Creating “Shadow-Bride,” Part 2

Sometimes art is not fun, or creative, or exciting. Sometimes it is extremely frustrating.

Take yesterday, for instance. The night before, I had been industriously working on the illustration for “Shadow-bride” when my pen blotted right in the middle of the trees. It was unfixable. Believe me, I tried to fix it.

Never mind, I told myself. I hadn’t been thrilled with how the man’s face had turned out anyway. He hadn’t ended up looking like the handsome rogue I’d drawn on the tracing paper; he looked a little more like David Hasselhoff’s Dr. Jekyll. Not as bad as Mr. Hyde, I grant you, but still not what I was going for. So, I figured I could re-transfer my drawing and start over again the next morning. First, though, I would have to go to the art store again. I was out of illustration board.

So, the next morning, I finished the calligraphy on the poem while I waited for the art store to open. The calligraphy, by the way, turned out lovely.

The art store was out of medium weight cold press illustration board. Sigh. Thankful that it was spring break and I had a wide-open day, I drove the full hour or so to Mount Vernon to the next nearest art store, picked up more board, then drove back.

About three o’clock in the afternoon, then, I retransferred the drawing, picked up my pen—and my pen refused to work.

It’s a Rapidograph Koh-i-noor—a refillable precision pen that costs at least $25 and is only available online. I know, because I’ve been on the last minute hunt before. It’s also a fairly new one which shouldn’t be giving out on me yet.

I’m trying to get the piece done by Wednesday, and, although I have plenty of time, the pressure is still there. So I tried and tried and tried to get my pen to work again, to no avail. Finally I figured it could use a soak overnight. I put away my stuff, took the pen apart and put it in the cleaner, and opened up my laptop. I would work on a story I was writing instead.

Now, the task cannot be put off any longer (especially now that I’ve put it off by blogging about it). I will rise from my computer, reassemble my pen—and pray that it finally works!

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