气势自然 林钰堂

气势自然方为美,灵活一体神情传;
稍加修整添败笔,难堪调整成僵局。

弟子王浩正研拟将拙书之「放心」、「清风徐来、水波不兴」(后者有钢笔与毛笔二种)刻石。「放心」印之草图,我一见即觉「心」字布局不佳。而后方知,草图中并非复制原作,而是仿笔。原作气势连贯,生气盎然,便无布局之问题。仿笔堆砌而成,立即引发布局之缺陷感。

「清风」印稿,写成两行。浩又依宿习印文布局之规格,将字之排列上下移动。所成印稿,一看即觉死板,良以行笔之气势完全破坏流失矣。完全沿用原稿,彼所担忧之布局问题,反倒不显。因为气势之自然流畅所产生之整体感完全含盖了局部的均衡问题。

由此可知自然流畅之生气,是心无罣碍的流露,在笔画间自然形成活生生的气势,而不为规格所拘。任何出乎机心之添减,皆是败笔。稍加调整,反成死物僵局。吾人运笔、用心皆当顺其自然,不为成见所侷,而令真情活泼流露。若能如斯,生活之中自当美不胜收矣!


                     二○○九年四月廿三日
                     养和斋   于加州


Natural Flow of Movement Yutang Lin

Only natural flow of movement constitutes beauty
Lively as a whole and conveys intents and feelings
Slightest modification only adds damaging strokes
Couldn't survive adjustments that rendered it petrified

Comments:

Disciple Wang Hao is working on how to carve my calligraphy of "Fang Xin" (Let Mind (worries) Rest) and "Qing Feng Xu Lai, Shui Po Bu Xing" (Clear Wind Gently Arrived, Water Ripples Not Arise) onto stone seals. (The latter calligraphy had been done once with fountain pen and once with Chinese brush pen.) As soon as I saw the draft for the Fang Xin seal, I felt that the arrangement of the Xin character is not good. Later I learned that the character inside the draft was not an exact copy of my calligraphy but only an imitation. The original one contains continuous flow of movement and looks lively, and hence is without problems of arrangement arising. The imitation was constituted by strokes put together artificially, and thus immediately yielded a sense of deficiency in its arrangements.

The draft for the Qing Feng seal was written in two columns. Hao again followed the rules of patterns that he had learned in the past and moved the characters up or down. The seal draft thus obtained looks stiff at first sight because the natural flow of writing the calligraphy had been broken up and hence completely lost. When the original draft was adopted as it is, the problem of arrangement that he was worrying about does not show up—— contrary to what he suspected. This is because the sense of a whole that comes about from the natural and fluent flow in the calligraphy completely absorbed and covered possible problems of imbalances of local arrangements.

Thus we have learned that the lively force, that is natural and fluent, is revelation of mind free from worries, and among the calligraphy strokes it naturally formed a lively flow of movement, without being confined by artificial regulations. Any addition or subtraction out of calculation would be a damaging stroke. Slightly rearranging it would yield a dead object in a stiff position, contrary to all good intentions. As we apply our minds and move our pens we should let it follow the natural flow, without being hindered here and there by preconceptions, so that true feelings could be lively revealed. If we could do so, then there would be abundance of beauty in our daily lives!

Written in Chinese and translated on April 22, 2009
El Cerrito, California


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