At first glance, calligraphy seems to be so focussed on the man-made. Drawn or pen-made letters, philosophical quotes, rulers and grids. We study the history of letters, which intertwines with the history of today’s dominant cultures.
Because I draw so much inspiration from nature, I’ve often wondered why I don’t paint watercolour landscapes or florals or pet portraits? Why am I so strongly drawn to letterforms? Why, when I doodle, is it inevitably a letter? Something so removed from the natural world.
Or is it? Recently, I've been paying attention to the many shapes in nature that mimic calligraphy. Or rather the many shapes in nature that contemporary calligraphy mimics! Sit back and look at the photos at right — the calligraphic shapes are obvious, but take it one step further and identify a contemporary calligrapher who uses these forms in their work — the relationship is surprisingly easy to see!
Perhaps what we seek in our calligraphy is the replication of nature’s casual grace, simplicity of pattern or riot of texture. For all the years of human design history, nature still leads us forward with an ever-changing environment filled with inspiration.