Saturday, September 5, 2015

Jimmy and the Brooklyn Library

Jimmy 08/29/2015, Ink on Paper, 9"x 12"
I have been keeping up with my sketch booking when I met up with a friend who has been living in New York.  This is Jimmy and I sketched him as he smoked his e-cigarette.

He says my sketch doesn't have much of a likeness.

On his left I drew a portrait of a woman I saw reading on the subway.  I like how quickly I was able to capture the odd shape of her hat.

At the Brooklyn Library 8/29/15, Ink on paper, 9"x 12"
I was exploring a bit and wandered into Brooklyn.  I was having a good time walking until the heat got a little unbearable and I took refuge in a branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. The place reminded me of home and the libraries there.

It was a weird collection of prominently used dated technology, "Read" posters, strangely worded signs, kids quietly enjoying themselves, and some kids goofing off in the corner-- obviously there against their will.

I began drawing the kids playing on their phones before their mom took them home. Mom was carrying a large stack of books. Talk about a flashback. I have been in the same position as those kids many a time in my childhood.

"Books, the children of the brain."
~ Jonathan Swift

Friday, September 4, 2015

Self Portrait - Fountain Pen Ink

Self Portrait 8/28/15, Ink on Paper, 9"x 12"

August 28, 2015

So on my first day in New York, my landlord was gracious enough to show me how to get to the Art Academy on the subway from the house. It's an easy trip, the ferry is nice, and both the bus ride to the ferry and the subway trip are super simple.

While I was out and about I decided to do some art supply shopping. I brought both my fountain pens, but I had no ink. I felt really uneasy packing my 3 oz glass Noodler ink bottles. With my luck, and the way baggage is handled, I would landed in New York with two broken bottles of ink and a suitcase full of ink stained clothes, I figured I could buy ink in New York.

So for a few hours I went to art supplies stores and asked the workers for fountain pen ink. Then this process would repeat itself: 1) They would look at me oddly 2) Bring me to their ink section and finally 3) suggest a bottle of ink "they think" would work with fountain pens. Being unfamiliar with the ink, I would google "X brand use with Fountain Pens" and then it would link to to a forum where there is all capital letters saying "NOT FOR USE WITH FOUNTAIN PENS."

This literally happened three times before I thought to just google "Noodler Ink NYC" and I got the location of the "Fountain Pen Hospital." The store is impressive (And really fancy) and they had every variety of ink for my pens.

I spent a bit before deciding on the colors "Antietam" and "Walnut." Antietam is a red that is darker and bluer then the more orange red ink I have been using, The Walnut is a pretty nice and rich brown.

The lady who rang me up was really cute and reminded me of my mom.

"You need a bag?"

 "No," I said pointing to my messenger bag while placing it on the glass display case, I unfastening the clips and looked up.

There was a look of  knowing worry in her face as she said simply, "Use the bag, you'll make me feel better."

I nodded yes for the bag. I saw that I had no choice but to obey.

"They're gonna be banging up against each other in your bag. They're glass and if they break..." She paused as I placed the two boxes of ink in the bag, "At least if they break in your bag the plastic bag will keep it"

With that I raced out of the store.

So with a new sketchbook, new ink and new City I decided to do a self portrait.

It was pretty quick sketch, It's kind of unflattering and my lip is a little off.

I look tired.  Packing my life and moving 4000 miles was not easy. It's been a long couple days.

"If you must live in a city, New York is the only city in the world."
~ Katherine Neville