Yesterday I completed the last of the 100 drawings / paintings in the Trumpet Parts Series.

Trumpet Parts No. 100 with the felt ball I made for Baer’s 3rd Birthday (today).  The roving was from Tari’s sheep.

The last three drawings are ink squiggle drawings.  I will keep only my favorite piece, T2-R2, from the box of bent and broken trumpet parts.  I enjoyed every moment of working on the series.  The series began in April of 2011.  It documents the passage of time, the change of seasons, my interests, my experiments with a variety of media and styles, as well as the development of The Color Scheme Game.

Trumpet Parts No. 98

Most of the series was done in sketchbooks, helping me to fill the remaining blank pages of at least seven of the sixty-six incomplete sketchbooks on my bookshelves.

Trumpet Parts No. 99

The series acted as a mirror, making me aware of my work habits, my style preferences, my color preferences as well as the consistency of quality (and absence of quality) that is directly connected with the level of focus on the work.

The entire series (minus a few that were horrific) may be viewed in the Trumpet Parts Album of  my facebook page Chris Carter Artist.

Moving on …….

Sketchbook Drawings:  drawn with Noodler’s Neponset fountain pen (fabulous pen!) filled with Noodler’s Heart of Darkness Ink.

I couldn’t resist at least one more ink squiggle drawing of my Trumpet Parts before I reach the end of the series.

Trumpet Parts No. 97, Ink Squiggle Drawing

I find myself having rested on my current plateau a tad too long, staring at the rock face of the cliff on the far end of the plateau.  Time to start the ascent to the next level.  With that in mind, I will be posting less frequently on this blog as well as the Creative Color blog, perhaps only once or twice a week.  Thanks for viewing the blogs, for your comments, and for your continued support.

Sketchbook drawing: drawn with Noodler’s Neponset fountain pen filled with Heart of Darkness Ink.

Here’s another ink squiggle drawing for my squiggle fans.

Trumpet Parts No. 24, Ink Squiggle Drawing

This squiggle drawing was done with a Noodler’s Flex Fountain Pen filled with Noodler’s Bad Belted Kingfisher ink.  I’m surprised at how much I enjoy the color of this ink, not being a huge fan of blue inks.  It is neutralized toward black enough to keep me happy while it still gives a gorgeous blue-green tone that allows me to feel a sense of color as I squiggle.  The color also adds a nice tint of color to watercolor washes.

This is my entry for the 2011 Noodler’s Ink Competition.  I only found out about it a week ago, just in the nick of time.

Catfish "Self Portrait"

I don’t usually enter contests.  However…… I love Noodler’s Ink and I love the Noodler’s pens I have tried.  The prize for winning is one of every pen they make.  I do want to win so that I can test every single one of the Noodler’s pens.  I thought a squiggle drawing would show the ability of the Noodler Fountain Pen to satisfy my demands as an artist using continuous line in a manner quite different from writing and caligraphy.

Squiggle drawing:  drawn with a Noodler’s Fountain Pen and Noodler’s Black Swan in English Rose Ink.

I was curious to see what the result of another hour of squiggling on the last trumpet part drawing would look like.  The drawing is 6.75 inches by 4 inches.  It is not a technique to be rushed.

Two hours vs. Three hours

The top scan shows the result after two hours of squiggling.  The bottom scan shows the result after another hour of squiggling.

The trumpet is far less forgiving than the seashell.  I like the challenge.

Drawn with my Pelikan Fountain Pen filled with walnut ink.

Finally …. a chunk of time to sit and squiggle.

Trumpet Parts Drawing Number Four

Only ninety-six more Trumpet Parts drawings/paintings to go.  It’s been far too long since I’ve taken the time to do a squiggle drawing.  I was in ecstasy last night as I fell into that meditative state that comes with squiggling.

I used my fine nib,Pelikan fountain pen filled with walnut ink.  It was not flowing smoothly, even after a quick cleaning.  The variation in line adds interest to the drawing, but causes me a bit of frustration.  My gray Parker is better for squiggle drawings.

Due to the complex nature of the trumpet part I drew a light sketch of the trumpet in pencil first.

While writing the check for the latest delivery of heating oil my mind wandered to thoughts of Spring and the new shapes and colors that will fill the landscape and delight my eyes.  I remembered the series of pastel paintings I did several years ago of fresh lilies from the garden.

Lilies, pastel painting

This pastel painting was done prior to my return to study of color and prior to my squiggle ink drawings.  I’m amused when I recognize the roots of something that has developed into a technique that I return to again and again such as the squiggles.  I remember playing with the warm and cool variations of the colors hoping to create an illusion of depth, but felt that I didn’t understand what I was doing enough to push the painting any further without overworking the paper and losing the brilliance that I love so much about pastel.  When I look at the painting now, I understand a great deal more than I did back then.  Perhaps I will attempt another lily painting when the weather turns warm, the garden is abloom and I’m no longer writing checks to the oil company.


Rick Daddario recently posted a photograph of a fallen birdnest.

The Fallen Birdnest

I couldn’t help but try to translate it into squiggles.  Along the way it morphed into an illusion of a galaxy and my vision continued to flip back and forth between the two.  As a result it is neither a birdnest nor a galaxy.  I might try it again.

I watch my father as he loses his memory as well as his ability to perform simple tasks.  What he is not losing is his ability to play games and to dance.  Those activities are so much a part of his daily life that they are not leaving him.  My hope is that drawing and painting is so much a part of my daily life that I will still be able to draw and paint long after I have forgotten what I ate for breakfast, or that I even ate breakfast.

Squiggle drawing done with my fine tip Waterman Fountain Pen.

There were several times when I easily could have trashed this squiggle drawing….. and learned nothing.

Corner of bedroom, fountain pen squiggle drawing

The first opportunity was when I realized that I didn’t like the wavy lines that I had drawn as an experiment in wavy perspective, inspired by the work I’ve seen recently on Bobbi Heath’s Almost Daily blog.  I was drawing with my Cross fountain pen filled with walnut ink.  The pen ran dry, or so I thought.  When checking the ink level, the ink splatted all over the facing page.  Rather than continue with that pen, I filled another pen with walnut ink without first cleaning it with water.  (It was 6 am in the morning and I was drawing in bed and being lazy.)  The Pelikan fountain pen still had a bit of black ink in it that darkened the walnut ink.  The fresh ink was not running smoothly through the nib (of course).  I did a gentle shake down to now avail.  I did a bit stronger of a shake down and, viola, blops of ink on my drawing.  I had squiggled so much already that I had to see where it might lead, so I continued.  The value choices I had thought would work, often didn’t.  There were some surprises along the way.  The end result?  Not great, but I have a smile on my face from having started my day learning a few new things that I can carry over to another drawing.

Knowing it would take six hours from Newark to Seattle, I packed my ipod and Bose Headphones for the flight.

Pencil Meditation, Newark to Seattle

In my own world of music, with the drone of the engines as background, it was easy to slip into a state of meditative drawing.  The first pencil sketch progressed along a similar path to the journal orb series I drew several years ago.  It then veered off in another direction reminiscent of Salvador Dali.

Wing of the Boeing 737-800

On the return trip I was treated to a view of mountain peaks poking through a layer of clouds as we flew from late afternoon light toward sunsets and darkness.  The cloud cover opened to reveal snow-covered crop circles before the light of day was left behind in the west.

Snow-covered Crop Circles

As we flew into darkness and I switched on my overhead light I returned to pencil squiggle meditations.

Pencil Squiggle Abstraction