Belly Dancer at Easton Yoga Hafla, May 16, 2009

Belly Dancer at Easton Yoga Hafla, May 16, 2009

The right tools make all the difference when it comes to capturing the essence of a body moving through space.  When I am painting during a performance there is no time to think, to contemplate and to make corrections or adjustments.  If the pen nib is not flexible, it does not respond to the movement of my own body when I am in tune with the dancer and the music.  If the brush does not have a bit of spring to it , the paint will not flow to create the sense of transition that watercolor is so wonderful at conveying.  If the paint is not fluid, neither is the captured movement of the dancer.

My favorite, most flexible pen nib has disappeared over the years.  Currently, I am in search of a replacement.  Most nibs are a disappointment, too stiff to respond to my touch.  I have collected dozens of nibs, yet none are as much an extension of my arm, hand and fingers as the nib that vanished.

I enjoy using a dip pen.  The variety of marks possible with such a pen allow a line to express depth and movement by the flow from thin to thick and back again to thin.  Happy accidents often occur when I press a bit too hard or linger too long and a sphere of ink develops along the line or at the end of a line.  When the ink is still wet and I apply a wash of color, the ink may run into the color, for better or worse.  The results are never predictable and often delightful.

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