Even before I saw the great work in pen at the biennale des carnets de voyage, I'd decided to pick up this medium again and give it another go. I'd been drawing mostly in 8b pencil for the past couple of years. Much as I love the sensual, dusky quality of the soft graphite line, though, I'd begun to get tired of how smudgy it gets, especially when traveling and without recourse to spray fixative. I was even more determined, as I say, after seeing gorgeous ink and wash drawings in many of the sketchbooks on exhibit. On the train back to Paris, I couldn't wait to make some ink sketches---there's something about using a pen that encourages doodling and playfulness and the inclusion of text, too, don't you find?
In the scant day and a half I had in Paris after the exhibit, I used my micron pens and a vertical spread in my watercolor block, to make a couple of sketches.
Using the micron pens, I missed the ability to make swoopy, curly lines the way you can with a pencil, so I've resuscitated my dip pens and brush pens and am looking forward to limbering up with them. Yesterday, I made a first re-foray into the curving, dip penned line with a couple of sketches of my husband reading. A word to you readers of a Freudian disposition---sometimes a lamp is just a lamp. I can't wait to add some Schmincke hijinks to this playing around with pens!
A really fun and synchronistic occurrence is my friend Ronell's current obsession with the pen. Click on her name to see what she's up to!
Finally, some readers have asked for the list of sketchbooks I bought at the carnet de voyages show, or ordered later when I ran out of room in my suitcase. Here they are:
Faravelli, Stefano. Mali Secret. Nouveaux Loisirs, February 14, 2006. Have not received this one yet, but remember it as being stunning. I'm a fan of his work.
Flores, Enrique . India. Blur Ediciones. Fascimile edition of his small book of bold, lively watercolor sketches of India.
Flores, Enrique. Cnadernos de viaje. Escuela de Arte de Mérida, Abril 2007. Unbound sturdy sheets of paper on which are printed both black and white and colored reproductions of his sketchbook pages, nicely packaged in portfolio format.
Ladame, Sophie. Carnets d'Eole, vers les CaraÏbes. Éditions Cacimbo, 2002. Chronicles of a sailing trip in the Caribbean. Beautiful mixed-medium sketches in a large book.
Marot, Geneviève. La France à Vivre; portraits de régions. Édition la Poste, 2007. A sketchbook commissioned and issued by the French Post Office, with sketches relating to stamps illustrating the regions of France. Charming, intimate, and fun. It would make a nice souvenir.
Montigné, Michel. Carnet de Guyane. Éditions Sépia, 2003.
Montigné, Michel. Carnets de voyages; Maurianie, Maroc, Brésil. Éditions Sépia, 2006. Robust and loose, lovely watercolor and pencil sketches in a large format. You can see his style becoming stronger in the three years since the Carnet de Guyane, listed above.
Renault, Emilie. Chroniques de Montelly. Lausanne: Éditions de
l'Eclosoir, 2007. Indecipherable typefont but nice drawings! Small accordion book with reproductions of black and white sketches of a domestic interior.
Studler, Elodie. Carnet de Voyage. Éditions Normandie Terre des Arts, 2007. A selection of pages from various of her sketchbooks. Watercolor, graphite, pen and ink---there are numerous examples of all three mediums. Nicely drawn.