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-- 10 August, 2006 --

Lamy Ink and Pens

Lamy Ink

There has been a lot of talk about pens on the mailing lists that I regularly read. Everybody has their particular favourite pen and go to great lengths to extol their virtues. The discussion about pens is as fervid as it is for sketchbooks, journals and paper.

Having read someone's writings about Lamy brand pens which are produced in Germany, I was interested to see that our local Officeworks superstore had begun to stock their ink and one pen from the Lamy range. I bought a bottle of red and a bottle of blue ink and the pen, which used cartridges. I used the ink to fill a couple of fountain pens that I had recently purchased through eBay. A feature of the ink bottle that I find very useful is the roll of tear-off strips inside the base of the bottle that is used to wipe the barrel of the pen after it has been refilled.

After using these products for a couple of weeks I am happy with both the ink and the Lamy pen. The ink is very smooth and makes cheap pens have the feel of much more expensive writing tools. The ink is available in a range of colours but it is not waterproof so is not useful for pen and wash work.

My pen wasn't very expensive, at about $35AUS. It has a nice broad tip which is good for achieving a calligraphy style of hand-writing. The ink flows smoothly and immediately. It came with a heavy plastic pouch similar to a small sunglasses case which makes the pen easy to find in the bottom of my handbag. At this price I am not precious about it in case of loosing it or leaving it in a classroom. Maybe, one day, I will chase up one of their more expensive models but right now I am very happy with my Lamy Vista.

Lamy Vista Pen

Posted by robynls at 9:21 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

-- 17 November, 2005 --

The Artistically Undiscovered

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One of the mailing groups that I tend to lurk about in, The Drawing Club, has set up a reading group. Each month the members vote to decide which book that we will read and discuss. When the voting began for October's book my particular choice, like the hare, was ahead at the beginning so I ordered it from Amazon, confident that it would be the one. Wrong! Another tortoise can streaking past and my book was left in the dust.

Never mind ... life goes on. There is a broken husband to visit, a mother-in-law not to neglect, two jobs to work 13 hour days at and a Number Two Son to supply with groceries and talk to for a tiny window of time each day.

The month is almost up and the members of the group are beginning to think about what we should do in November. But this week I pretended to be an Visual Arts teacher and went to the Art Gallery of NSW with a Year 7 excursion - they always need extra bodies and I love to go on VA excursion. I escaped from the kids for a little while when they were with the gallery education officer and went into the bookshop. This is NEVER a good move because I ALWAYS spend money and I ALWAYS spend too much. There on the shelf was the book that I was supposed to be reading and commenting on in October.

So hey! guys! Wait for me! I am only up to the first exercise in the book but give me a couple of days and I might be able to catch up.

By the way, the book is Drawing for the Artistically Undiscovered by Quentin Blake and John Cassidy. It is cute and encouraging and you get two pencils and a drawing pen with it so that you have no excuse not to do the exercises in the book. If you are interested, you can find it on Amazon here.

Posted by robynls at 12:50 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

-- 06 November, 2004 --

"Art" by Yasmina Reza


Art
by Yasmina Reza
"If I am who I am because I am who I am and you are who you are because you are who you are then I am who I am and you are who you are, but if I am who I am because you are who you are and you are who you are because I am who I am then I am not who I am and you are not who you are."

This section of dialogue from the play that we saw, last night, at Syndney's Ensemble Theatre just about sums it up. It deals with the relationships between three friends and how they are effected by the purchase by one of them of an art work; a canvas with a white background with diagonal white strips. As usual, Sandra Bates, the Ensemble's artistic director and director of this producion as chosen a play that is provocative and thought provoking and with not a small amount of humour. The play is set in Paris and was originally written in French. This version was translated into English by Christopher Hampton to suit a UK audience but it sits very well in an Australian theatre.

It was 'at home' night at the Ensemble, which means that when the play finished the audience is invited to stay. The actors and director comeback onto the stage to respond to questions asked by the audience. I can never think of anything intelligent to say on these nights but it is interesting to see the actors in their real skin and to hear what they have to say about the text and their performances.

Posted by robynls at 5:00 PM | Comments (6)

-- 16 October, 2004 --

Sylvia Plath journals

Whenever we go into Borders for coffee, one of us ends up walking out with a new book or a magazine. It seems almost unthinkable to sit in the big comfy black armchairs in the coffee shop without something to read. Of course it is possible to pick up something that the previous occupants of the chairs have left scattered around but I have these little pangs of guilt about reading something that I haven't paid for. I wonder if that sounds a bit like an excuse.

The Poet is usually the one who ends up in the rapidly diminishing poetry section, looking for inspiration, but on our last visit I picked up a copy of the Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath in that section. I had it in the back of my mind that Plath was too esoteric for me but, after leafing through a few pages of her journals, I am in awe of her command of the English language. She makes the record of a simple day sing. I read an entry that she wrote in August of 1950, when she was only 18 years old, in which she describes getting ready for an evening out with a new young man. It is possible to imagine the girl that she was preening herself in front of her bedroom mirror as she anticipates what will happen during the date. She ‘sees’ so much. Her sentences are full of images and colours and the rhythm of her words are like poetry even when she writes prose.

I bought the book and have been carrying it around with me since, so that when I have a moment I can dip into it and enjoy the words.

Biography of Sylvia Plath

Posted by robynls at 8:29 PM | Comments (2)