Sunday, January 15, 2006

Goose Quill and Stamper's Ink

In the sketch class I'm taking with Cathy Johnson, we got to chatting about various pens and inks. I'm still at the 'pencil' stage in my sketching and have just begun experimenting with a few pens. The discussion intrigued me and got my mind awhirlin'. Since I live in the middle of the woods and the art supply store is an hour away, I combed my hidey-holes and found some feathers I had collected from the college grounds where I teach. (We have a plethora of geese and ducks and when they molt, it's a goldmine of free feathers!) Following Kate's detailed instructions, I cut the quill (as best I could) to try as a dip pen. Now for the ink!

I've been collaging for several years and have collected a small amount of rubber stamps and a few reinkers. AHA, I thought! INK. So, on my Canson 140# CP watercolor paper I began my experimenting. I dipped my pen into a small drop of Adirondak 'Bottle' dye ink (very non-waterproof). I added a bit of waterbrush -- and was SMITTEN! Of all the playing I did (blotching, blotting, smearing, WEARING, drying with a HEATGUN), I liked this wee flower best. The ink wash just delighted me!

My next project was to attempt my 'homework' for Kate and something a bit more serious. Bowing again to Laura and continuing my interiorscapes, I sketched my washstand. I began in pencil and then used the goosequill and Adirondak 'Rust' ink to oversketch the pencil. I found that if if 'scraped' the pen against the side of the cut papercup, I didn't BLOTCH the ink as much. Instead of letting the ink dry (never one for patience!), I used the waterbrush to move the ink around before it settled into the wc paper. I left the pencil marks for texture ... and the result absolutely made me GLEEFUL! I think I'm getting hooked!

Re the washstand. I was with a friend in an antique store in Raleigh about eight years ago. She was looking for something; I was along for the ride. When I saw this particular piece, I FELL IN LOVE and just HAD TO HAVE IT! It cost me more than I've ever paid for a piece of furniture -- but I knew it was just something I'd regret not buying.

I depleted my savings account and brought it home. It has graced my bathroom for 13 years and delights me each visit to that part of the house!


Lorraine said...

Oh my goodness Lin, talk about the Mother of
Invention!! What great ideas -- the quill and the reinkers. I love how your wash stand
came out (my step-aunt -- grandmother's age)
had one and it looked just like yours.

But the Bentwood rocker is really what blows
my mind -- the graceful curves, the way you show it with the dark and light -- just like
the real thing!

Great job!!!!!

Nita said...

The colors on the washstand are so nice. And I love the subtle wash of black into the blue petals. Isn't it fun to watch things emerge on the paper?

Terri said...

These turned out great Lin. I can see why you are so excited by this little experiment. What great ideas. We used to keep geese when the kids were little and I always had goose feathers around. Of course I didn't keep any when we moved. Darn it. :o) I love the wash-stand too btw. Well worth the money you spent on it. It's lovely.

Hashi said...

Wow, you're so resourceful. And your experiment turned out great! No wonder you're delighted! Good job!