"For Life": Qi & Blood

I am honored to contribute two pieces to the 6th International Exhibition of Calligraphy, held at Moscow's Sokolniki Park from September 1st-10th, 2017. They will remain in the Contemporary Museum of Calligraphy's exhibition until September 1st, 2019. 

 

The theme of this year's exhibit--"For Life"-- demanded more than what my hands can create. How can my strokes reflect and express the complexity of the mysteries of life? 

I turned to the One who gave me life and meditated upon His words. It was His breath that formed the universe and it is by His blood that I am saved. These truths in scripture shaped the vision for my pen. 

To convey the universal breath and blood, I illustrated an union of eastern and western calligraphy. The ornamental script and flourishes interpreting the verses of the KJV Bible form the Chinese characters 氣 (qi or breath), and 血 (blood). 

氣 (qi or breath):

The silhouette of these verses forms the Chinese character 氣, which means qi or breath. In oracle bone script, the earliest known form of Chinese writing which dates back to the late 2nd millennium BCE, the three horizontal lines in the character 氣 represented the original void: heaven and earth. The middle stroke symbolized the air flowing between heaven and earth. I chose for these strokes, the documentation of the creation of qi in Genesis. Beneath the breath of the universe, the shape enclosed under the horizontal strokes means rice, or sustenance, from which we derive our breaths. Tracing this origin to God's gift of the plants of this earth, we are reminded as we read the scripture forming the shape of our breath--to whom we owe our every inhale and exhale. 

Genesis 1: In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth and the Earth was without form and void. Darkness was upon the face of the deep. Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters. And let it divide the waters from the waters. God called the firmament Heaven, and God called the dry land Earth. And God said, "Behold, I have given every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be meat." 

Genesis 1: In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth and the Earth was without form and void. Darkness was upon the face of the deep. Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters. And let it divide the waters from the waters. God called the firmament Heaven, and God called the dry land Earth. And God said, "Behold, I have given every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be meat." 

血 (blood)

The vitality of life depends on qi and its manifestation in the blood. In this piece, I examine the absence of qi during the ultimate sacrifice of our Lord. The silhouette of the ornamental script forms the Chinese character 血, which means blood. In oracle bone script, this character illustrated the drop of liquid in the bowl on the altar as an offering to God. By the blood of Christ shed for us in our Savior's suffering hour, we are atoned and redeemed. We give thanks, for we can partake in the blood of the new testament--the qi and blood we cannot live without in life eternal. 

From the gospel of Matthew & the book of Romans:  He took the cup and gave thanks Drink ye all of it. For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. "His blood be on us, and on our children." And they stripped Him and put on him a scarlet robe and when they had platted on Him a crown of thorns, they put it on His Head, and a reed in his right hand and they bowed the knee before him and mocked him, saying: Hail, King of the Jews, and they spit upon Him and took the reed and smote on the Head, crucified Him...parted His garments, casting lots. This is Jesus the King of the Jews. Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani? And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent. After three dates, I will rise again. Go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is Risen from the dead. And all are justified freely by His grace. 

From the gospel of Matthew & the book of Romans

He took the cup and gave thanks Drink ye all of it. For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. "His blood be on us, and on our children." And they stripped Him and put on him a scarlet robe and when they had platted on Him a crown of thorns, they put it on His Head, and a reed in his right hand and they bowed the knee before him and mocked him, saying: Hail, King of the Jews, and they spit upon Him and took the reed and smote on the Head, crucified Him...parted His garments, casting lots. This is Jesus the King of the Jews. Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani? And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent. After three dates, I will rise again. Go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is Risen from the dead. And all are justified freely by His grace. 

Limited Edition Ernest Hemingway Shirts

Custom-designed calligraphy art featuring a quote from A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway: "You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.” Shirts are available in a variety of styles, colors, and sizes:

 

http://teechip.com/ernesthemingway

 

Words of Hope Giveaway

I would like to do a giveaway of our first segmented and spiral tail oblique holder (holly and redheart with bullock flange) this Christmas Season for something that is very near and dear to my heart. 

1. Write a note of encouragement to a child who is hospitalized or suffering from a serious illness. Your words can bring hope and joy into their lives during this extremely difficult time and help them find the strength to keep fighting.

Please take a photo of your card and envelope and post it with the hashtag #wordsofhopegiveway on Instagram

Cards for Hospitalized Kids
6567 N. Olmsted
Chicago, IL 60631

All guidelines on how to write your cards can be found at: 

http://www.cardsforhospitalizedkids.com/make-cards.html

2. Follow @colorsofchrist on Instagram.

3. Tag a friend to join. 

Even if you do not want to enter this giveaway, I encourage you to send your wishes along to the address above regardless. Your words can bring smiles and hopes in ways you cannot imagine.

This giveaway will end December 19th, 2015, 11:59PM and the winner will be chosen randomly and announced the following day. 

What to Write:

Please refrain from writing "get well" or "feel better." This is very important because many patients are suffering chronic or terminal illnesses. If you cannot find the right words, here are some messages you may choose to write:

"I'm thinking of you and I hope today is better for you than yesterday."

"I believe in you. Do not forget how special you are." 

 

My Favorite Modern Day Nibs

1. Leonardt Principal

This is my absolute go-to for all scripts and the nib that I suggest for beginners. Its flexibility allows for dramatic swells, fine hairlines, and trains you to keep the light touch we all intuitively have. While it may be hard to control for beginners, my opinion is that it is worth it even if you end up breaking it. While G nibs (a more popular beginner nib) are more forgiving, they require more pressure and if you get accustomed to that pressure, it becomes hard to gain back a light touch.

Available at Paper Ink Arts

2. Gillott 303

This smaller nib allows you to create finer hairlines and decent shades. I think of it as my mini Leonardt Principal. The modern day version can be a little catchy on the upstrokes but its pros outweighs this. I mainly use this for Spencerian and Engrosser's Script.

Available at Paper Ink Arts

3. Brause Rose Nib

This nib creates huge swells and decent hairlines for the size. I usually use this for Ornamental Script on envelopes or where larger writing is required. It can be hard to get the ink flowing on this one so it's good to have a piece of scrap paper nearby so you can "poke"/"stab" one point to get it started.

Available at Paper Ink Arts

4. Gillot 1068a

This nib is less flexible than the above but is amazing for Engrossing. Master Penman William A. Lilly uses this nib exclusively.

Available at Paper Ink Arts

Please do not let the above list stop you from trying other nibs. It is always good to browse and test them out for yourself. We all write differently so you may appreciate other nibs more than some of the above. I say that nibs are like shoes. These are my favorite Louboutins. Go discover yours ;)

 

Collaboration with the Migraine Research Foundation

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with the Migraine Research Foundation (MRF) to design a T-shirt for their fundraiser. The design features the Japanese characters for zanshin and an English explanation: "Zanshin means having an overflowing spirit. Never give up and have just a little more energy than you think you do. Finish strong!" 

Please support this fundraiser by purchasing your T-shirt (or tank or long sleeve or hoodie!) on: Teespring

100% of all profit from this campaign will be donated to the MRF where 100% of every donation goes directly to fund research.