't practice calligraphy in one day, your achievements will fade away in three days. Although it sounds like I have been practicing calligraphy for ten years with such a cold practice method, the effect is not as good as a few months of practice. How can I learn calligraphy well?

9. Changing strings and changing directions, and joining the master's door indiscriminately.

People often say, "If you are ill for a long time, you will go to the doctor randomly." A person who has been sick for a long time will always be anxious. At first, I went to see a doctor. I only took one dose of the prescribed medicine and felt that it had little effect. I heard someone said that there was a miracle doctor somewhere, so I quickly went to see a doctor. As a result, I didn’t finish the medicine, so I was transferred to another hospital... If this continues, don’t wait. Speaking of miracle doctors, even gods can't save you. When learning calligraphy, it is also very taboo to practice "taking medical care indiscriminately" when you are ill for a long time. Temporary posts generally go through two stages: entry and exit. Entering a post means mastering the style and style of a certain post skillfully and accurately after a long period of copying. To post a post is to be able to skillfully grasp the style and style of the original post in terms of form and spirit. After changing the post, you can consciously get rid of the influence of the original post. You will be able to look like what you see, no longer bound by the original post, and get rid of the limitations of the original post. . In reality, many comrades hurriedly change posts before they have fully joined the thread, and then change posts again before they have learned enough. If this continues, some people will dig a hole for a lifetime, but never dig a well; someone will study calligraphy for a lifetime, but there will not be much trace of traditional inheritance, and the works they write will naturally be like water without a source or a tree without roots.

Of course, there is also the opposite phenomenon. Some people have gone through a lot of hardships before posting, and they write very well, but contrary to what was said above, they cannot jump out of the original post, and they can never get rid of the rut of the original post. The writing is all about Yan and Ti. When you write a piece of official script for people to see, it is still Yan Ti. It seems that you have been brainwashed by Yan Ti, so that you will never use Yan or calligraphy for the rest of your life. This doesn't work either. You must insist on writing new posts after changing posts until you get rid of the shackles of the face and body. In general, it is easier to post than to post.

10. Eager for quick success and intolerant of loneliness.

Art is a high-level spiritual experience and a high-level pursuit of happiness in life. When you truly enter the palace of calligraphy art, the physical and mental happiness you experience at that time is by no means a low-level feeling of delicacies, glory and wealth. It is an encounter with the sages and an understanding with the gods. For a moment, your heart will beat for your own enlightenment. . No wonder Confucius said, "Hearing the Tao in the morning is enough to die in the evening!" Learning calligraphy is the pursuit of the spiritual world, not for the sake of a thousand pieces of gold, a gold medal, and a rich return home. Therefore, learning calligraphy requires a correct mentality.

Learning calligraphy is the same as learning other arts. Innate perception ability and acquired hard work are equally important. There are many self-taught masters among the people. They have never entered a major, but their sensitivity and understanding of art will surprise you. On the contrary, many people with so-called academic backgrounds have received a good education in art, but they do not want to make progress and rest on their laurels, or they often follow the middle path, abandon art and go into business, and are ultimately isolated from art. It can be seen that learning art requires obsessive and pious enthusiasm, and never regard it as a utilitarian means of making a living. Otherwise, you will definitely regret it. What do you regret? One is that you regret that it has caused you to lose the romance of life and wasted your youth; the other is that you regret that it has caused you to lose the opportunity to make a fortune and get promoted, and all you get is a hopeless situation like an ascetic. Some people say that those great calligraphers can make thousands or tens of thousands of yuan with just one stroke of their pen. How can they be called ascetics? That's because you only see the romance after success, but you don't see the hardship of struggle in the dark night. People who are eager for quick success and intolerant of loneliness are not suitable for engaging in calligraphy art activities.