Above: Ken Avidor sketched Liz Carlson and a wood duck at the Bell Museum on Sunday, December 4, 2011, using a Uniball pen with InkTense watersoluble colored pencils. (Ken works in an "eco" sketchbook with brown toned paper. I forget the exact name, but I know Wet Paint carries them.) Image ©2011 Ken Avidor.
A week or so ago I knew I was going to miss the MetroSketchers monthly sketch out because I had long-standing plans to go to Wisconsin and visit with friends and a couple dogs.
Before I left I got wind of an "evil" plot to use Derwent Inktense pencils at the MetroSketchers sketchout. (Social media can, it seems, keep you in the loop.) Ken Avidor was interested in trying some watercolor pencils and Liz Carlson was going to bring some for him to use.
Let's stop for a moment and remind everyone I'm a little bossy pants. Wait, I'm probably the biggest bossy pants on the planet. I'm never shy of telling people what I think they should be doing (just the other night I told a friend which project she should work on, dropping all others, in other words, telling her how to plan her whole 2013), or using for art materials (just ask Ken how I coerced him to stop using bond paper for his journals). So when I heard that InkTense were going to be used at the sketch out I was concerned and voiced those concerns to Ken in an email—warning him of the extreme fugitive nature of this pencil.
Lots of art materials are very seductive in their initial application or final drying mode, and then, well what happens later isn't pretty. But it's that early seductive phase that is the dangerous one!
(I have a chart up somewhere with the InkTense colors showing the fading but can't find it using my search engine—so just let me tell you they are bad, bad. Worse than Graphitints. And what's more, Derwent knows this. They make no claims for any sort of longevity for this product on the packaging and never use the words "artist" or "artist quality." If you use these pencils at all [and I don't think you should, because remember I'm a bossy pants] then shoot or scan your resultant image immediately. The dyes used in these leads will fade even in a closed book.)
Ken is never much bothered by my pronouncements about art materials, I mean he listens to me, takes things into consideration, and then does what he wants. Which is how the world should work, except that Ken has phenomenal talent and I feel personally offended when I think of his artwork dissolving into nothing (thankfully he works primarily in inks that are stable over time).
But this post is just an example of how, if you are going to stop great wrongs from happening you really have to be on site!
Not only did they go ahead and use the InkTense pencils, but they defiled my sacred wood duck.
I received the following email from Ken:
You should have been there to stop us.
In spite of your advice not to use InkTense pencils, we tried them anyways.
With an irresponsible giddiness, we sketched with the pencils knowing full well their intensity was fleeting and our sketches will fade away to nothing.
It was all Liz's fault.
It really got out of hand when she used the InkTense pencils to sketch the wood duck – you know – THE SACRED WOOD DUCK you have sketched so many times!!!
I'm sorry, it won't happen again.
Of course Ken, Liz, you, and I all know it will happen again, and again, and again. And any rational bossy pants knows that is the way the world should work! (Actually it's pretty fun when people this talented go rogue.)
And Liz is absolved from all "blame" in this incident, because she's just trying to provide people with options. Fun options. That sort of person is always more seductive than a bossy pants!
I'm looking forward to missing more sketch outs in the future, just so I can see what fun they get up to when they are being "irresponsible."
Isn't it time you behaved irresponsibly with art materials? If you're in the Twin Cities you need to be going to MetroSketchers and other sketch out possibilities (this link will get you to all sorts of local groups of which I'm aware).
If you don't live here you need to find or start your own groups. Start kicking it up—with whatever art tool you have at hand.