Michael’s Pens

Never has life been so tangled up in my head and my work.

I’ve always been interested in the touch between people, the physical, emotional, psychological… the effect one person has on another… and now, in its lack we can all feel how much we need it. 

It’s in everything I do here in the studio, on my own. That exploring of touch, and its absence. From the stroke of the ink or pencil on the paper, to how one voice reacts to another in harmony… material textures and the textures of sound that take me from one verse to the next.

There is grief and bereavement in every day… for the life we are no longer able to live, to the real tangible grief of lost friends and families. There’s tension. We are stretched and pulled and putting on brave faces and are filled with bravado (at our peril).

I am preferring these old nibs I’m drawing with now. Their path over the paper is perilous. A scratch, a blot, a bleed and a run could happen at any moment. If it were a film it would say “mild peril” on the certificate. The new pens I bought were great, I am still using them, but they glide easily, an even delivery of ink gives them a confidence and a consistent swagger. The old pens were given to me by a friend, the wife of a wonderful art teacher who is no longer with us… his equipment was stored and stacked high, gathering dust. I kept them for ages unused myself until very recently. And now they are perfect. Sometimes they do glide effortlessly over the paper, time and time again, delivering the ink in a steady flow. But much of the time they do not. I feel I am coaxing them into behaving well for me. But I don’t mind if they can’t quite manage it. We are drawing together. They are part of the team. I’ve got dodgy knees. We can cope.

Michael’s pens

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