“Let the Light In” Calligraphy Composition

Sometimes when I meditate, I can see pictures. Sometimes I “hear” a little phrase. This time it was both, and they came through in just a flash. I saw a peaceful forest with trees in early morning sunlight. The message to me was, “let the light in”.

I don’t always know what these phrases mean, but I let them hang around my day like little opportunities. Since this experience was two messages at once, it became a calligraphy composition.

At the time, I was practiced enough in watercolor that I could render the image of trees and sky effectively. I may be a little rusty now, so I’m glad I did the painting when I could!

The Calligraphy

Though I’d seen examples of Foundational calligraphy hand before, I didn’t know how to write it yet. I even considered sending the painting to a calligrapher I admire to write the text for me. I put the painting into my portfolio to keep it safe. You guessed it — I forgot about it!

In 2020, I finally learned Foundational Hand from Carrie Imai in a workshop hosted by the Calligraphic Society of Arizona.

It wasn’t until I was riffling through my portfolio again, looking for pieces to put into my solo calligraphy show for April of 2022, that I realized I could finally finish this composition!

Using layout techniques I share in Calligraphy Layout for Quality Compositions, I planned and arranged the text to accompany the painting. After all the time since I’d finished the painting, the calligraphy was done in minutes.

The Final Touch

But the composition still needed something. Even though the lighting in the painting was warm, I found the piece cold and flat. I needed something to catch the eye of the viewer, so I turned to gold watercolor to add leaves to the foreground of the forest. I love the way the watercolor catches the light without being too showy and obvious.

This was the most popular piece in-person and in all my promotion for the solo show, particularly on Facebook. The original piece sold, but I’m having prints made that I will hand embellish with more gold leaves!


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