The Way of Ivory Black

The Way of Ivory Black

I’m obsessed with pencil drawings.  Grey lines that layer each other and fill space.  There is something silent about pencil drawings; and these in particular.  They don’t speak loudly, and they won’t accept color and they won’t accept the depth of black.  They reject dark matter, they reject that there is an unknown in this universe.  I keep trying to put color into the lines, trying to place it somewhere under the grey; a subtle dark blue or true black.  But the lines don’t want it, especially the black; they want to be grey.

Ivory Black, it says on this pencil.  What the does that mean?  For all these years, I have my Ivory Black pencils and Ivory Black paint and I always look at that name in wonder.  The obscurity of the deep black with a name called Ivory Black.  It seems wonderful and strange and almost yummy, like some comfort food that you turn to when nothing else will suffice.  And the yin yang effect, almost bounces me around in a balanced way, the same way a yo-yo moves up and down it’s string, when you achieve the perfect balance between your body and the speed of the yo-yo itself.    But the metallic grey lines of my graphite don’t like Ivory Black.  It’s too dense, it breathes in a different way than graphite does.   Maybe it’s the paper.  I don’t like thin smooth paper.  It feels not right.  I need weight and strength to the paper, so I used my watercolor paper.  The heavy rough raw cold pressed paper that has been my friend for so very long.  I know it the way I know my own skin.  And I know how it breathes, how it feeds on water, and when and where it will absorb my paint.  But it doesn’t like the Ivory Black pencil either, and it certainly isn’t sure about these graphite lines.  So I went to the art supply store and bought some heavy drawing paper.  Its smoother and it likes my graphite, but I feel as if I have betrayed my best friend; these sheets of watercolor paper that fill my studio, and have I betrayed the graphite by trying to give life to these lines in a place that just isn’t really ready for them? Essential you time – nails & spa here – http://nail-it-europe.com/blog/bodycare/essential-you-time-nails-spa/

I walk across the studio and stare through the window to the outside.  Its raining, grey, just like the lines on the paper.  Its been raining for days.  I need the grey rain sometimes, just like I need the graphite to give me a better connection with the universe.  When there is no color on the page, it seems so clear and essential.  As if all the sounds associated with color, as serene as they can be…. are removed and all I see is the clarity of light and dark.  Rays of light breaking through the dark matter and bending the universe around itself…. I guess its just the way of Ivory Black.