Friday, March 2, 2007

Playing with Ink

I'm still entranced by the stale cupcakes sitting in my studio from last week. Honestly, they aren't decomposing or rotting! I don't understand it. They are made from all natural ingredients and yet they are rock hard with not a sign of mold.

So, I will continue drawing/painting them. However, I am leaving for Italy next week for ten days and will probably have to discard them for fear something else might find them while I'm away. If anyone has any suggestions as to how I might ensure their preservation for a longer period of time, please comment to my blog, or email me

I haven't used a lot of ink in my artistic lifetime, and have found an interest in it after seeing Vincent Van Gogh: The Drawings at the Met about a year and a half ago.

Harvest Landscape, Vincent Van Gogh

Arles: 6-8 August 1888

(Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett)
F 1485, JH 1540

Click here to see more of Van Gogh's drawings. His use of pen and ink is purely sublime to me. I could stand in front of his drawings forever peeling away the layers of marks upon marks, constantly seeing something new. Van Gogh turned drawing into an expressive medium and this exhibit displayed the equality of Van Gogh's drawings next to his paintings. He drew for expressive purposes, reference material for later works, for the love of drawing, and to show his brother and his friends recent paintings he had done. In a way, Vincent was blogging in the 19th century. Maybe he would have become a successful artist in his lifetime if he had access to communication the we do today.

The "Coffee Hour Drawing," titled Awash with Cupcakes is done with sepia ink washes and reed pen on Stonehenge paper. Stonehenge is a type of paper with a warm, grey semi-smooth finish that I started using in my Anatomy Drawing class at SU, which I see is no longer a course to my disappointment. It's a beautiful surface to work on in color or black and white. The reed pen, though manufactured out of bamboo for drawing, is the closest thing to what Vincent worked with, without making them myself. He used reed pens that he cut with a penknife because there was no cost to him. This drawing is really a study in technique and materials, as well as the subject of desserts. Enjoy!

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