The above drawing looks fairly simple. It's not. It's the result of several hours of practicing using the dip pen and then deciding that it was time to clean my nib of excess ink and move on to other work. As I was blotting the pen on a scrap of paper, The Steel Wheels' energetic song Long Way to Go came on, and I discovered in that moment that I could scribble with a dip pen. A week before this, I could only make slow strokes. I filled several pieces of paper with dip pen and acrylic ink scribbles before I could stop for the day. Practice + happenstance = new discoveries.
Another exciting development in my 2014 Lenten practice of intuitive mark-making is playing with Letraset (dry transfer of lettering) in unconventional ways. Three years ago my friends Bob and Michelle dropped off a small cabinet containing sheets of Letraset. Prior to that, I bought out the Geotype (similar to Letraset) inventory of a local stationary store when it was going out of business. On Monday I was sucked into a Letraset vortex and did not re-emerge until more than two hours had passed. The next day my wrists were a bit sore: rubbing with pressure is hard work. The above drawing is actually the used plastic sheet on which the letters were adhered that I almost discarded before I realized that it was a thing of beauty. In all I did nine drawings with Letraset & Geotype, some more successful than others. I'm excited about this new discovery and am eager to push it further. My energy for this Lenten practice continues to be steady and I'm practicing an average of 47 minutes a day instead of the 15 minute minimum.