Hue and cry

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My sketchbooks have been becoming simpler and more austere over the years. I started just drawing in ink, then added color, then watercolors and then slowly turned back until all I have been using is a dip pen and black india ink.

Occasionally I’d get wild and add a little watered down sum-i ink. But mainly I relied on cross hatching and the varying line widths of my flexible steel nib.

Click image to enlarge

On the rarest of occasions, I would add a color,  a single solid  wash over my line, an earth tone or maybe two for the sake of variety. My work was increasingly about limitations and technique, playing with the simplest of notes and digging deep into  lots of combinations.

But in the past few months since Patti’s accident, I have gone hog-wild in an explosion of the brightest colors I could find. I cover each page with magentas and fuschias and sap green and cadmium yellow.

I even treated myself to the complete collection of Dr. PH Martin’s liquid watercolors, 56 explosive tones that even my camera cannot do justice to. These are fragile colors, they can’t be exposed to sunlight, but perfect to lurk within the pages of a sketchbook and then leap out at the reader when the page is turned.

It’s funny, this penchant I now have for the rainbow. Mourning is supposed to be conducted in shades of black and gray. But one of my love’s many nicknames was ‘Patti Pink‘ and she adored bright colors. Her memory has infected me and I want to commemorate it in the brightest colors I can find. My book is a feast of sizzling hues and she would have liked it that way.

10 thoughts on “Hue and cry”

  1. Danny, I’m so glad that you’re embracing all this color in Patti’s memory. These are fun liquid paints.

    I know you’ve made the decision that it’s OK for them to fade, but did you know that their other line, Hydrus Watercolors (also liquid and in bottles) are pigmented and not dyes? And the Set 3 of the Hydrus, according to their website
    (scroll down to the bottom of the page for the note) contains new lightfast colors.

    You know I can’t help myself!

    The really popping colors won’t be there though, so I’m glad you found them and are using them with the concentrated line. I love the mix of bold color with the bold lines!

    And I love that dog portrait!



  2. Good for you–I’d say that’s very healthy. Were the paints Patti’s? I bet she’d love that you were using them and thinking of her if so.


  3. I love Dr Ph Martin’s watercolors. All my hugs and when you think of Patti, paint Her in all shades of Hot color and draw in that book. Never is mourning in Black or Deep Purple as for the Royal family or White as in Asia, I am Episcopalian Wear the brightest colors you have and show them in your work. Regardless of how a person completes their with us in life, We must be happy they were with us and Live, Laugh and Love and continue in the Brilliance of life. Glad to see those colors – Those walnuts could use some nice warm brown, they would taste so much better. The dog is wonderful, I touch of color in the eyes, please. Oh my how I love dip pens and India Ink. I do not think I have ever used a dip pen in my Dr. Ph Martin’s — How did I miss that? I have to go draw now. I understand there is a Drawing festival in New York this week. I hope you are involved by drawing in your journal. ((( Circle of Hugs)))


  4. I love your drawings and have been drawing everyday since I found out about you and your books a month ago. I love your dog drawing and hope you have fun with your inks. My Dad was an artist and a gardener, I always feel closer to him when I garden and now I have found drawing, Thankyou Jill


  5. I just found your site. I been pouring over your story for the last hour. I can’t get enough of your story. I’ll be back again and again. And LOVE the doc martin’s btw. =)


  6. Danny,

    A couple years back, I stumbled upon your artwork and “Every Day Matters”. I sent you an email and was honored that you took the time to reply. Your advice to me (to find something I liked or was good at and develop that) was something I listened to and acted upon. Since then, I’ve helped others develop their own love of journaling, in whatever capacity it “speaks” to their souls. I am grateful for you! I’ve been consummed with my mom’s care who’s had a stroke, and hadn’t been to your website in awhile. I just now learned of the passing of your sweet wife. We humans don’t do a good job of helping each other deal with death. Grieving is a process; a journey. There are no arbitrary timelines and your journey is your own. Thank you for sharing yourself with us as you walk down this path.



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