My friends invited me to their house to join in a Chinese calligraphy class and it was super fascinating! The techniques are completely different from Western calligraphy or painting. The trick is all in how you manipulate the tip of the brush. Even how you hold the brush and get it wet with ink is different.
I think C.C. (Chinese calligraphy) is super complicated, beautiful and addicting. You see the teacher show you how to write a horizontal line for example and it looks so simple (yet elegant and complicated) so you want to get it right. C.C. uses a lot of concentration because you're thinking of multiple things at once- (i.e. this horizontal stroke has to be of this length and proportion, has to curve at a 15 degree angle. When you start the stroke the tip needs to go down a little and when you end it you draw the brush down while at the same time pulling up and lifting it off the paper.) I bet it's as healthy for your mind as crossword puzzles.
The entire class I wrote horizontal strokes and the characters 2 and 3 in Chinese (er, san) and I thought it would be boring but dang I wanted to get it right. I could've kept going! The teacher is supposed to be really good- and I can tell. He won some contests for calligraphy and he said he never taught a foreigner before. (He told me he was a little nervous) Oh well, at least it goes to show that a foreigner can learn to write calligraphy. :)
(and once I get the basics, I'm going on to learn Chinese painting!!!!!!!!! Look out!)