Posts Tagged ‘Dark History of Doom’

Ray Bradbury was the King of Colour. His colours are clear, bright and comes onto you like you are being on a paintball field and everyone is gunning for you. And there is darkness and there is a black that somehow is iridiscent and colourful in itself. Noone else writes that black colour. Now he is dead. But his colours are still there, as vivid as always.

I checked, it is true.

The drawing I choose to illustrate Ray Bradbury is black and white. It is a charcoal drawing I made when I was about 16 years old.

Some authors’ works elicit more colour than others. Badly written books tend not to be colourful at all. On the other hand, a great book does not have to be colourful and the manner and quantity of colour does not correspond to the quality of the writing. I do tend to be drawn to authors that write colourfully, though. It lends another dimension to reading, a dimension that I enjoy.

There are some authors that write bleakly but I still love them. Susannah Clarke is an author whose colours are very bleak. There are colours, they are simply not saturated (which in her writing is beautiful). Neil Gaiman is a colourful writer. The colours are plenty saturated and often strong and shiny, but there is always shadows lending shades and hues making reading him all the more enjoyable. Diana Wynne Jones was a very colourful, bright writer. When fading, her colours went not toward shadows but toward whitish fog and smog. When she passed away I tried painting something in her honor and planned making a post on the blog since I have admired her works since I was about nine years old, but I never managed to produce something adequate. There are plenty other colourwriters, I might write more about them later.

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When I was in 6th grade I decided to learn the Morse-code. About a year later, my school decided that all students should be obliged to write journals (that would be left in the classroom during the school year). The teachers told us that the journals would be private for each student, that nobody besides ourselves would read them. I did not trust the teachers. In a silent protest I wrote my entries in Morse-code. I got told off for it, especially after sweetly asking why they cared which alphabet I was using if they weren’t sneaking looks at what I wrote. Thankfully, I changed schools a short time after this incident. As an adult, I wonder what in the world the teachers, just a little older than I am right now, were thinking assigning this “journal-project” and handling my protest the way they did.

Like many other bullied little kids without any friends I had an active fantasy life and read a LOT. Of course I had read Tolkien, repeatedly, by 6th grade. What changed everything was a book named ”The Languages of Middle-Earth” that I got my hands on a year or so after I moved. Tengwar, Tolkiens elvish alphabet, among several of his constructed languages and a bit general lingustics if I remember correctly. For me aged 13-14ish it was an epiphany. I promptly got inspired by ways to shorten the longish morse code characters and invent ways to shorten words and sentences. I also made a foray into various shorthands. (Still looking for a good book about shorthands, any tips?).
What you see is the rather impractical but somewhat pretty result. Unfortunately it takes too long to write to be practical for everyday use. Sometime I use it to remember codes or initials that I don’t want others to see, like when noting passwords etc. I’d like to work with it more. There are more advanced versions as well, I might post some in the future.

Note the flourishes that indicate capital character and punctuation. Also, the Tengwar-inspired diacritics. The ink is J. Herbin Cacao du Bresil, the pen is the Edward Todd Wet Noodle. A great combination, I love the greyish brown.
In the detail below (from another writing example) you can see the nice shading of this ink and the almost magical flex capabilities of the pen.

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Every third to fifth year or so, I stumble upon something that really catches my interest BIG time. Learning about it is like standing before an opening dam of knowledge armed only with an open mind (and mouth). It’s a wonderful experience, breathing in knowledge like that. The subjects I fall for have been impossible to choose in any way. I’d like to have chosen my university subjects (even though one of them is tickling enticingly in my mind, wanting to perhaps be explored in the future…). I’d like to have chosen philately, folk music, instrument building, flamenco or pottery since those are interests of my family and I’d love to share those interests with them in a deeper way than I do now. But as I said, I have had no choice. I even had a (thankfully short) sejour with being obsessed with makeup, something rather odd since I almost never use makeup and mentally withstanding the concept of buying it just to collect it was probably what ended that particular infatuation.

When I’m done with the frantic stage of obsession I generally continue to study the subject for a while, sometimes years. Intermittently, I get small, lovely revivals of the frantic stage, spending hours almost in trance, just learning. After a while I become content with my span of knowledge, satisfied by the acquisition of a new area of expertise to to enjoy at times, although not in the same burning way as in the beginning. Often, after “overcoming” a frantic stage, the subject will be dead to me for a while. Sometimes I rediscover it, sometimes I forget about it. I’d like to liken it to a series of infatuations that sometimes graduate to passions that seldom but sometimes graduate to true love.

Since one of these obsessions is tropical orchids, I read the book “The Orchid Thief” by Susan Orlean almost immediatley when it got published. It is several years since I read it now, but I remember being fascinated by this written portrait of people like me, being written by an author on the outside looking in. I think it is a wonderful book on the nature of obsession and well worth reading even if you are not interested in orchids. They made a movie based on the book, called Adaptation that is sort of a meta-movie about making a movie of the book. Thus, the movie is interesting but not really a true adaptation of the book.

Presently, my love for orchids is in hibernation. Living above the Arctic Circle and planning to travel a lot in the years to come does not go very well with orchid collecting. The infatuation I have at the moment is, of course, inks and fountain pens. Also, drawing. I hope to continue delving deeper into that in the months and years to come. Maybe combine them and learn more about scientific illustration, a subject that has nagged my mind for a while.

Now, off to London! Upcoming: a post about the trip, of course. And one about eyeballs.
I am leaving you with this photo I took a couple of weeks ago travelling to Narvik in Norway. Inspiring, ne?

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As a pen collector and user I like to “gamble”, buying old pens in auctions with bad pics or misspellings. I have made more than a few lucky finds, a couple of them spectacular. Higher end Parker pens are not a common find that way. Too many collectors and the design is too easy to recognize in bad pictures.

In this one auction there was only one dark, blurry picture. The word “Fountain pen” misspelled in the title. I got 5 pens without much bidding. Three of them were junk. One was a very, very abused Matador, a brand I collect and recognized despite the bad pic (the only reason I bid on the auction). Unfortunately it was in too bad of a shape to rescue (the barrel was bitten nearly through (!) and it broke in half when I examined it). The cap was in good shape though, as was the nib, only a bent tine.

But I digress.

The last pen of the lot was a black Parker 51 with a gold-filled cap. Personalized barrel. I rinsed it through, filled it with Noodler’s black and it has functioned without a single problem for several months since. I love it. I like the vintage flex, pretty celluoid and the classic 30-40s shapes better for collecting and writing, but for daily drawing this pen is awesome. The nib is probably F or EF. It is possible to get an even thinner line by drawing with the nib upside down. Close-up of the nib below behind the cut.

I believe my pen is a Parker “51” Demi-sized Vacumatic Filler Plain Arrow Clip 1947-1948. Figured it out with the help of this informative site: www.parker51.com

Dark History of Doom: When I was a little girl I used black ballpoint pens for drawing in spiral bound notebooks (graph or ruled). That was the equipment available to me at the time. The pens always skipped and dried out after a while. I can still remember the happiness of getting my little hands on a “good” ballpoint pen, using it for a short while and then having to begin searching for a new one all over again.
I wish I could travel back in time and give myself a Parker 51!


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Important Notice: “Anachroneironaut” is a bloody long name for a blog when you carefully make a header in pseudo-calligraphy and then commence cleaning up the lines in the computer. Just thought I’d inform you of that.

(Current) Header

Pen and ink used to create header

Title: Header, Mabie Todd Blackbird and Burma Road Brown
Size: ca 4 x 15 cm (header).
Equipment: Text: Mabie-Todd Blackbird semi-flex lever-filler with Noodler’s Burma Road Brown. One of my favourite inks at the moment. Ordered it from Goulet Pens, recommended!
Computer alteration: Removal of background and a slight change in colour intensity and brightness/contrast (the scanned header) and heightening of brightness (the photographs). These pictures are an excellent example how different the same ink can look in different circumstances. The header is scanned and the intensity of the colour is heightened a bit. I have made no changes in hue or colour balance! The photograph is taken in natural light (with my digital camera, Casio Ex-H15). Looks like two different inks altogether… The true colour (looking at my own screen anyway) lies somewhere in between and is heavily dependent on the paper and light conditions. But it is definitly a warm colour.
Paper: Same ol’ Seawhite of Brighton.
Inspiration: I started writing down my dreams when I was 11 years old, in a book I got from my aunt. A brown book with a fish on it. Some of the time I had lucid dreams . Over the years I have been more or less good at writing down my dreams and working on lucid dreaming, but I have always had a dreamjournal. A lucid dreamer is sometimes called an Oneironaut – one who walks in dreams. I have a fascination for time-travelling as well as timelessness and times past. To me, an anachronaut is a person who enjoy exploring anachronism.
A fascination that is bigger than either of the above ones is words. I have a slight case of synasthesia and I love the the very concept of putting words together to add to and change the meaning of them. Anachroneironaut is practically impossible to spell, but I couldn’t help it. I had to make it my own. (more…)

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Title: The politicans that weren’t, really (and some teeth and tentacles)
Media: Rotring fiber-tipped pens, 0.1 and 0.3 mm and Pentel Aquash brushes, one with water and one with Lamy ink in black and water mixed to a light bluish gray wash.
Paper: Seawhite of Brighton 140 gsm extra wet strength. About 20 x 10 cm scanned.
Inspiration: I made this doodle last year in London, trying out the paper which I had just bought.
Notes: of the three proper faces, the face in the middle reminds me a little bit of Obama. Not very much, but a little. The face to the right (no, not the lower one with the teeth, the upper one) looks a bit lika a Swedish politican. I will not be namedropping who since I do not have a good track record with caricatures. When I was about 14 years old my father gave me a wonderful book that I still own, called (translated from Swedish) “The second world war in caricatures”. Some of the caricatures I understood, others went (thankfully) way over my tiny little head, but they all made me inspired. So, of course I drew a couple of caricatures myself. I was especially proud of one, a picture of the then-prime minister of Sweden, Göran Persson. Proudly I bounced down the stairs to show it to my mother, who promptly asked why I had drawn a caricature of Leonid Brezjnev. After that, I went back to drawing elves again.

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Title: Dreamy ladies (perhaps clichélves)
Media: 0.1 Staedtler and 0.3 Pilot Hi-Techpoint 5 technical pens. Lamy Safari with Noodler’s black ink. I like the Lamy Studio, I have it in Fine point and I can get a thinner line from the pen if I use the nib upside down. If you draw with pen and ink, try fountain pens, and you’ll never go back. Refillable as well, which makes them more economical. And you can choose which ink you want! The image is edited in PS, contrast and brightness and stuff. I know next to nothing about computer modification, I usually play around a bit til it looks good on my screen.
Paper: About 20 x 10 cm. Old sketchbook from Becker-Hansen, at least 30-40 years old. Cool yellowed paper.
Inspiration: this is more or less the usual doodle-fare for me. Except the strange absence of monsters and teeth. (more…)

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