A comment on my last blog concerning the unforgiving nature of ink drawing got me to thinking. Why does it appeal to me so much and form the basis for so much of my art? It is a rather permanent medium from the outset. Those lines are difficult to alter and I was never much one for trying to scrape the ink off or cover it with a white paint. More importantly, I could never figure out how to do that without being obvious. When there is an errant line, how can it be dealt without ruining the basic drawing.
I have come to think that in dealing with a “mistake”, I was forced into developing a better understanding of positive and negative space. What could have more positive/negative space than black and white? When a balance between the two is achieved, the artwork cannot help but be strongly evocative. Consider the power of the line drawings of the old masters and the black and white photograph. How do we know that a piece of art is worth pursuing except that our initial drawing has a balance all its own, created by the lines we use? I started with pen and ink mostly because it was a small and easily moveable medium at a time in my life when that was an important consideration. I have grown to love it for its clarity and the definition that is gives to all the media that I use to overlay it. I love the softness that the pastels and watercolor contribute to my artwork, but I love the pen lines a little more and find it hard to be satisfied with what I do without them. I know this is just for me and that is why there are so many different media out there for us to use. We all have to find our own path to satisfaction and success. It can be a great journey.
And besides, I am a Virgo and the sense of order and perfection of the black line is quite satisfying.