Monday, August 24, 2009

A week off

I've been off for a week now, collecting my thoughts, working on a large project, and learning to live alone.

I found myself at loose ends yesterday evening, so I drove out to my favorite place on the planet, which also happens to be the place that I get to spend my working days - Antietam National Battlefield. Lucky guy.

I also stopped by the local art supply store during this off period to look up, and bring home, an old friend that I haven't seen for about 20 years:

the Hunt #107 crow quill pen.

I used to do ALL of my cartooning with risky little gem. Unlike technical pens, the crow quill provides fatter or thinner lines in one stroke just by applying more or less downward pressure. Its a very simple, elegant pen, that delivers great results and has the user at the brink of disaster with every stroke. The steel nib is so sharp that inattention can cause it to cut the surface of the paper, and gravity, ubiquitous as it is, often coaxes the pen to blot at exactly the worst time.

But like all of the best things in life the benefits outweigh the risks.

I expect you'll be seeing more battlefield-related illustration before too long.

Inking up,

Just northeast of Sharpsburg.



Unknown said...

I'm glad to see you are back, Mannie!

It's amazing how therapeutic the battlefield can be, isn't it? When I was laid off, Antietam is the first place I went to clear my head. Whenever I get discouraged in my job search, even just a quick trip to take in the scenery there helps to rejuvenate me.

I'm planning on doing the all-day hike on Sept. 17. Hope to see you there!

Richard said...

Thank you friend. Please share your drawings. Looks like I will not be back to that place of peace until illumination weekend.
Show us what we need to see, but through your eyes.

Eric Wittenberg said...


Personally, I can't wait.


Anonymous said...

Mannie, I have been "off"(retired) since April '08 but will soon re-enter the work force(September). I hope that the job start does not interfere with Anniversary weekend. We will be bringing a larger crowd this time to assist with the demonstrations(lots of rebel soldiers who will portray USSC folks and Yankee soldiers). Looking forward to seeing the field again(it has been a year). Hope all is well with you and keep up the good work. See you in a couple of weeks.
Jim T.
from northwest Orleans County, NY