Pens & Ink: a birthday present to myself

As you may remember, my Artist’s Way journey has come to an end, to your probably relief, I will abstain from referring back to it 10x per post. But allow me one more.

Julia Cameron argues in the basic principles of the approach that our Inner Artist is like a 4-6 year old. Unpredictable, emotionally volatile, a creature of routine and habit that both thrives in structure and delights in free play. It needs discipline,  positive reinforcement and occasionally, bribery/pampering in order to avert the emotional crises that can often lead to creative blocks.

If you haven’t slammed your iphone down in annoyance, I thank you. Many of you are probably wondering what kind of acid we have here on Garbarino Acres, and I will fully admit it… I’ve drank all the Kool Aid there is.

The idea is that we need to include pleasure (constructive, inspirational  pleasure) back into our adult lives and carve out time for it to nurture our Inner Artist.

Treat Yo Self has maybe gone a bit overboard, and sometimes I wonder if there is any limit to TYS and how as an All or Nothing person, I could swing to the over indulgent side quite easily. Bread anyone… oops, I already ate it all.

Meandering to the point, I swear.

Enter the Pen.

You may know that I love paper goods and pens, and pencils and all things stationery oriented.  Some of you may also know me to be um, on the particular side about these things (and many other things as well), and you may also know that I can demonstrate scattered tendencies when it comes to my personal possessions (read: keys, bank card number 81).

I am happy to announce that I can add Fancy Fountain Pen to to the list of things I will be likely to lose (lost it twice since buying it).

The LAMY pen is a German pen, purchased at Nota Bene on Parc.  My neighbour turned me onto the whole LAMY thing last winter, citing of all the things she had lost, she had never lost the LAMY. So fueled by the idea that my investment would surely stay by my side, I took the dive.

Little did I know that upon my visit, there would be a 25% sale! Bonus, so I chatted with the owner about what I needed to do with my pen (morning pages require fast glide over the paper, while sketching needs a certain type of nib and the ink needed to be indelible for my watercolor layerings). We settled on the body and the extra fine point and we were off to the races. The pen itself was under 50$, I bought the ink for 18$ and then I splurged and bought a mechanical pencil (already lost) and some watercolor paper and fun manila envelopes. Totaly Inner Artist Damage: 98$.

Do I love my LAMY pen?

I do. I feel now that it’s part of my routine and I need to know where it is at ALL TIMES.

I left it at Annabelle’s house within one week of ownership. And have subsequently left it at a supplier’s office in the east end.

Clearly, I would need a pen management system. Indeed, you read correctly. A system to manage my pens.

I sorted through some old art supplies and found my ACME pen, a generous gift from my then employer for my Design Vernissage. Amazing, yes, that I haven’t lost it since getting it in 2005 , but I blame the dried out cartridge that rendered the pen useless after 2 weeks. The body is a beautiful, limited edition,  De Stijl Van Doesburg signed roller ball and weighs at least more than my iphone.


I hoofed it back to Nota Bene with my travel pen to get new cartridges, after losing myself in the vortex of Amazon reviews (really, nothing can waste your time more than readin other people’s dissatisfaction, other than maybe taking the time to air out your own dissatisfaction- amiright?). It would take less time, and it would give me an excuse to peruse through a shop, which is essentially my favorite thing, unless I’m with my mother, and then it’s my least favorite.

ANYWAYS, I finally got there, only to ironically realize that my wallet was missing (unbeknownst to me, it was merely hiding under my seat). Gratefully, the shop keeps suggested I make a humbling call to beg for money (which I did, with surprising ease) and Maria saved the day. With a punch of a few numbers, I jetted out to meet my supplier at the other end of the city, new cartridge and BOTH pens in hand. I was close to my ideal system.

Four hours of driving later, I excitedly came home to try my new travel pen, only to realize that my LAMY had been left on the outskirts of Anjou, in a granit office.

The irony was not lost.

The system needs refinement, apparently.



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