October 3, 2016

Inky Quills

I've said for many years that I don't do "flat art" -- I don't draw, paint, etc. I don't do things on a flat surface. I like dimensionality too much, and making flat look dimensional always seemed too hard to me.

I used to draw when I was a kid, and an artist friend of the family said I had potential, but I perfectionismed myself out of drawing after a few years, certainly by the age of 7. But recently, the lino block printing had me thinking more about flat art, and then at the art store across from my college, I spotted something called a crow quill pen, a kind of dip pen made for sketching, with a very fine point.

Terrible picture. Sorry. Phone. But it's quite a charming little pen, and it came with its own little bottle of india ink, and it was only $6, so I picked up that and a small sketchbook, because what the hell.

It took me six days to get up the courage to try it. I watched a couple YouTube videos on pen and ink sketching (all of which were done with either rollerballs or fine fiber tips), and said hell with it, and dove in.

I started with lines and basic shapes, as advised, and then started doodling. A series of S-curves became a fan and dancer. A cylinder became a flower vase for a rather sorry looking flower. Feathery scratchy strokes became a crow with a hang-dog look, mourning his lost quill. A slightly lopsided cylinder became Guy Fawkes' hat, or at least the hat of someone in a Guy mask. A short length of Greek key became the top of a fluted pillar. And so on.

It didn't come out too badly, and more importantly, it was fun. Having a dip pen helped. I love those. Of course, my fingers come out all inky.

I'm also starting a new lino block. A memento mori with a winged skull. Later I'll do another with a Hekate's wheel on one side and a labyrinth on the other. I'm also thinking of hauling out my dremel and making a salt slab labyrinth at some point.

Work on the Book of the Downward Labyrinth continues. I really need to get the blog for that up and running. The latest piece necessitated some deep trance work last night, an Underworld journey through the labyrinth. There was a whole thing with eggs. Lots of food for thought, and for work.