Remember Flickr?

Remember when we used digital cameras and uploaded the photos to Flickr? We had to plug them in or use a card reader. Remember when you didn’t have the entire Internet in your pocket all of the time? I remember when we had to write down blog posts on paper if we were away from a computer. Now I can just literally talk to an app, and it will post for me (I never do that though).

At any rate, you might enjoy the Pencil Revolution Flickr group, founded in 2005 and still going strong. It is almost entirely pencil art these days, and some of it is really excellent work.

I miss using Flickr, though I supposed Instagram is the new Flickr?

First Finished Field Notes.

Not mine! Gracious, I have at least 60-70 full from the last 2 1/2 years in a Beer Box* upstairs that I need to find, so that I can archive my last three notebooks since mid-July. Santa brought my daughter a set of the Summer Camp Field Notes books and pencils for Christmas 2011. She scored one when she started Serious Potty Training a while back. We carry it with us when we go to the coffeeshop, BMA, etc. She finished it last week.
Full! It’s stocked with drawings and is covered with stickers. She started to eraser pictures so that she could draw more when we were out two weeks ago, prompting the introduction of the next book for her drawing adventures. At 3, she can draw recognizable pictures. Seriously. I don’t have a picture of it yet, but a recent drawing session went something like this:

Charlotte: Daddy, what do you want me to draw for you?
Daddy: A lion. And trees.
Charlotte: (two minutes later) Daddy! Here you go.
Whereupon she presented me with a two-page spread featuring a lion. And trees. And here I was thinking we didn’t get to the zoo often enough.

She’s always had a fondness for drawing and writing tools. It’s almost like our house has pencils, pens, paper and accessories everywhere. Eh…
VLUU L310 W / Samsung L310 W
She stole my wife’s Balsam Fir Field Notes when she was about 9 months old and spilled coffee on it somehow, and she claimed a green Mongol HB pencil from me around the same time.
VLUU L310 W / Samsung L310 W
At the risk of offending some of my Fellow Field Notes Fans, I joked that, with one full notebook, Charlotte probably has finished more than a lot of people who own an entire Archival Box of limited editions. For myself, I enjoy the photos folks put online of their notebooks that are beaten up badly and full of Good Stuff.

I have enough “rare” Field Notes editions that I could fund at least a decade of subscriptions by selling them — if I hadn’t filled them up. Like pencils, I think of them and treat them as tools. I use them. I use the hell out of them. I have had a few people ask to trade for my Fab.Com edition. I had to break it to these good folks that I filled them within 3 weeks of getting them.
Certainly, Charlotte has other notebooks. She has a serious fondness for Composition Books, sometimes asks for her pink Moleskine, not to mention her Fairies books. I gave her a new pink pocket notebook last night, and she stole an old Golden Bear from my cup, claimed it as her own, and drew 3-4 pictures before I had to drag her off to bed.

*[Box in which 12 bottles of Excellent Beer arrived, before their cheerful departure.]

Graphite is an Honest Means.


We are very happy to share some art work from Cuban-born artist Federico E. Rodríguez Guerra. We’ll let Federico do the talking, along with his fine drawings.

but it will

Drawing for me has become a metaphor for knowing a world that can only be known when one surface touches the other and conveys ideas, thoughts, feelings as the surface of the paper and that of the pencil touch or not. Something about it has to feel right, honest. My first instinct is to grab an envelope or scrap of paper and work through these surfaces the image.


I was born in Cuba and the experience of exile is still part of my work. My drawings are small. On average 2″ X 3″. I always find myself limiting my means, an 2H and HB, aiming always to explore and exploit the colors of graphite. More than texture, it’s color tone than I’m engaged with. I work on a chair with a small wooden board and a box – in which I keep drawings and paper – across my lap.  Always ready to go and start elsewhere. Avoiding always any disruption to the drawing.

before the cock crows twice

Graphite is an honest means, it’s not an extension of the arm but part of it. Le Corbusier said that drawing “leaves less room for lies”.  To paraphrase Joyce and Beckett: drawing is not about it, but drawing it. Of course these are all promises that I’ve made myself over and over again, and see no end. So I continue.

together alone

Check out more of Federico’s work at federico´s drawings: los dibujos de federico e. rodriguez guerra.

(Images, text, FERG. Used with kind permission.)

Pencil Art from Sarah Melling.

Sarah Melling sent us some of her wonderful pencil art, which is featured below with some prose from the artist.

“As a former interior/graphic designer with grown children, I have found time to return to something I love – drawing. After spending so much time at the computer as a graphic designer, digital drawing does not interest me at all. I love being ‘unplugged’ and using just pencils and paper. Most of my work is botanical subject matter – I’m quite taken with the art forms and patterns found in nature. My colored pencil work is done using Prismacolor pencils, and for graphite work, I use Derwent Graphic pencils.

I love the simplicity of using pencils and colored pencils; they’re not messy and they’re perfectly portable. Pencils are a humble instrument, to be sure, but they have such a long history and are capable of so much. Some of my favorite works of any artist, even the Great Masters, are their pencil sketches.”

We used to feature artists’ work fairly frequently, and we’d definitely like to do this more. If anyone has some art they’d like to submit, please use the CONTACT form, and we’ll get in touch!

(All images copyright Sarah Melling 2011. Used here with permission.)