I realized something today. Regular old No.# 2 pencils draw great pictures. Sharp lines, excellent erasability. Good flow. Pleasing scratchy sound. Charcoal is dusty and dry, Cretacolor is mushy and blurry and impossible to erase. Graphite art pencils are not nearly as versatile as their #2 counterparts. It makes sense. #2 pencils are a staple consumer good. They have been tested and improved, time has been spent evaluating how well the marks they leave can be erased. So, lesson learned. Art supplies are for suckers. Do your best with what you have. Using a regular school pencil doesn’t mean you’re less of an artist. Experiment with paper though – because I really think the paper makes more of a difference than whatever you use to make marks on it. There is an abundance of paper in the world and a lot of it has aesthetic merit on it’s own. When I worked in the Tech Services department of an academic library, cataloging Arabic language materials (seriously), I would ferret away wonderfully odd packing papers from the boxes of magazines we received from Egypt. Silky and greenish, with faint lines of blue, subtle flecks of dyed lint. This paper was just a filler of space in a box – I kept it, intending to use it along with the other multiple cubic feet of paper I hoarded. I moved three huge boxes of scrap paper across the country with me. I’ve narrowed, after multiple subsequent moves, to one box. It has lived under my desk for years. I don’t use the paper. I save it for a rainy day. The packing paper scraps from my Tech Services days is over 12 years old now. Jeez.
I’ve been suffering a sort of malaise lately (“Ma-lazy” a coworker said, as I announced that I was, again, leaving early. True, I’m working this weekend, in pirate costume no less – (a nautically themed building challenge day. National Talk Like a Pirate Day. I can’t stand pirates. I like their fashion, but the whole pirate thing is a little passe’ – oh well, I love to dress up at work, especially if it helps kids come learn about the science of flotation.)(Aargh, me hearties. Let’s build us a ship fit to hold multiple marbles. Aargh, she shall not sink.)
Drawing everyday is so hard. Posting even every other day is a major hassle when I think about it – but, fun once I start. I think that the secret is in the starting. Once something is begun, it is much easier to begin.

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