Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Nub Of It

In my hand, I'm holding a colored pencil. You can see that the tip is worn down flat to the wooden sheath that surrounds it. I drew a picture and used up all the lead. I didn't have a penknife with me to sharpen it again.
It took one pencil tip to make the drawing below. It's a drawing of the dam and the bridge beyond it. I like the way the edge of the dam makes a clear horizontal break in the image. Ducks really did swim across the pool as I have drawn it. As the pencil gave out, I had to scrub hard to finish the water swirls in the foreground.


I'm not certain what the current income tax requirements are for calculating a deduction for donating art to charities. In the past, they've only allowed artists to deduct the cost of their materials. So in this case I've used one sheet of paper and about 3/8" of an inferior brand of colored pencil. I'm not complaining really but it ignores the intellectual poetry behind the entire effort.

There's something weirdly satisfying about using up art materials. I have to say (perhaps implying that it's not always true) that it is more satisfying than acquiring art supplies. My studio is full of materials and if all it takes is 3/8" of a pencil to make a drawing, I'd better get to work because I have a lot of pencils and paper floating around! And then there's the paint, magic markers, chalk, glue, crayons and the endless potential of the digital tools. It's daunting if you let it get to you. Better not then.

two lovely pairs of mallards

In this high contrast photo you can see the white incised lines of the wooden part of the pencil point



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