Stitch Merchant


Driven to Distraction

A few weeks ago, I was in the stationery store where I was confronted by a wall of ink. It was more like a shelf of ink but with over fifty different colours vying for attention it was as overwhelming as a wall of ink would have been. It was really tricky to pick out just one colour. Having only black at home, the rainbow of options available was almost cruel. Until I got to Widow Maker. How could I pass up a name like Widow Maker? And the colour was such a deep, rich red. Just as the name suggests. Suddenly there was no competition. It was a shelf with one bottle of ink: Widow Maker.

Flash forward three weeks and the Widow Maker was still sitting on my shelf next to my pen in the same pristine condition I bought it in except for the dust settling on the lid.

I had set today aside to get deep into some much needed bookkeeping. As you might expect, I have done the dishes, folded the laundry, made some apple sauce, organized my email inbox and made a few phone calls. With nothing left to be done but the bookkeeping, I decided it was the perfect time to crack open the bottle of Widow Maker.

Even when I'm just doodling with letterforms, I do roughs. There are infinite possibilities but each word or combination of words create their own identity and have different spacial requirements. This is my page of roughs. There are a lot of duds on the page but it's so easy to quickly weed out certain ideas and explore others.

This was my first attempt at pulling my ideas together. My every day writing is much more vertical so it takes me a while to relax enough to pull the letters out. And because I'm just playing with letters and avoiding my bookkeeping there are no lines on the paper and my letters are a bit jumpy.

But I love how the ink is getting pulled by the paper and making bleed marks. There is so much more character in a letter when it's applied to paper by hand.

With a few more minutes to kill, I made a second attempt. Already my hand is relaxing. There is so much more grace and (the appearance of) effortlessness to widely formed letters.

This whole exercise was only about fifteen minutes from start to finish. Almost like a sketch for a final if you were an illustrator. It was the perfect distraction, as was taking photographs and writing this post.

I guess I'm off to clean the bathroom. It's bookkeeping day after all.

handwritingBetty and Bing