What music does to your ears, calligraphy does to your eyes! It’s the style of writing words in an elegant manner.
Words carry innumerable significance; they bring happiness, positivity and make you thoughtful. Imagine a word – rose; it brings out the image of a flower, some emotions and beauty; it may also bring along some fragrances and memories as you connect with the beautiful word. What more, if an image of a rose flower is beside the written word, it will directly connect with your soul. This is the power of calligraphy, words speaking to you.
Calligraphy is a beautiful art of arranging symbols and words, positioning, balancing in rhythm or harmony, bringing about elegance and grace in text. It is also an art involving ornate decorative images and geometric depictions along with text that have brought forth this writing style into the limelight.
Historical connect The history of calligraphy dates back to the Stone Age when cave men used coloured stones to write on the wall. It was in the Mughal era that calligraphy emerged in popularity when text and poems were written in Arabic and Persian languages, in beautiful forms. So famous were the calligraphy artists in olden days that even the first page of Urdu newspapers were used to be handwritten in calligraphy style. Greeting cards, wedding invitations and even notices were handwritten by special calligraphy artists who would implement this art form beautifully on paper or cloth. Prayer flags, religious text and paintings using text in beautiful style still attract a lot of attention as words connect directly to the mind and soul.
The Art form Calligraphy does not necessarily involve any picture, photographs or images and is mostly restricted to text. Lettering is different from calligraphy and involves drawing of letters. Typography is written with selected available text. The coloured cloths, silks, satins and canvas materials are dyed sometimes and then scriptures in the form of calligraphy are written over them by calligraphy artists. Messages, text, poems, songs and inspirational quotes are found in calligraphy style as art and paintings.
Buddhist paintings and old Sanskrit scriptures found with handwritten text are preserved as an important part of the art world today. The Islamic Quran was written by hand in decorative writing forms.
A few examples of Arabic calligraphy in stone can be seen in the Taj Mahal, Humayun Tomb, Lal Qila, Qutub Minar and Hazrat Nizammuddin Auliya Dargah.
Mantras and prayers on cloth and canvas paintings in Buddhist culture are seen displayed in monasteries. In Tibetan Buddhist culture, traditional art depicts beautiful calligraphic works done on silks and canvas and is usually found in red, vermillion and golden colours. The best example of calligraphy can be seen on Tibetan prayer wheels with its simplicity and strokes since the words are small and simple. Chinese artists are known for beautiful calligraphy with confident single strokes in ink to form beautiful pieces of word art. In China, calligraphy was used in stamp seal, ancient tablet stones, ornate paper weights and the famous Ming vases and pottery.
Weapons of Art
Earlier in ancient times, the calligraphists used handmade dried reeds or bamboo shoots to make their own pens and nibs. The choice of right pens and nibs and mediums affects the end results desired from this art form. Selecting the right medium for consistency is important to get the easy flow with the hand movements and also the paper used has to be of correct absorbent material, otherwise the ink blots and bleed. Modern calligraphy involves a lot of brushes and markers that are comparatively easy and can be used for writing words on the go.
From logos to labels, visual designers today use language to express a story or information. Gothic language is an ornamental style that draws attention rather than the plain, simply written text in movie titles, hand written invites, product label packaging, certificates and awards and even cake decorations!
Different types of scripts – cursive script, semi cursive script, oracle script, bronze script, clerical script, large script, small script, regular script are examples of modern printed calligraphy styles.
Today, we have computer programmes and scripts in different languages and styles that can bring out this beautiful art form as digital art and can be printed on any object, apparel or commodity. This digital art form looks great however, it lacks the charm and magic of handwritten calligraphy!
Bring calligraphy in your daily lives!
Artworks written with calligraphic styled decorative words having positive meanings, inspirational quotes and written goals often have a larger than life appeal and also go along with aesthetic appeal of your home. Get downloadable art sheets online and practise this art form at home. As your words begin to shape gracefully, you will notice how your life turns out beautifully. Fonts and languages can be chosen online and select whatever catches your attention.
Hand written calligraphic art always comes out beautiful and original. You can get creative by applying colours, inks, water colours, oils, acrylics or any medium of your choice. Simply paint over words on your tees and scarves! Hang the beautiful word art where you see it most, and enjoy the power of beautiful words!.
Written by Rizwana Mundewadi