Tagged: Seven Seas Tomoe River Paper

Getting in some quality time at the Evanston Public Library. Pitt Artist Pens and a Graf Von Faber Classic Ebony fountain pen filled with Platinum Carbon ink on Tomoe River Paper.

An extended stay at a downtown restaurant, from two visits actually, yields a textbook example of the School of American Hodge Podge architecture. Pitt Pens on Tomoe River Paper.

Perhaps one of the most anticipated and auspicious days of my year is the 12 hour life drawing marathon at The Palette & Chisel on Labor Day. Though I am 63 years old and have had a number of jobs over the years that were not based on the semester structure of schools, the hangover of all that early life preparation, and the change of seasons, still creates this sense for me of new possibilities. Thus, when others look to take the day off from the grind, I look to put in one of my longer days working towards the betterment of my craft.

The sessions start at 7am with a model in the third floor studio, and later, models may be posing on the second floor and out in the coach house. Forty-five minutes to an hour are set aside for lunch out in the courtyard, but then I head back upstairs till the sessions conclude at 7pm. On average, I show up at 7:30-8 in the morning and last till 6:30-7 at night. If I get in some sketching on the 40 minute train ride to the Palette & Chisel, that serves to warm me up and gives me a sense of what the day’s efforts may yield.

    

Fountain pens, Platinum Carbon ink, Pitt Artist Pens, Tomoe River Paper, ledgerbook.

Haven’t going to life drawing sessions much this Spring. Here is a smattering of models, nude and clothed.

 

The model in the Daisey Dukes was helping me with a logo design. The drawings of the young African American model were from a Friday night session at the Palette & Chisel. My first time drawing her I got modest results and wound up focusing much of my efforts on her head. Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens and fountain pen on Tomoe River Paper.

I walked into Ed Hamilton’s boutique pen shop, Century Pens located in the Loop by the Board of trade, just over eight years ago, and have developed a wonderful friendship with Ed, a Prince among men, who has owned Century Pens for eleven years. Trained as an architect and hailing from the fair state of Indiana, Ed and I have spent many hours talking about pens, ink, penmanship, architecture, Chicago’s history, politics, and tales of our wild youth. I got the fountain pen bug just before I met Ed, who recognized a potential addict the minute I walked in the store with a sketchbook in my hand and an assortment of pens peering over my vest pocket. Ed was every bit the enabler and fanned the flames of desire for this draughtsman who’s fountain pen collection passed the $11,000 mark several months ago I’m sure. At first, my enthusiasm got the best of me and I made some purchases that I have made scant use of since, but, it needs be said that Ed was honest in his appraisal and experience with the pens in his store, looking at me with a wincing smile and giving me the short comming a of some of the pens that he didn’t think we’re up to snuff or whose reputation and price points were head of their performance. He was particularly wary of some of the Italian pens saying their emphasis was style over performance. He was correct on several as I have experienced since.

His collection was stellar when I first entered his candy shoppe of script. Some brands have since changed policies making it very difficult for him to carry those. Sailor has been one brand. Prices on pens have continued to climb, even through a downturn in the economy and the changes at the Chicago Board of Trade has meant fewer traders flush with cash would pat themselves on the back with an eye catching pen pulled out austentaciously in front of their peers. There is a good reason an expensive haberdashery was just a block away from the CBOT.

I recall talking to one of Ed’s regulars who’s collection was over 650 fountain pens. Century Pens has been the premier fine writing pen store in Chicago and one of my absolute favorites nation wide. Chicago lost Gilbertson Clybourne a couple years back and I fret Ed’sage and the prospect that he may hang up the spurs one day. Today, I spent most of the day sitting in Ed’s store, drawing, sharing take-out lunch, and shooting the bull with Eddie and Charlie. Online is in so many of it’s convenient ways a poor substitute for the face to face, hands on, of the brick and mortar experience. Cheers Eddie.

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