This is where two loves meet and often overlap: At the edges of write and draw. I am fond of ink. Good ink. So you can imagine how delighted I am to have a copy of The Drawing Magazine's Spring issue.
I seriously doubt the author knows everything about ink but chances are good they know more than I do. Seriously. And, learning something new about ink is right up my nib. Calligraphy is art. It involves ink. So does drawing with pen and ink! It inky dinky do-es! Learning to write is a lot like learning to draw. If you doubt me read FIRST MARKS, Introductory lessons in drawing, by Claire Watson Garcia. All those loops and scribbles look a lot like the same loops and scribbles I made back in third grade when we were learning cursive. She writes: Sketching is immediately accessible to beginners because it's based on a skill everyone has: scribbling. See?
MATERIAL WORLD is about "Getting the most out of drawing media" in Ink Initiation, by Sherry Camhy. She goes into the history of ink--India and Western--in details that make you want to hold on to everything she says. I wanted to dig out my rice paper, my sumo-e ink, my brushes . . . She walks you through a lovely how-to! She says: Van Gogh called it 'drawing with lightning. Drawing with lightning? (sigh) This is from the same man who cut off his ear.
Here's another whet: Before India ink arrived in the Western world in the 17th century, European artists used nonlightfast writing inks such as bister, made from tarry soot produced by burning beech wood . . . a concentrated brown-black ink from the bladder of cuttlefish or squid; or iron-gall ink, made from outgrowths on oak or apple trees.
Have you ever tried walnut ink? I have some! A small bottle from 7gypsies. It's too precious to use until . . . Well. It's "aging." Now I want a walnut tree! Camhy tells how to make walnut ink! My stars and a moon! An old iron nail will darken the ink, vinegar or ethyl alcohol will act as preservatives . . .
Do you know "Writing inks are usually made with dyes, rather than with pigment?" Oh, there's so much to share! Am willing to bet some of you know all this. Right, Randall?
I'm searching for the nib in the middle! It reminds me of the head of a medieval lance. Yes, I'm almost old enough to remember them.
Speaking of lances! Wouldn't you know it? I have this. It was meant for an earlier post about ykw. That magazine. You know the one.
Invisible ink. Do you think the Invisible Man wrote with invisible ink? I've had my little bottle for a long while now. I've forgotten how to make it visible. Maybe I really will use it in a new pen some day--after I learn how. Can you imagine writing a journal . . . Okay. The idea does reminds me of the mysterious letter writers in Ruth Reichl's novel, Delicious! though. Lulu. James Beard. History. It's an interesting read.
Hey. Maybe I should do a self-portrait? Imagine it. A portrait done with invisible ink. Well, maybe not. But I do like pens and inks as much as I like macaroni and cheese. My favorite inks? If I could have just two, I would go for a rich black and a luscious brown. I enjoy reading and writing and drawing and pretending and thinking and imaginating! Anything and everything is possible! So, the rest of this post is written in encore invisible!
Writing letters? Drawing? Ink is ink! I like ink!