Have you ever stuffed your cart so full of art supplies, paid for them, lugged them 1000 clicks across an international border only to be strip searched for stolen erasers!
OK, I did buy a few bags full of paper, pens and other artist sundries while visiting New York City in the Spring of 1994 and we did get stopped by the border patrol on our way back across into New Brunswick, Canada. We had to take everything out of the van and report all that we did, bought and drew upon. Sadly I’ve never returned to the United States since then. 14 years passes rapidly when one is consumed with Chron’s Disease, going into remission, getting married, then divorced, succumbing to addiction only to recover and have your boyfriend leave you. My god.
Whilst those 14 years of joy and agony were, I lugged around an accumulated arsenal of artist materials. I drug them from Fredericton to Saint John, Saint John to Fredericton and back again only to fly and mail them out to Vancouver for five years where I resided and began drawing solely with black and occasionally red ink. I swore off pencil all together thinking it an unnecessary time consuming evil that could be cut from the creative process all together. And I began painting extra large wall paintings to break the cycle of fear of going big.
I bought fat black pens, phat black pens, skinny black pens, no name brand black pens and ultra-fine-grip no slip tip permanent eat your heart out black pens. I bought them all. I tried them all until they ran dry. At one point I was averaging two to three pens per week. That is a lot of drawing and writing folks.
How could you not buy something that makes you happy. How can you not buy a tool to help you find that means to an end. I found an answer while in Vancouver. I discovered two brands of pens that to this day are still my favorites; the Viscose based Pilot G-tec C4 pen and the Archival Micron Pen; each costing $5.
For the next 14 years I plan to buy more black pens. In the near future I’m buying an Epson printer and then…
When you purchase a good quality artist supply it will not deteriorate over time with proper storage, use and care. If your art supplies are becoming goopy, yellowing or drying up perhaps you should invest in that $30 paint brush or that $45 sketchbook. This standard does not hold true for all supplies but I will tell you this, those bags of paper I bought in New York 14 years ago, today remain in the same condition as they were then.
Next Week’s Tip – Did you mix enough of that color?
Early in December 2007 I did an international cross-country boundaries artist pen trade with Shane Vorhaben.
He sent me Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens that I couldn’t and still can’t buy here as I live in a very small city. I sent him Pilot G-tec C4 pens that he can’t purchase in the United States. As I have later found out, the Pilot G-tec C4’s are not available in the United States at ALL, anywhere! Can you believe that? Only in the UK, Japan and Canada. Even then, Canada does not have the plethora of colors available elsewhere. They are my favorite drawing pens next to Microns and now, Pitt pens.
Sadly my Pitt pens have almost run out! I’ve drawn them to a dry ink death. ‘Tis time to make that inaugural purchase from an online source.
Along with the pens we mailed each other unfinished *ACEO’s that we each will be collaborating on. After they are complete we’ll each keep one and mail the other back as we each sent two to each other.
I just did another ACEO trade in January 2008 with an artist in Germany named AKA oparthamburg.
There is no time limit or rather date of completion on these trades.
They will not be drawn until the final drips…
*ACEO – Art Cards, Editions and Originals. Must be 2.5″ by 3.5″.
I have been drawing more lately using my favorite pen; the PILOT G-TEC-C4. Excellent for writing and/or drawing. The above spread was created over a few days this week. I tend to draw many things at once, going back over them again and again adding detail. I never use a pencil first, unless I am composing an image that will be painted in using watercolor. Just pen on paper. The journal I am currently working in contains about 60lb paper stock, is acid free, cold press and unbleached. I like cold-press paper because it gives a light texture to draw upon rather than the stark hot-press paper, which tends to be smoother and have a sheen to it.
I completed this drawing two nights ago down at my friend Soren’s home. He created music while I drew to it. He said:
It looks like a bird looking at fuzzy looking things…
Hence the title of the drawing. Below is a detail of Bird.