Sunday, June 24, 2007


Sherilyn Fenn, portrait from a magazine photograph (09/1993)
Bic® medium four-color ball-point pen on paper.

In the early 1990’s I was forming my preference to using ball-point pens as a drawing medium, which may be quite the offensive statement to any one calling her or himself an artist, even if I’m really only talking about my sketch books. I don’t suppose the ink is meant to be archival. They do, however, have these positives: 1) they’re inexpensive; 2) highly available; and 3) come in different colors.

To this day, I carry a Bic brand, medium tip, four-color ball-point pen with me. Admittedly, black, blue, red and green do not constitute a full spectrum of color, not even when you add to it yellow highlighter and white correction fluid. (Yes, at one time, I thought office supply art was worth pursuing.) However, I do manage to get my ideas across with it.

The portrait is a sketch book drawing, and even so, I’d consider “unfinished”. The undirected hatching gives it a coarse appearance. The black areas become the more tedious aspects of “Bic” art, due to the layering of black, blue and usually red strokes because black alone never looks quite deep enough.

Sherilyn Fenn is an actress (Audrey Horne, Twin Peaks 1990-91).

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