Orbs - Polar Brown Noodler's Ink in a Uchida Fountain Pen

John Ruskin’s exercises have opened the door to rendering in ink.   Whereas simple line work with pen and ink or brush and ink are second nature to me, rendering form in ink has remained far out of my comfort zone.

Yesterday, my plan was to paint several small studies of sea shells.  Unfortunately, I had to upgrade my version of Quick Books Pro.  What should have been a one hour task turned into a frustrating, all day endeavor.  A kind, patient technician in the Philippines finally solved the problems at the end of the day.  During the long intervals of waiting, I squiggled with my fountain pen.

The Uchida is not a great pen.  I like it because it is wood and feels good in my hand.  It is far too scratchy to write with.  The ink often stops flowing freely.  Noodler’s Ink works better than any other ink in this pen.  I have kept the pen for its fine point nib.  Most of my pens have a medium point nib.  After squiggling with the Uchida yesterday it earned a permanent place in my collection and won’t find itself back in the pile of pens to be discarded.

These squiggles are entertaining while challenging my focus on form.  I cannot allow my concentration to be broken or I will work into the areas that must remain a light value. Watching the forms emerge is satisfying.  I recall a similar sensation when I watched the image appear in the darkroom many years ago.  Forms created by the squiggles take far longer to develop than forms on photographic paper.  A great deal of patience, more than I thought I was capable of, is demanded by these ink rendered drawings.  I have acquired a new form of meditation.

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