“The pencil is a little wonder-wand”, begins the photo essay “Fine Lines” in the January 14, 2018 edition of The New York Times Magazine . “YES!” I exclaimed to myself as I read those words, yes, at last, here is someone else who understands the magical power of that slim wooden stick.
Because, face it, nothing else feels the same as that sensation of pulling or pushing a pencil across paper. Nothing sounds quite the same as the whisper of this tool as it makes its mark, a whisper made huskier by a rougher textured paper, more treble if the paper is smoother.
That slight vibration in the fingers as the line appears from pencil tip, the line that follows every move of your hand, reacting to the slightest change in pressure from your fingers--so soothing, mesmerizing. And such a variety of lines! From light and fine to darkest black and thick, they express emotions without words (but they can form words to express emotions as well).
By now, you can probably see that I really like working with pencils...which is one of the reasons I’m excited about The Sketchbook Project. Briefly, I will be filling in a blank sketchbook (with lots of pencil drawings!), and then submitting it to TSP, where my sketchbook will join many others at The Brooklyn Art Library, and be available for viewing there and online.
I’ve filmed a little bit of the process so far; stay tuned for more over the next few weeks (I have to complete this by the end of March).
And thanks, Sam Anderson, for so beautifully describing our mutual love for that marvel of creating, the pencil.