Thursday, June 18, 2009

Natural Calligraphy

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.


WildmanDesigns said...

So nice to see a new post, Alice! And what amazing photographs! I love looking for calligraphy in nature, too! Thanks for sharing and keep the posts coming. Love your blog!

Joyce across the Pond said...

Lovely work....I too am inspired by nature and have a photo album dedicated to scenes like yours which I used to show to my students.....I was trying to get them to observe colours and textures...some got it some didn't but the simple and ordinary with a second look always inspired me.

Words to the world said...

Very Good concept of looking caligraphy in nature..Wow tat rocks. And it also gives a chance of creating many more new Styles of a letter.
I have a suggestion tat it would be quite good if u have mentioned ur findings in those natural pics.


retoque fotografico said...

Really beautiful texture shades and tones in these photographs!