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Brush, Ink, Paper, Stone – Intro to Chinese Calligraphy

March 2, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 3:30 pm


Free workshops for teens and adults. With the support of the Wellfleet and Truro Local Cultural Councils, Judith Motzkin, an artist based in Cambridge and Wellfleet, is offering hands on sessions to introduce the origins, history and structure of the Chinese written language and to provide an opportunity to experience calligraphic writing with a brush and ink on rice paper. Motzkin says, “Outer cape residents have little exposure to Chinese culture. Insight into the language is a start to understanding, peace, and friendship between our two peoples.”
The Wellfleet sessions will take place at the Wellfleet Library on Saturday, March 2, 2019. Session 1 for teens: 12:00-1:30. Session 2 for adults: 2:00-3:30.
On April 17, in Truro, two additional workshops will take place at Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill. Adults 1:00-2:30 Teens 3:00-4:30.
Interested attendees can sign up at Wellfleet Library 508-349-0310 or at or by email to

The workshop will include:
• Cultural context: The Four Classical Arts, of which calligraphy is one and The Four Treasures of Chinese painting and calligraphy—stone, ink, brush, paper.
• How to hold and use the brush to make expressive strokes. Care of the bamboo brushes.
• Introduction of the Eight Basic Strokes used to paint bamboo as traditionally taught with the strokes in the character 永, yong, eternity.
• Demonstration of the strokes learned as used to paint bamboo with ink on paper.
• Practice on rice paper with ink to draw the early pictographs, write characters, paint bamboo
• Examples of the progression from pictographs carved in oracle bones 4000 years ago, through the codification of the written language 2000 years ago.
• Presentation of a few basic characters and how they are multiplied or combined with other characters to make new words and express concepts. Introduction to the radical/phonetic system.

The presenter, Judith Motzkin, has a degree in Asian Studies from Cornell University. A practicing studio artist in ceramic and mixed media, she continues her lifelong interest in Chinese culture, history and language through study and travel. In 2018, she taught Creative Practice/sculpture in Shanghai.
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Wellfleet and Truro Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.


March 2, 2019
12:00 pm - 3:30 pm
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Wellfleet Cultural Council
Judith Motzkin Studio


Wellfleet Library