Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects, originally uploaded by biffybeans.

I inadvertently left 2 pens out of the lineup. A silver Lamy AL-Star, and a Hero 329. (Parker 51 copy) Those two aren't in my regular rotation so it's probably why they got left out.

These would be the usual suspects.

Left to right:

Pelikan M200 Fine Nib. Bought new for $55 from Pam Braun

Pelikan M200 .07 Cursive Italic nib (custom ground by Mr. Richard Binder) $40 from a friend on the Fountain Pen Network that new I was looking for one.

Sailor Sapporo Medium nib. Bought used in mint condition via the Fountain Pen Network. Pd $90 which included shipping.

Esterbrook J w/ a 9556 Fine Writing Nib. Pd $12 on Ebay, replaced the original scratchy nib with the 9556, which I think I paid another $12 for - also on Ebay. I don't use it much - but it's cool to have a 60 year old pen in your collection.

Lamy 2000 EF Bought used through the FPN for $79. Had nib problems & a stiff piston. $15 bought me a round trip ticket to Lamy service who replaced pretty much everything inside the pen, and swapped the nib for a finer EF.

4 Lamy Safari's:

Yellow - an Extra Fine. I love this smooth writer. This came from Swisher Pens. Quick shipping and reasonable prices. I do not remember the price.

Red - whom I affectionately call "RED" because this was my first fountain pen. It's a smooth thick Medium nib, and I bought it at Pendemonium. I do not recall the price.

Blue - currently fitted with a .05 Cursive italic nib that Pendemonium custom ground for me. The pen came from an unnamed seller that took 3 weeks to ship. So much for saving a few bucks. I have subsequently never liked the color of this pen. I may end up swapping the nib over to old RED.

Blue-Red - a Fine nib, closer in line width to the EF. A kind person on the FPN sold this to me new in the box...for $20. I always liked this color combination.

The pens that truly get the most usage are the black Pelikan F, the Sailor, the Yellow & Dk Blue Lamy's, and also the 2000 that it's back from repair.

Question from a reader: What would you recommend for the best fountain pen under $100?

Lamy AL Star w/ custom ground .05 Cursive Italic nib (Pendemonium did the custom work from a scratchy Fine)
Yellow Lamy Safari with EF nib
Gray Esterbook from Ebay, with a 9556 nib also found on Ebay
Lamy 2000 with Extra Fine Nib
Waterman Phileas Fine nib
Pelikan M200 Fine Nib

I went along with the flow on the FPN and tried things that people said were good - doing lots of research along the way.

For about $30, you get get a Lamy Safari & converter. I have 4 Safari's (and one AL-Star) and I love them all. I don't use the AL-Star too much because it's a really big pen. Of the five, I only got one with a scratchy nib - and that one I had turned into a Cursive Italic for $15.

All of the Lamy's run on the wide side, so if you want a really fine nib, you'd probably be best off trying an EF to start. If it's too fine, you can buy replacement nibs for $12 and they are super easy to install. Using a converter pen with an EF nib will mean not having to fill it up as often. On my M and the CI, I have to fill it much more often.

The Lamy Safari's are really good pens for the money, but know that they tend to run a bit bigger than your average pen. With smallish hands, I'm still ok with that. They have a rigid nib that some people will refer to as a "nail" meaning not much give. I find with that lack of flexibility, they work really well for drawing.

Some people are not fond of the wedged grip on the Safari's, meaning that it might be hard to write with for someone that tends to rotate the pen. I personally really like the grip - having it keep the pen in an even firmer position for drawing.

A smaller, slightly more expensive pen, (about $60) would be the Pelikan M200. It's a piston filler, which means that you can go a long time on one fill. I have a F nib, which I liken to be about the same width as the Lamy Safari EF. When I first got it, it wrote really thin and skimpy, and I immediately thought there might be something wrong with it. Once I continued to use it, the flow "broke in" (which I probably could have accomplished by flushing the pen a few times before filling it with ink) and it's now one of my favorite pens. It's smallish and lightweight, and the nib has a slight about of flex. Great for writing, not the best for drawing.

I also owned a used Waterman Phileas that I sort of liked, but I learned that it had a slightly bent nib that was probably causing the flow problems I experienced with it. I never replaced it with a new one, so I can't truly sing it's praises. It was a very hard pen to flush.

Spend a little more (about $105) and you can get a Sailor Sapporo F. Sailor are reputed to be some of the smoothest writers around, so if that's important to you - then give it a shot. It is a converter filler, and it's extremely small if left unposted. (writing with the cap off)

I hope that gives you an idea on what might work for you under $100..

Moleskine Mandala Frustration Doodle

Sometimes, the best way for me to vent is through my pen. A call at work sent me into a fury- tears of anger and frustration squeaking out...trying to keep my voice down...

I'm right, I know I'm right.
I'm right, I know I'm right.
I'm right, I know I'm right.

Deep breath - BREATHE!!! In through the nose, and out through the mouth.

Grab headphones, iPod, turn on Jim Donovan's Pulse CD, grab pen and Moleskine and let my feelings out on paper.

Pulse is my most favorite CD for meditation and listening to it makes me feel as though you are traveling to a nice safe place.

At the outside of the mandala, you can tell that I had calmed down by the appearance of daisies. LOL

Keep breathing.... Om......

Pen used is my Lamy 2000 fountain pen, recently back from repair, filled with Diamine Imperial Purple ink.

Guitar Legend Greg Howe circa 1985 with local band Duke

Circa 1985 Greg Howe w/ Duke, originally uploaded by biffybeans.

I would have been about 14... My God, 14 years old and going out to see bands?


Back in the mid 80's, there were several local underage clubs where we would go to hang out, dance, drink sodas, watch bands, and get way too deep into adult activities that would have turned our parents hair white had they known what we were up to.

Back at that time, Duke was a local cover band that did a number of current and classic hits, complete with a one hour Van Halen tribute show. The VH tribute show was typically performed as their last set of the night, and since I was still only 14, I had a curfew and only got to see it once or twice.

And boy, was it good. Greg Howe not only physically resembled Eddie Van Halen, he could play every song, every solo, every note, like the real deal. Greg's brother Al also matched Diamond Dave's vocals to a T. Close your eyes and it was really, really hard to not think you weren't listening to Van Halen in small club on the Sunset Strip.

The VH tribute show eventually went away, but they still liberally peppered their sets with loads of VH goodness.

They once did a showcase for some record company at the Empire Rock Club in Philadelphia. I borrowed a friend's driver's license, (because I was only 16 at this time) and hopped on the party bus down to Phila. to show my support.

I'd see them play dozens of times before they reincarnated themselves as a new band - Howe II. I remember Kjell Benner and Jimmy DeGrasso playing with them at various times. I didn't get to see Howe II too often, underage clubs were fewer at this time, and they had moved on from doing all cover tunes, and started to establish themselves with their own music.

Not too long after, Greg recorded his first album - and the rest is history. Now he's a fusion guitarist virtuoso. GregHowe.com

I worked at one of those underage clubs back in the mid to late 80's where Duke often played, and I will always remember Greg as being the nicest guy in the world. My cousin took guitar lessons from Greg for years and I believe they still keep in touch.

One of my fondest memories, (other than that sticker guitar) was one night at the club when the band was doing their sound check. (The club wasn't open yet) Greg was standing there all alone, soloing, and soloing, and soloing - and there were maybe 5 of us in the whole place. It's just burned in my memory....

Monday, July 28, 2008

Back to the Rhythm Renewal....

I mentioned earlier about heading out to Jim Donovan's Rhythm Renewal later this week. Saturday night, there will be a hige concert featuring Jim's band, Drum the Ecstatic International.

Here's a little clip of the ultimate funness....Back to the Earth Style....

Pelikan M200 Fountain Pen on Moleskine - My first real Bird!

I am truly loving this pen. It's smaller and easier to handle than my coveted Lamy Safari's, has a piston filler that holds a ton of ink, a silky smooth nib, and the ability to interchange nibs - and /or buy custom ground nibs - like from Richard Binder (I have a second M200 with a Binderized .07 Cursive Italic nib as well.)

Spiffy New Fountain Pen Friendly Apica Notebooks!

From 04/07/08

New Apicas!

I am always game for a new notebook, and these were a sampler that I received from Ebay Seller taylorintherockies. (No affiliation, just a happy customer)

Made in Japan, the paper in Apica notebooks are much more fountain pen friendly than my dear Moleskine. All of the books have off-white pages that are silky smooth. Each book is lines, with the lines being most pronounced in book #3. (I prefer the more subdued lines in book #'s 1, 2 & 4.)

Book #'s 1 & 3 each have a space at the top right of the page for a page or reference number as well as a line for the date, book 4 has a single unmarked line at the top right of the page and book 2 has no additional lines in the page header.

The thing I like best about all of these? The spiral binding lets them all lay flat.

Book 4 is nice. Slightly smaller than a large Moleskine Cahier, would make for a nice "project" book as I like to call them. Flexible cardboard covers and a light green index page in front.

Book 3 is my least favorite. 60 sheets, with the darker ruling than the others. The ruling on this one is also golden vs the gray of the others. I'm not crazy about the covers, cardboard is not as stiff as I would like for a book this size. All personal preference of course, it's a nice book, just not for me.

Book 2 is very nice...... Super stiff cardboard cover, with the light gray rulings, and black spiral, this one might give my Mole a run for the money.

Book 1 is also pretty sweet. It's a really interesting size that I'm not used to seeing in the USA. Hard covers, tight double spirals, seems excellent for schoolwork.

Sizes are approximate.

Book 1: 7 1/2" x 9 3/4".
Book 2 & 3: 5 3/4" x 8 1/4" (A5)
Book 4: 5" x 7 1/4 "

My Watercolor Palette

My Watercolor Palette, originally uploaded by biffybeans.

07/28/08 - Update. I'm still using most of these colors, but I've since added Holbein Manganese Nova. I think I have too many paints on my palette. I tend to use the same colors over and over.....

I did the first wash with a #6 round brush, then once dry, went back over it with a #4 round to show a deeper shade.

Lamy 2000 Official Moleskine Review - with several updates

This is my brand new, (new to me, as I believe I may actually be the third owner of this pen) Lamy 2000. I bought it as an Extra Fine, and I can only assume it is, because I can not immediately see any markings on it to distinguish it as an Extra Fine. The nib is as smooth as BUT-TAH. It's easily the smoothest nib I have ever used, more so than my medium nibbed Safari, and even the medium Vanishing Point I owned for 3 days.

Filled with Noodler's Black, it writes smooth & wet. No bleeding or feathering (typical for me with Noodler's Black)

The pen is nondescript, which I like. It reminds me of a Flair felt tipped pen with the texturing on the outside. It's easy to hold, and it's perfectly balanced in my hand. I would expect no fatigue from using this pen.

If I'm at least the 3rd owner, I wonder why other people didn't like/want it.

I'm very happy. It cost me $79 with shipping, and I'll go out on a limb to say that I'd pay full retail to replace it if I had to.

So...should I even bother having those 3 Parker 51's restored? LOL We'll see. For now, I'm Very Happy.

07/04/08 UPDATE:

I'm no longer using the Lamy 200 these days. I found that it had a nasty habit of slipping and spinning in my fingers, and because I'm old (almost 40!) and needing bi-focals, I can't see the orientation of the nib. And sadly, somewhere along the way, it started to get scratchy. I tried my best to clean it, but it seems to be a problem beyond my control.

I also traded two of the 51's for restoration on the 3rd. Sadly, the nub is even harder to see on the 51 than on the L2K. So my remaining 51 is about to be sold as well.

And what's my pen flavor of the week right now? That would be a Pelikan Fine Nibbed M200. A sweet little beauty in the hand and on the paper.

07/09/08 Another update! I used a succession of fine polishing cloths on the nib and I'm happy to report that it's no longer scratchy! It still may slip and spin in my hand, but at least I can use it again without getting frustrated.

07/28/08 Yet another update! I felt that the piston was too stiff and that the nib was writing thicker than an EF should. I sent it back to Lamy and they overhauled it with a new EF nib, piston & feed. I just got it back this past Saturday, and the nib seems to be needing a bit of break in time. Noodler's black and Pelikan Brilliant Black made the pen barely write - it was skipping and starting hard - almost a chore to get it to move across the paper. I flushed it again and put in my most free-flowing ink - Diamine Imperial Purple. It's writing nicer, smoother - but it's still putting out more ink on the downstroke than the side to side. I'll keep with it. My Pelikan M200 wrote really skimpy when I first got it but now that I've filled it a few times, it's the smoothest most wonderful pen I own.

03/10/09 Last update. I no longer own this pen. Once it came back from repair, I could never seem to get the ink to flow properly and I gave up. I had repeatedly flushed & refilled it with numerous inks, soapy water.... I grew frustrated and traded it away. The person who received it, LOVES it. Sometimes I'm convinced it's just me....

051708 Trying out my new Lamy Stub in Moleskine and Apica Journals

I just bought a 1.1 Italic Stub nib for one of my Lamy Safari's. For $12, it was a cheap way to try out a nib that would provide variations in my writing. These examples were written with Diamine Imperial Blue ink, which unfortunately bleeds in the Moleskine. Please note that when I punched up the contrast on this picture, the ink came out "bluer" than it actually is.

The page on the left is from a Red Barnes and Noble large Moleskine. The page on the right, an Apica CD 11 journal.

The nib writes super smooth, unlike the Sheaffer calligraphy pen in which the corners tend to catch on the paper. I can write at normal speed with this nib, but once I saw how larger it wrote, I'm not sure I will want to use it on a regular basis. It IS fun to write with.

I am now considering a Pelikan M200 fountain pen with a smaller custom ground Binder italic nib. But at this point, I'm not sure if I want a crisp or cursive italic.

Pelikan M200 Official First Impressions Fountain Pen test on Moleskine

In Moleskine: 06/13/08

Official Moleskine Review of the Pelikan M200

Out of the box - it's small. Smaller than I expected but it fits the hand quite well. Very light. Too lazy and eager to flush it, I filled it with Noodler's black right away. This pen came from Pam Braun, so it is NOT a Binder Mod. This is a fine nib, and it's very thin.

For Comparison: Lamy 2K EF DIamine Imperial Blue
9556 Esterbrook 9556 (Fine) Diamine Imperial Purple
Lamy Safari EF Noodler's Aircorp Blue Black
Lamy 1.1 stub Noodler's Black
Lamy custom Cursice Italic .07? (Pendemonium grind)
Lamy Safari M Noodler's Black

I would not consider this to be "butter" smooth - bit it IS smooth. Will probably be even smoother with a different ink. Iyts smoother than the Esterbrook non, which is very stiff.
I'm not generally fond of gold trim, but on this pen it's not very obtrusive, and it makes it look...rich.

I can say right off the bat that I like holding it better than the Lamy 2K because the L2K had nothing to grip and it often rotates in my hand. Posted, this pen is the smallest I have. (Edited to add - the Phileas is a smidge shorter, but much fatter)

I like it, but I'm not yet sure if I love it. I'll have to get back to you on that - probably after I flush and fill it with a different ink. :o)

In Apica:

Official Apica CD11 test of the Pelikan M200
Everything writes smoother and thinner in the Apica's

Om Bhoor Bhovas Suvaha Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasaya Dhimahi Dhiyoyona Prachodayaat
...Gayatri Mantra

Noodler's Black ink

Compared against : Lamy 2000 EF DIamine Imperial Blue
Lamy Safari EF Noodler's Aircorp Blue-Black
Lamy 1.1 Stub Noodler's Black

Lamy custom Cursive Italic (.07?( from Pendemonium Waterman Blue-Black
Lamy Safari M Noodler's Black
Esterbrook 9556 FIne Imperial Purple, Diamine

Boy, Is this pen Shiny Black!

07/02/08 Edited to add: Just an added note - I found that after using the pen for a few days, it writes even smoother. Next, I found that the kind of ink I use in it determines how "fine" the nib writes. With Noodler's black, it writes nice and fine. With Private Reserve DC Supershow Blue, it writes a slightly thicker line.

The piston filler initially seemed extremely easy to flush until yesterday, when I flushed the blue out, and once I thought I had it all out, it started to flush out black ink from the previous fill. I guess I should take the time to flush it a little bit better....but it's still a much easier flush than some of my other pens. The piston cap is super smooth and easy to turn.

It is a very sweet little pen. I highly recommend it as a first "good" pen. A logical choice to follow a Lamy Safari.

Moleskine Review of my new Custom Ground Lamy Cursive Italic Nib

A while back, I bought a Safari of of Ebay (new) that had a scratchy, fine nib that was almost as thick as my medium Safari, so it never really got used. I ended up replacing the nib with a 1.1 stub and later realized that I could have the scratchy fine ground into something else. Sam at Pendemonium said that they could grind the fine nib into a Cursive Italic and that it would come out in the .05-,07 range. I sent the nib off to them for grinding, along with a check for $17. ($15 for the grind and $2 for return postage of the nib. I had it back in just a few DAYS.

It's as gloriously smooth as my other Lamy nibs and even smoother than the 1.1 stub. I am VERY happy with the service and end result and would recommend it to anyone that's not ready to splurge on a custom nib from Mr. Binder. (I do not yet own a Binder nib so I cannot compare.)

I find this size cursive italic much more suitable to my writing style than the 1.1 stub. I can write at full speed with it and it is not catching the paper at all.

Waterman Blue-Black ink.

Lamy 1.1 stub for comparison. Not as rounded. Maybe would work well for greeting cards or invitations.

Fountain Pen (ink) Friendly Fabriano Classic Artist's Journal

An artist I admire on Flickr, Jessica Doyle, recommended the Fabriano Artist's Journal to me. It's a pricey book - from Blick, it was $20 for the 5x7 book. (I had a 30% off coupon)

To make it simple, let's just say that NOT ONE of the above used inks bled even a little bit in this book. It's an acid free sketching paper, and it has a little bit of tooth. Every single pen with every single ink wrote butter smooth on this paper. EVERY ONE. I did a quick drawing on the reverse side of the paper, and unless you really look for it, you can't see the opposing side through the paper.

What a glorious little book. While it doesn't exactly lie flat, you can crease the spine and force it relatively flat.

It comes with a ribbon bookmark ala Moleskine. The signatures seem securely sewn together.

The only thing that makes me really like this book vs LOVE it, is that the cover is a heavy cardboard, which seems to me could get pretty beat up, pretty easily.

192 pages, alternating between white & cream in color.

From the Blick site: "The paper is a great paper for ink, pencil, or pastels. It's mouldmade, acid-free, and lightfast."

Purchased 06/22/08 Blick
On my adventures with Rita (Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen)

We went to Perkins & ate eggs and talked about Reptilian Alien Agendas (Lamy Safari M Noodler's Black)

We talked about how every possible decision creates an alternative universe, that it's all infinite. (Lamy Safari w/ .07 Cursive Italic nib custom ground by Pendemonium. Diamine Imperial Purple Ink)

But I sometimes think there are an infinite number of souls. (Lamy AL Star 1.1 Stub. Waterman Blue-Black probably mixed with the residue of Noodler's Black)

She said that every country but Israel & the USA have declassified their UFO files. (Lamy 2000 EF Noodler's LeColour Royale)

That the TV show the X-FIles was the way that the government was introducing the concepts to us of alien existences. (Lamy Safari EF Noodler's Aircorp Blue-Black)

She gave me Reiki on a wooden bridge near a circular pond that had trout in it. (Esterbrook J 9556 nib Diamine Imperial Purple)

She said that we were Native American sisters in another lifetime.
I petted a lot of dogs on the nature trail. (Pelikan M200 F Noodler's Red-Black)

Blue watercolor paint test in Fabriano Artist Journal

Testing various blue watercolors in a Fabriano Artist Journal. The Manganese Blue is my latest, because I was looking for a "bluer" happier blue.

Daniel Smith watercolors are wonderful & deeply saturated, but for me, I can only order them online and paying shipping for one tube of paint isn't worth it for me. When I'm just looking for one color, I like to use Holbein paints, which I can but at two local art supply stores. I've had good luck with the Holbein paints. They mix well, and are nicely saturated.

Ink Review: Private Reserve Arabian Rose.

In Moleskine:

Moleskine Official Review Private Reserve ARABIAN ROSE
in a Lamy Safari .05 (not .07) Cursive Italic Custom Ground Nib - by Pendemonium

Received some inks today that I bought in the Marketplace. The came to the Northeast US all the way from Anchorage Alaska.

This is the Private Reserve Arabian Rose. I had a feeling it would look good in this pen with a cursive italic nib. There is minimal bleed through in the Moleskine. You can see minimal shading on the reverse and just a few "blood dots" as I refer to them.

Not really seeing any feathering, which is unusual in this Moleskine.

Seems to dry relatively quick. LOVE the color. It reminds me of Caran D'Ache Strom, but much more saturated and without the bleeding. I would not say that it writes as "smooth" as some of my Noodler's, but with this color, I can live with it.

Stephanie "Biffybeans"

In Apica:

Only the tiniest of "blood dots" on the reverse. Writes smoother on the Apica paper. (No big surprise) Dries just fast in Moleskine/Apica. No feathering.

In Rhodia:

Writes smoother yet. No bleed through at all. No blood spots. Takes a little longer to dry. No feathering.

Purple Haze - a mistake turned to inspiration!

I inadvertently purchased the wrong color of fountain pen ink. This was from a private online sale, so there wasn’t an option to return it. This is Purple Haze, but my brain saw Purple Mojo when I picked it out. (I double checked – totally my mistake)

When I went to try it in a pen, it came out all watery, and I thought that the ink (still thinking it’s Purple Mojo) had been watered down. It’s way too light for me to use for writing, so a light bulb went on in my head and I decided to grab a watercolor brush and some paper to see how it would come out.

I tried it on three different kinds of paper.

Top left, is a Fabriano Classic Artist Journal. I just did a quick light wash, and the texture of the paper took the ink very well. Of note – I did this about half an hour ago, and the spots (droplets) at the top of the page are still wet. The rest is dry.

Top right, is Fabriano Hot Press Watercolor paper. Hot press paper is usually tricky to work with, as water tends to pool on top of the paper and not sink into the paper right away. I had difficulties trying to get different shades of the purple to reveal itself. In the end, it was either light or dark. Not much in between. Spots on this page are also still wet.

Front and center, is a Canson watercolor pad with cold press paper. This paper has a slight texture to it, unlike the hot press above which is super smooth. I think the ink worked best on this Canson paper – allowing for more delicate sweeping brush strokes, and many shades of purple to be revealed. Some of the spots on this one are also still wet, though not as wet as those on the hot press paper

So with my mistake, I learned that I now have one more type of media in the house to play with. Yipee! Thank goodness for Purple Haze!

07/09/08 Edited to add - I checked these this morning and found that the "spots" on all three were to some degree, still wet. That's interesting, because especially on the hot press paper, I really threw a lot of paint at it but it's just those little spots that didn't want to dry.

Official Handwritten Moleskine Review of the Sailor Sapporo Fountain Pen

Sailor Sapporo Official Moleskine Review

(Filled with Pelikan Brilliant Black)

Found the black/rhodium M Sapporo in the marketplace. It was only previously dipped and was as near mint as I can imagine. PD $90. (including shipping) Cheapest I found them online new was $105.

I feared two things with the Sapporo. 1st being that it's converter filled vs a piston filler. This converter seems to be made of a higher quality than other converters I've seen. Next was the width of the nib shoulders. I prefer a more narrow shouldered nib like the nib on the Pelikan M200 - but this is not much wider.

I picked up an M nib because I heard that Japanese nibs run smaller. IMHO, it's not much wider than the F nib on the Pelikan.

Is it smooth? You bet. Size? About the same as the M200 but wider and heavier. Nicely balanced when posted. WAY TOO SMALL (for me) to use unposted. To wrap up, a nice step up from the M200 but I'm not sure it's worth the difference in price. I like the M200 a lot.

See image for handwritten comparison samples from different pens.


Innards of the pen that hold the converter appear to be metal. Did I mention how small this pen is uncapped?

More handwritten examples between pens in the Apica.

Clairfontaine - More handwritten examples between pens

Rhodia - More handwritten examples between pens. Of note - every pen wrote it's thinnest on the Rhodia paper.

Time to be In the Moment Again

In The Moment, originally uploaded by biffybeans.

Later this week, for the 3rd year in a row, I'll be heading to Loretto, PA to participate in Jim Donovan's Rhythm Renewal Workshop.

Jim Donovan was the drummer and one of the founding members of the band Rusted Root. Having moved on from Rusted Root, Jim now teaches music at St Francis University in Loretto, PA. He also travels locally to teach drumming workshops that are centered around world percussion and the djembe.

I've lost count of how many of his workshops I've attended. My favorite is a workshop called "The Yoga of Drum and Chant", which uses simple drum patterns and vocal toning (chanting) to help you find your center, balance your energies, and to be more in the moment. I've taken so much from his teachings and have applied them to my every day life. It's really good, good stuff.

I did this painting last year, during one of the amazing faculty jam sessions at Rhythm Renewal. I had taken a small palette of watercolors and a waterbrush and did this piece in a 4x6 sketch pad.
(That's Jim on the right playing conga)

Truly "In the Moment"

Sunday, July 27, 2008

It's time I started writing on my own blog.

I write all the time, so I finally decided to resurrect the Blogger account I created but never used. Hopefully now, I can get all my thoughts in one place.

For my 1st official 2008 post, I'd like to present the first of many mandalas to come.

063008 And this is my Reality.
Elemental Mandala Doodle

I've been getting a lot of questions lately about my mandalas. People asking what they signify, and if they are used for meditation purposes.

I once saw a hand-drawn mandala on Flickr, and it was described as a "Meditation Mandala." It was created in one sitting as a form of meditation. Since I generally have a hard time turning my mind off, I was quite intrigued with the concept, and started drawing mandalas from that point forward. Using markers, watercolor paints, fountain pens and ink, pens, pencils, pretty much anything I can get my hands on.

I usually create them in about an hour - such as this one. It's about 5x7 in size, and was done on Fabriano Hot Press Watercolor paper. I started to draw it with a Lamy Safari fountain pen filled with Private Reserve Burgundy Mist ink. I then grabbed a Niji Waterbrush, and painted the border a reddish brown. I accidentally got some of the ink lines wet, and I realized that I could use this to my advantage. All of the pink(ish) color you see was created by running the wet brush against the ink lines. I did a bit of outlining with a Pitt Artist pen, then went outside for a smoke.

As I was sitting there with the painting in my hand, a cool summer's night breeze blowing across the porch - it made me remember that the only thing in life I am absolutely sure of is the earth and it's elements.

"I may not know much and there might be many things I'm uncertain of, but the one thing I know for sure is that the elements exist. Fire, Air, Water and Earth. Nothing exists without them. I exist because of these things and to dent them is to deny your own existence. The sound of the wind, the warmth of a fire, cool ocean water lapping at your feet- these things I am certain exist. Not only in my mind but they are a part of me. I may never understand anything in my lifetime but this. And this is my reality."

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...