Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sometimes To Stand

Maybe it was looking at Gary’s work, or Bill’s, or some of my own from back in Those Days- Whatever, this week I got the urge to get out my pens, do some stippling. Couldn’t find a black Sakura Pigma Micron .005 that was both worn to a suitably fine point and still functional, so I abused a fresh one badly with an emeryboard. Don’t tell Sakura.

1. Inked stippling over a light graphite pencil sketch. The paper is Strathmore’s 300 Series Bristol.

2. Stippling the foreground reminded me of a couple things. For one, why I stopped working this way. But I’d forgotten too how appropriate this kind of work can feel. Those sessions when you aren’t into Big Creative Decisions much, filling in a field of very small marks seems a productive use of the time. Or maybe that’s just the OCD kicking in again.

When the ink was dry- if you’re working on clean paper, this happens very quickly, the Pigmas are great that way- I evened things up a little with 2B & HB charcoal pencils, kneaded erasers. A Pen & Ink purist, I ain’t. Whatever works.

3. The sky began with a light rubbing of charcoal dust. I developed the mist and moon with graphite pencils (Dixon Ticonderogas, Numbers 1-4) and kneaded erasers, working soft to hard. Last, I tightened and warmed the tree a bit with a Number 3 graphite pencil.

Sometimes To Stand
Ink, Graphite, Charcoal; 3 ¾” x 2 3/8”

The title comes from something I found myself saying in the parking lot of an Elmira Heights church twenty years ago: Sometimes just to stand is to move forward. Some things you forget, some things stay with you. There were good people at that place, putting their backs into it. They knew faith, and work, and that they’re not different.

Sometimes To Stand is a small, simple drawing, nothing extraordinary, no new ground broken. But it felt good to revisit this kind of work, and I hope my enjoyment of the process is reflected in the result. The scans should load at about actual size at most browser settings.


Parnilla said...

So very sweet and sentimental...everything about this little piece and about the words that join it...An illustrated part of where you were and where you are now...(c;

Magpie1 said...

Touching. The phrase reminds me a little of (if you'll pardon the highbrow ref) "They also serve who only stand and wait.," the last line of a Milton sonnet.

Mark Reep said...

Thanks, baby. Agreed, our work is a record, a journal, isn't it. It's usually a little surprising to revisit work from a few years ago; time and distance do lend perspective. Happily, for the most part, the surprises lately have not been unpleasant. :)

Thanks, guys. Yeah, I've always liked that line, and what it means to those in supporting roles. And who was it said 'Malt does more than Milton can/To justify God's ways to man...'

-Don't raise me, I'm bluffing, that's all the Milton I got. And it ain't even his :)