Big Bamboo

Monday, 16th January 2006

bamboo penThere's just one more of my new bamboo pens to try; the biggest (left). At 8 inches (20 cm) long and a little over three quarters of an inch (2 cm) in diameter it looks like a musical instrument.

bamboo pen, mediumAs the light is fading, I draw whatever is in front of me on the desk, starting with the medium-sized bamboo pen (right), which I tried yesterday.

ink in film cannister

I can't fit these two pens into the slender neck of the Chung Hwa Chinese Ink bottle (see Tuesday's diary) so I've poured a little of the ink into a film cannister. These plastic cannisters are likely to become scarser as digital photography becomes more popular but I still had a couple of empty ones in the photography cupboard. But for field trips I'd prefer rather have something with a screw top.

mugI've used this enamel cup (right) for water - for painting, not drinking - for more than 20 years. It doubles as lid for an enamel Falcon housewares kettle/jug that it came with. The jug part is currently in use at the school for my scenery painting brushes.

glassesHow did I ever manage without reading glasses? It's strange now to think that I could once read even small print in dim light. Now I'm getting into the habit of looking over the top of them as I draw.

I like the inkiness of the line that I get with this pen. I thought the effect might be like drawing with a matchstick but the sureness and smoothness of the line (even with my wobbly hands) reminds me of the sharp-edged effect of lino-printing.

detail from 'Richard of the Shire' by Danny Gregory

Detail from 'Richard of the Shire' by Danny Gregory

'Richard of the Shire'

Well, I admit it, I am working a lot with natural materials these days! - This is a detail from Danny Gregory's portrait of me which appears alongside an interview in his latest entry in his Everyday Matters weblog.

'His work has changed in the past year or two,' was Danny's impression, 'becoming more personal, less didactic, charting the course of his days and subjective impressions about life and nature and feeling less obliged to be all scientifically accurate. He has always seen his work, including his online journal, not as an exhibition of his art but as a way to share his scientific observations about the nature of his environment. It’s a personal diary but he still sees it as data.' Next Page


'Richard of the Shire' at

Richard Bell,