Website changes, 1918 pandemic, TWSBI Eco, "Serious Nibbage," Bittner's pens, haiku errors, Tabios & Dovelion, Shirin Neshat, & Eydís Evensen.
I’m making some changes to my website, basically paring it down to essentials. The site will feature only my newer (done within the last several months) work. Also, I will be moving all older works to my SaatchiArt page. This will take some time; I’ll need to photograph, and in some cases re-shoot earlier images (as I mentioned in a recent newsletter, I’m not the best photographer).
Today’s lunch topic with my partner was about social connections missed during the pandemic, and I was wondering if the 1918 flu pandemic was anything like today’s pandemic, especially in terms of anti-vaxxers. Later he sent me a little flu collage from history.com that featured 1918 Chicago headlines and an article by Kiona M. Smith (in Forbes) about San Francisco’s Anti-mask League during the flu pandemic.
Apparently, today’s situation has many parallels with the earlier pandemic. And yes, humans don’t learn much from past experiences, sorry to say, despite the communications resources available to us these days.
A couple new bedtime pieces, photographed on my bed, right after completion:
I continue to draw with my Phileas Waterman pen, and it’s working quite well. I have to be careful, though, when drawing over other media such as watercolor, marker, or acrylics, which could clog the nib.
And, as promised, here is my new TWSBI Eco!
Or rather, this is part of the Eco, as I loaded it with ink, using the piston action. Behind it is the box and logo. As you can see, the pen came with little red wrench and tiny bottle of silicon grease. Definitely not a fancy pen, but it’s fun; I like the clear barrel and ability to see the ink in the cartridge.
I got the “B” size nib, which is the next-to-largest size. The cap is just a bit too long and heavy, and the pen feels better with the cap off. However, the ink flows beautifully through the nib without a skip. Not much flex in the nib, but that’s not something I need for the type of drawing I do.
Above, a closer view of the pen filled with ink, after doing a drawing with markers on Arches drawing paper. This paper is not a great choice, both for markers (they leak through) and for fountain pen, but it’s beautiful paper, and I just had to try it. The markers leaked through, but not the ink; both the ink (J. Herbin, Perle Noir) and nib did pretty well on this paper, despite its rough surface.
Aziza and Stephen, of “Serious Nibbage” (the Minion behind them gives you a preview of their style) review the TWSBI Eco; Aziza is right about TWISBI’s “baffling” illustrated instructions; but even without them, filling the pen is easy to figure out:
Stephen Brown (in the above video) has described himself as a fountain pen “user” rather than a “collector.” I suspect that Bittner’s, located in nearby Carmel, attracts more of the collector types. Me—I’m pretty sure I’ll be a user.
For the second time, I recently posted a different number of links than was stated in the numbered title of this section. Obviously I can’t count. From now on let’s just keep it simple and call this the “LINKS” section.
I first learned about haiku from reading Jack Kerouac. But have we been writing haiku all wrong? Kent Morita tells us it’s all about “mora“ (via poet Eileen Tabios):
And since I’ve mentioned Tabios, check out her novel, Dovelion, which has been called “a fairy tale for our times” but it’s also much more.
“I try to write from nowhere, and end up focusing, anyway, on what really concerns me; that’s my general approach to poetry, and I applied it to the novel.”
As I’ve mentioned in previous issues of this newsletter, I’ve been creating visual art using constraints. Tabios, also, wrote Dovelion using several arbitrary constraints: 1) to write the novel everyday during the year 2016; 2) to begin each day of the novel with the phrase “Once Upon a Time,” and 3) to keep the novel focused on a simple movement performed by the protagonist. She discusses this process and more in a fascinating conversation with author Reine Arcache Melvin. I’m always impressed with Tabios’ wide-ranging knowledge and how it informs her writing:
Iranian artist Shirin Neshat combines Persian calligraphy, photography, and film in “Dreams are Where Our Fears Live”:
Eydís Evensen’s music evokes the rugged weather and landscape of her home in Iceland. Full piano performance (June 2021), KEXP.org:
And just like that, it’s after midnight: Sunday.
Have a great week . . .