Yep, More on Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Paper in Sheets

January 30, 2012


Above: Pentel Pocket Brush Pen sketches while I was watching TV, with some gouache (Schmincke and M. Graham). Apologies to Illeana Douglas whose name I couldn't recall how to spell.

Everyone who reads my blog knows I love gouache. I LOVE GOUACHE. One of the great characteristics of gouache is its great coverage. On the day I was sketching faces on the above spread I really liked the right-hand page, but didn't care for the sketch on the left-hand page. I don't like to totally cover up mistakes, however. I like to learn from them. But something in me later that night also didn't want to move to a new spread to write about astronaut Lovell. Instead I wrote about Lovell's list over my failed pen sketch.

Busy? Confused? Yes, and Yes. I could have solved all that simply by laying in one wash of solid color and then doing my writing with the #10 round, but I didn't. I like seeing the face that failed peeking through.

If you're curious about what I wrote and can't make it out, I wrote the following as a response to hearing about the sale of Lovell's checklist on the radio. We never know the whole personal story of anything (though by now we know NASA's feelings on all this) but nevertheless we all have a viseral reaction to things and what you might not know is I have a fondness for explorers in the pre-GPS days. No, it's much more than that. I have a fondness for explorers who bring their men home. Even the greatest of men, the greatest of leaders cannot always do this. But there have been 3 times when extraordinary men did their job extraordinarily well in extreme conditions most of us will never experience. Achievements like this help focus things clearly when you have a hang-nail, a bad day, or your shoes are too tight. (And I don't mean to leave anyone off this list, but these are the 3 that strike me always in my mind; and my preference is due in part to the fact that I bought into space as "the final frontier.") (The truncated writing is me trying to fit everything in paint on a page, and not go to that next page I wanted to avoid in the first place.)

Lovell recently auctioned his Apollo 13 checklist. Found it on shelf after other papers sent to collections. HOW could you not want to keep that of your father's or anyone's? Even I COVET IT! It's one of the 3 artifacts of exploration—Bligh's compass or sextant or whatever he used for the open boat navigation, something from Shackleton's ill-fated antarctic trip, and Lovell's list with his notes and calculations.

Some belongings stand for much more than what they are in and of themselves. To me items like these are beyond value. But then my mom always tells me I'm a material girl.

Take some time to play with gouache and explore its possibilities!

For more about this paper read my blog posts from January 23, 2012 to the present beginning with "Great Paper News." I yammer on and on about this paper which I'm enjoying in a book I bound out of it.

    • Leslie Schramm
    • January 30, 2012

    Don;t tell anyone but I tasted a crumb or two from some of the biscuits brought back form Shackelton’ shack in the mid eighties, and working in a university lab was handed a box of samples marked Challenger, turns out collected on behalf of Charles Darwin and he had had so many people collecting for the final trip of the Beagle that the HMS Challenger ran aground and he collected these samples and brought them back on the Beagle in the 1840’s I think. Glasgow Uni were still 150 years later working through the backlog of materials to record it all; so I got a tiny bit of history to examine. It was all rather fun

  1. Reply

    But Leslie, YOU just told everyone. (A lot of people read this blog.)

    I think it’s very fun to hear that you have had close contact with some interesting bits of history!

    • Amber Wallin
    • January 31, 2012

    Two things. First, I giggled at this typo:

    “I like seeing the face that failed peeing through.”

    Second, I think the case of Lovell’s list has the potential to get interesting if it enters the courts. If the list is deemed to be his work related writings, NASA may have a claim to them. But what about from a journal keeping point of view? If his writings are to be looked at as a personal journal than does NASA have a claim to them?

    Food for thought!

  2. Reply

    Amber, thank you for making my day by pointing out that typo! I laughed and laughed, but then I did correct it. I know exactly how it happened too—my addled brain stopped to think about peak, peek, and left the K off! Sigh.
    As to the Lovell situation yes, what you say is one way they’ll go at it, but there is also precedent and established practice and it’s my understanding that at the time such items were routinely taken home by the astronauts after their flights. The courts will have to take all that into account as well.

    Thanks again.

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