Friday, May 31, 2019

The Narwhal part 6

I needed to see Nichole today to settle some things with the classes I'll be teaching there this summer (and we did have that meeting, so I'll be sharing that information soon), but I figure a visit to the Studio should also include some time working on art, so I brought with me some woodcut tools and ideas.  The project for today was continuing work on the Narwhal project.

Last time I had decided to fill part of the empty space above my subject with the underside of an iceberg.  This is partly logical, as these creatures mostly live in arctic waters, and one of the leading natural killers of narwhals is getting trapped underneath masses of ice.  All well and good, but I had no idea what the bottom of an iceberg actually looks like. I do know that the part we see (the so called "tip of the iceberg") is just a small part of the whole thing.  So I turned to the internet and found an assortment of photos. Most of what I found showed objects that were more tall than broad, perhaps because many icebergs are formed by shearing off glaciers.  And they seem to look like rock formations.  I brought all this knowledge with me.

This narwhal won't be trapped underneath that ice- there's room for him to reach the air on either side.  Again, color will have an effect on the final pieces.  But for now I carved it to look like a rocky upside down mountain, with fissures that emphasize the verticality, or would really do so if the final piece was taller.  What is left is to finish cutting out the light parts in the water, than the details of the anchor and chain.  Then I can ink this thing up and see what I got.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Back to the Frame Shop

Got the good news that my piece was accepted for the bird themed show in Belmar, but with that is the knowledge that I have to make sure it's framed and ready.  The piece is part of my Everyman series, so I have plenty of frames the right size, and precut mats to go with them.  Had one such frame in my office, recently used for another piece, and went through my storage bin of small works until I dug up the proper size mat.  The print would be the first proof of St Georgia, which I had out recently to take a new photo for the entry, hoping to meet the odd combination of requirements they gave us.  Just after lunch I gathered it all up and hauled it up to the Studio, where I would have a nice table to work at.

If Nichole was around I would have talked to her about the class situation, but she had not mentioned this as a day she'd be in, so I was not surprised the office was locked up.  Answered a few questions for someone looking for someone in authority, then headed downstairs.  Molly was there, just finishing whatever she was doing, leaving me the place to myself.  Put on a cd of Billy Childish, and got to work.

When I needed a piece for the Humor show in Belmar earlier this year, I realized that what I chose would fit in one type of frame I had, my saint frames.  Just needed to cut a new mat and mount the whole thing.  Which is how I knew I had at least one proper saint mat available.   So the first step was bringing the framed Side Effects Profile piece to the Studio, and extracting the print and mat from the frame.  Had linen tape and scissors in my drawer, a screwdriver in my backpack. The piece was framed with a backing board and foam core, plus the window mat.  Old image out, place the new print and the proper mat on top to check spacing.  Linen tape is dry on the roll, lasts for years.  Had the two rolls I have for decades.  Water activates the adhesive. Simple and effective, but it does take a little time to dry.  Taped the new print in place, and used the drying time to convert the frame from horizontal to vertical, meaning moving the wire holders from the short sides to the long sides. In the end it was all done.

So now I have a framed copy of St Georgia ready to go.  Normally the intake days at Belmar are on Saturdays. but all the notices have said it will be on Sunday, perhaps what works for the organizer. I'll seek verification of that tomorrow, but meanwhile I'm ready.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

News From the Beach

A few weekends ago was the closing reception for the Kean faculty show at the Long Beach Island Foundation.  Fairly well attended, though many of those people may have been there as a result of the second show interspersed with the art, one from the local garden club.  (arrangements of plants and flowers, in pots) Our organizer was introduced by their director as the "chair", which was news to her as the school eliminated all chairs years ago.  Art went from being a school, to being a department, to being a program.  and we have no idea what would come next.  The faculty member who was called a  chair that day is one of two tenured faculty we have left, and functions as my supervisor.  A few days after that reception, she forwarded an article from a local news weekly on LBI called the Sandpaper (no, seriously) about the show.  Appeared to be scanned directly from paper, front page and some inside where it continued.  It was a write up of the show and reception, with just as much space devoted to the flower arrangements as the art.  I remember being interviewed and photographed by the reporter, but no mention of me, my work, or my photo in that article.

But today was part 2.  This time a link to an online version, which had an article that I wasn't mentioned in (but more about the flowers), but there was a photo of me next to my pieces.  and a link to more photos from the show.  My photo was there again, this time with a caption providing my name and the titles of the two works I had in the show. All correct, no small thing in the worlds of news or art.  Not a great photo of either me or the art, but I can count it as a publication credit and will do so at my next year end wrap up.  It's unfortunate that neither the print or online versions came out when the show was actually on the walls and people could go see it, but I've never seen an art gallery that did so little to let people know our show existed.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Decoration Day Blues

First started getting into blues music in college.  One thing that aided this was that the college bookstore regularly had record and tape sales (compact discs weren't invented yet), boxes and bins full of records and tapes, mostly inexpensive.  Also mostly things produced and issued in other countries- The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Italy, etc.  Blues was fairly common, perhaps because the original recordings were likely available cheap, as the artists usually got their payment the recording session, so only the owners of the masters got paid for record sales, and they probably licensed the stuff cheaply.  Possibly the racist associations with that form of music were less well known in other counties, so for them it was just good music.  I was a huge fan of the then recent film The Blues Brothers, which included a scene of a street band performance by John Lee Hooker, which made me realize I needed to hear more by this artist, so the first thing I bought at one of these sales (a few held every year) was a cassette of John Lee Hooker.  I liked it, got more recordings- more Hooker, Buddy Guy, and of course Howlin' Wolf.  One of those early Howlin' Wolf purchases was an LP that collected songs he recorded for Sam Phillips in Memphis, before he officially moved to Chess in Chicago.  One of my favorite songs from that record was one called Decoration Day Blues.  Kind of a mellow song (especially for the Wolf) about how a woman he loved died and at her request he honors her on every Decoration Day.

My love of that music eventually got me to do a blues radio show, a weekly thing at my colleges for the next 8 years.  Now I just listen in my Studio or at home.

Since then, the name of the holiday was officially changed to Memorial Day, but older people (and people like me who read things) are aware of what came before.  Plus I have a bit of a connection, formed well after I got the record.  I was never in the military or lost any family members to war, but in the 90's I lived in Carbondale, IL, part of Jackson County, and home to John A. Logan, former civil war general and later member of government. There's a junior college in the area there named for him.   One thing he was know for was being a big advocate for the creation of a Decoration Day national holiday, having witnessed such a thing in Carbondale.  The internet tells me that such traditions were quite common around that time, making the claims of the first such day to be quite contentious. The wikipedia entry includes so many claims that it doesn't even list Carbondale, but in the years I lived there they believed they invented it and should get the credit.  Anyway, it began as a custom of decorating the graves of veterans, thus the name Decoration Day, which I believe as officially changed to Memorial Day around the time I was born.

The decoration things still happens, and there are numerous groups who each year plant little American flags on the grave of tens of thousands of veterans on Memorial Day each year.   All well and good, but mostly it's used as an excuse for businesses to hold sales, or for people with jobs to not work them.  Coupled with a rare sunny weekend, our local towns were overwhelmed with stupid visitors, as anyone of normal intelligence knows that going to a beach town on a holiday weekend in summer is a very bad idea.  Roads are choked with traffic, bars and restaurants are over crowded, parking is often unavailable (parking lots at touristy areas often have 3 price signs- one for regular summer weekdays, one for summer weekends, and one for holiday weekends, the last one triple what is asked on weekdays.) So not much I could do today.  Probably no one working at my Studio building today, and alarms on for the holiday, and I don't feel like dealing with the police today.  One thing I did do was finish the latest version of the information for the art classes I have been asked to teach there this summer- week by week breakdown, materials, etc. If someone is there tomorrow,  I can get it to them.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

More tv catching up

Another Sunday morning, another art story on the CBS morning show.  Today was about a new version of Huckleberry Finn.  Didn't get the author's name.  The idea here was to tell the same kind of story, but this time set in our own time, in California instead of along the Mississippi River, and the former slave Jim has been replaced with a new traveling partner for Huck an illegal Mexican immigrant.  The idea begin that an illegal immigrant today would have the same concerns of an escaped slave back then- on the run, always trying to escape authorities who might lock him up or send him back where he came from.  Instead of the Mississippi, the location centers on the Los Angeles River, which these days travels through the county mostly in concrete, used as a location shot in countless movies and television shows over the years.  At times Mark Twain's original book has been called a great American novel, written pretty much in vernacular.  It's also one of the most protested books in our country's history, mostly for race related reasons, even as there is a dispute over whether or not the book is racist.  On one hand, Huck treats Jim as a fellow human being, not common in that era. On the other hand, at times Huck seems to enjoy having a superiority over the uneducated former slave, putting him in dangerous situations for his own amusement.  And that's not getting into the language and vocabulary, which was perfectly acceptable at the time the book was published, and absolutely not acceptable now. But that's not why I'm writing about it here.

The television story covered the illustration process of the new book.  I couldn't tell at first how they were done- could have been woodcut, or linoleum, or maybe scratchboard, or even pen and ink.  The television story tells us they are linocut, and even has a short bit about the artist, who is shown at work in his studio, first cutting the design into a small linoleum block, then pulling a proof on a motorized press.  (black ink, but appearing hand colored in the published book, probably done digitally these days) Of course I am biased in favor of woodcut over linocut, but I have taught the latter when requested, such as two one day workshops last summer.  Yet this seems the kind of thing that can put printmaking in the minds of people.  The association with the original novel will get it plenty of publicity (like the tv show I saw this morning), and readers will see the illustrations and realize they are a print process.  And seeing prints sometimes makes people want to try the process themselves. And I'm always in favor of that.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

St Georgia goes up to bat

Got an e-mail from the BAC today with the news that St Georgia was accepted into the new bird themed show.

A very long list of accepted works, maybe 65.  (such a long list that I kept losing track of my count as I scrolled through it) It fits into a saint frame with a saint mat, so it won't be too hard to frame it for the show.  And delivery is not for another week or so, so I have time to get this done.

It was a long list of names, and most were unfamiliar, but some I knew.  There are 3 former woodcut students of mine (wonder if I'm still the only print in the show) 2 artists who had been to the critique in my Studio, and someone I have eaten pizza with.  More information when I get it.

The Narwhal part 5

A day with no other immediate tasks to be done, so I figured that meant studio time, which meant getting back to my narwhal block.   I decided that the whale itself if about done, so what remained to be worked out was the water.  I liked the way the horn showed up against a black background, so I decided I needed more of that.  Along the bottom I added to dark ink I had there and made a rocky ocean bottom, along with an abandoned anchor.  No room for a whole boat down below or on the surface.  I extended the dark area in the upper half, with what I intend as the bottom of a small iceberg above.  These things do live in Arctic waters and do swim under the ice.  I thought about maybe adding some fish (it's what they eat) but I would think that most fish would take off when they notice a whale coming their way.

So that's where I left off today, just more ink drawing. I'll wait and see if any other ideas develop before I begin cutting again.  All that currently unlinked space will not be as light as the cut parts of the whale in the final version.  The iceberg will be mostly light, but the water a deeper color.  It will be worked out.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Faculty Exhibition on LBI

Today was the closing reception for the Kean Faculty Exhibition at the Long Beach Island Foundation for Arts & Sciences.  This all began last fall when we were given the invitation, apparently part of a series of NJ colleges that have been invited to have shows there.  At the time this started, we were in the process of having one of our regular faculty shows in our department gallery, and the starting point was contacting those faculty to see if they wanted to be involved.  I was approached personally as one of the rare shore area members of the faculty, so a logical choice to be part of a show in Ocean County.  Nothing happened for several months, then I contacted our organizer at a point where we were getting closer and people wanted to know.  She said everything was proceeding, and was surprised we hadn't been contacted yet, but was sure it would be soon.

A few weeks later we got the loan agreements and I filled out the information and submitted it quickly.  There seemed to be a lot of chaos at the gallery, but someone was ready to receive the work so I took a day to drive two pieces down (the ones I had planned and promised).  From where I live about an hour each way, for those coming from around the school, more like 2 hours.  We were told there would be a closing reception, and considering the distance, I saw no reason to go back until that day.  Which was today.

The LBIF has a large main room, with a long uninterrupted wall along the left side (shown above), while the right side has a few doors and a counter.  At the far end of the main room is a raised area that can function as a stage (shown below), but can also be used to hang art.

There were 20 faculty in the show, but about 6 or 7 were present today.  Of the others, maybe some had previous commitments, and a few claimed emergencies, and maybe some just didn't want to drive all the way down there.  I wasn't the only person who had noticed that gallery's website had no mention of this show during it's entire run, almost like it was a big secret.  No outside publicity either.  Still we had a good crowd.  Running along with our show was something involving the local garden club, which had produced a variety of artificial arrangements.  Hard to get an accurate count, but I'd estimate we had 80 or 90 people at times.  A huge tent like structure occupied a big chunk of the parking lot, but was not being used today.  Don't know if it was for something that already happened, or will be coming soon.

I quickly realized that my pieces were hung toward the back of that large room, on that big wall.  They got a bit of attention, from people who knew me and from strangers.  People were attracted to the boardwalk piece, which one person insisted had to be Seaside Heights.  Actually it's based on memories of a place in Belmar, but with this series I have found many people who insist they are the places they knew well.  Maybe they are all the same, or maybe I found some universal truth.  One viewer noted the accuracy of the prizes, the large expensive things on display, that no one ever earns enough tickets to redeem.

But most popular was the black and white piece, with its image of a piece of long gone but very remembered bit of highway.  There really was a piece of the Parkway that went right through a cemetery, also passing by a bottling plant with a giant beer bottle shaped tower, in my youth painted to look like a giant Pabst beer bottle.  The bottling plant is gone now, with that bottle carefully preserved for some future use we were told, though I haven't heard about it yet.  The headstones are still there.  It was almost like a piece of surreal art, practically begging to be used as the subject of an artwork.  I'm glad I documented it while it was still there.  As on a late episode of the Sopranos, where Uncle Junior is drawn to it while wandering Newark in a bit of an Alzheimer's fugue, if you are old enough to remember it, you probably won't ever forget it.  Over the years a lot of my art seems to have been about reminding people of what they had seen many times but now forgotten.

As we got closer to the end, the crowd got a bit smaller, and when the reception ended I could take down my pieces.  Rain never arrived in the daylight hours, so I was able to easily carry them across the parking lot to my car.  Just like the day I delivered them to the gallery, the roads were pretty empty both coming and going,  which will probably change when summer starts very soon.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Summer Classes

Back in my grad school days I had some summer classes, both as a student and a teacher. Since then rarely at the college level, which I attribute to the lack of willingness of colleges to pay people to teach classes.  I would think that at least some students might want to use part of their summer to deal with some graduation requirements.  As a grad student I took studio classes at both Montclair and Southern Illinois over summers.  Classes needed to be taken, I had nothing else I had to do, and it got me to graduation a little faster.  Colleges I have worked at since then have offered very little over summers.  I guess they have their reasons.

On the other hand, local art centers often have classes year round.  I have taught summer woodcut classes in Belmar a bunch of times and and scheduled to again this year.  It's on their calendar for July and August, pending people signing up for the class.  I have no control over that, but usually makes enrollment in these summer sessions, so I expect it will again.  As I was setting that up again a few weeks ago, the secretary mentioned that there might be a demand for painting and drawing classes.  They recently had a few sessions of an official Bob Ross style class and it repeatedly sold out.  Some thought it might be a good idea to strike while the iron is hot and get some more on the schedule.  I have no experience with landscape stuff, but it seems like they have that covered right now.  However, if they want to teach still life, color theory, basic drawing, value, perspective, etc, I've been doing that at the collegiate level for over 20 years, and can throw together a class in a few days.  So I e-mailed in a proposal a few weeks ago, with attached student art images relevant to the class.  My suggestion was 4 week classes, each at a different level, using materials available in local stores, which could be scheduled to fit demands.  Right now no one is teaching traditional painting or drawing there at all, so there's a vacuum to be filled.  A few weeks later I finally heard back from the director, who loved the idea of a painting class, and was presenting it to the trustees.  When I was there this past weekend for an opening, a few people mentioned to me that they heard I would be teaching a painting  class and were excited to take it.  I could be ready to go in a few weeks.  Only problem- a lack of willingness to do it.  They want to wait until the fall.  Not sure why- they often complain that money is needed, and classes cost nothing if they don't run and make money if they do, and they get a cut of that.  I have some theories as to this hesitation, but I'm not going to share those here at this time.  Woodcut is still on the schedule.

Meanwhile, I've been working on classes at another local place.  The Jersey Shore Arts Center has never hosted art classes as an organization, but it would make sense for them to do so.  They have a large facility, a nice website, a large mailing list, a number of resident artists, and very little competition right now.  And new people running things right now has then more open to the idea.  I've been discussing a woodcut class with them for a while now, and thanks to the recent print show, there is some interest out there.  I scheduled a meeting for this week, and it got pushed around a bit, but finally happened this afternoon.  Right now they are leaning toward a woodcut class similar to what I have done in Belmar- four weeks, I provide materials and teaching, they provide the space and the students.  They need to get past their theater and school commitments, but after that they have the space and think classes can lure in more people.  But in today's meeting, I also threw out the idea of a painting class, since they want a spread of options.  Plus more classes allows the fixed costs to be divided among more places.  And the director loved the idea, including running it starting this summer, at the same time (roughly) as the woodcut classes.  So I promised her a proposal in the next few days (I can use the one for Belmar, so not too difficult) once I get past all the grading stuff.  The lack of competition right now is a selling point, with both colleges and high schools dropping art classes, maybe they can pick up some slack.  When I know something more, I'll share it here.

The Narwhal part 4

I had business up in Ocean Grove today, so I decided to also continue work on the Narwhal project.  A few nights ago I had some spare time and used the computer to look up more images and videos of narwhals, see if I could settle any issues.  For example, there is a spiral aspect to a typical narwhal horn, and I was curious as to if there was a standard direction.  Based on photos I found, it seems not.  Even the horns can point in different directions, up, down, etc. Markings on the side of the whale can vary a lot as well- plain, monochromatic, or spotted, shades from light to dark.  So when I got to the Studio, I used pencil and a marker to make few adjustments, then cut all the white out.

The one thing I'm still not sure of is what to do with the water.  I'll think about that for the next few days.  For the next few days it will be difficult to get up there, with the Seafood Festival traffic occupying most of the roads between home and the Studio. Plus I still have some grading to do.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Return of St Georgia

Last week I was at the Boatworks, photographing the latest art show for the BAC blog, when I got cornered by the organizer of their upcoming bird theme show.  They had one a few years ago, which I entered, but was not accepted into. Also rejected for the BAC big juried show about the same time, which is why I stopped entering juried shows there.  I always tell my students that juried shows are unpredictable, and there have been times when I've had a piece rejected by a juror and given first prize by another,  but after 3 consecutive rejections, I had to wonder. For the last bird show I had a new bird piece, and it had been rejected.

I was prepared to let this latest bird show go as well, but that organizer begged me to try again, pointing out that since the piece wasn't in the last one, it was eligible for this show.  And the deadline had been extended to the end of this week.  I'm still in the midst of getting my spring semester grading done, but I decided to give it a shot. One issue is that I prefer to pay fees in person (don't trust the computer system there) and that the place is closed tomorrow and the weekend.  With the Belmar Seafood Festival coming in this weekend, that's a logical precaution, but it meant I had to take care of everything by early this afternoon.

It's all online digital applications now, having skipped over slides, from the old method of dropping off work to be judged in person.  And I had the image I used last time (that's it above), but the rules for this one specified that files had to be within a very specific range of sizes.  Nothing to do with the work itself or what can be sent or viewed digitally, but regulations that seemed chosen just to be annoying.  So I mounted the piece onto a piece of foam core and took it outside to photograph, since natural light is always best.  Then back inside to download, edit, and see what I had.  None were the right size, so I had to do all those steps over again.  Second time around I seemed to have a suitable one, so I went ahead an filled out the whole application, sent it in, then drove to Belmar to pay the entry fee and at the same time make sure everything was in and right.  While there I confirmed that it had been received and saw that my newly taken photo worked well on their monitor.  The work will have to be delivered in early June, so I guess I'll hear the results soon.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Narwhal part 3

Had a little spare time today between school work and yard work, and decided to do some Studio work.  Stopped in the office briefly to talk to Nichole about some class stuff (we will have a longer meeting on Thursday) then down to the Studio.  Molly was down there working already and I didn't want to disturb whatever it was she was doing, so I just got to work on my project.

Only had about an hour available today, but that was enough time to advance the narwhal project a little bit.  My ink wash value drawing (which Molly mentioned she really liked) was a basic breakdown of the animal into three values.  Today I cut out the white, except for the horn, since I want to look at the spiral effect on some actual ones again before I cut that.  Played around with some of the gray (medium value) a bit, but I remember that on the lateral line (includes the eye) seeing some complex patterns on some whales, so maybe I'll look at that again as well.  After all those other things are settled, I decide what to so with the water.  The use of color (likely through relief ink) will be significant in this piece.  May not have much time to deal with all this until after I get my spring semester grading done.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

The Narwhal part 2

Had a little time this afternoon and decided to go up to the Studio and advance the Narwhal project a bit.  I wasn't quite satisfied with my initial pencil drawing, so the first task was to make some adjustments to the shape of the whale, particularly near the head and tail.  For many years now I have been a proponent of using ink wash in the block drawings, especially for figures.  This comes from my love of charcoal (especially compressed) and when I use it, I tend to go dark and heavy.  Probably related to my interest in woodcut and the strong contrasts found in block printing. I had a supply of black drawing ink, plastic cups, etc, from the days I taught drawing, and after a search, I finally found it last night.  No human figure this time around, but the simple value breakdown in my paper sketch caused me to realize that process would work again here.  So with a brush I put in some straight black ink on some deep shadows and to outline everything, a middle value wash near the mid line of the whale, some light wash in the water around it, and left some untouched wood as highlights.  I ended up repositioning the horn a little more forward, more consistent with my paper sketch, as well as with reality.  (the "horn" is not a horn, but actually a tooth or a tusk, from one of the canines in the mouth of the narwhal, poking through the lip) The ink is just a value guide, since all this will be cut away in the final version, but now I have a better idea what I'm doing.

Stopped by the office briefly to update Nichole on some things she asked me to discuss with Molly, related to programming and the website.  At that moment Bobby Duncan walked past and mentioned that a woman, probably a dance mom, had asked him if the guy who does woodcuts would be teaching any classes in it because she would like to know more.  He said he told her where my Studio was, but I haven't heard anything yet.  Meanwhile, it can't hurt for the person who is running the building to hear that there may be some demand for a woodcut class, especially because we are trying to set up such a class for this summer.  I'm one of the few people in New Jersey who teaches it, and the fans often find me.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

The Narwhal

Last year I had a request from my brother and his wife for a carved wooden mermaid, which I produced as a low relief sculpture in birch, hand colored.  Combined aspects of my long experience in whittling and my extensive training in woodcut printmaking, plus a little of my painting background.  Went into my youngest niece's room.  Don't know if she knows what it is yet.  This year the oldest daughter wanted a narwhal. Actually what I heard she wanted was for my father to go out in his boat and catch her one, but that's not going to happen for too many reasons to type here.  That's without even getting into the question of what she would do with a narwhal, which generally weigh at  least a ton.  Instead we settled for a narwhal themed artwork for her wall, and making use of some thin plywood my brother gave me.  Prior to a family event last week I did a series of sketches of narwhals based on photos on the internet, brought my favorite to them, and it was approved for this project.

Last year's mermaid was designed as a low relief sculpture.  Technically this piece will be, too, but on a much thinner piece of wood, and my woodcut printmaking skills will be needed more.  I'm still not quite sure what kind of wood this is, just that it's a 1/4" thick with a smooth surface, looking much like lauan.  There was a label on the wood itself but it doesn't really tell me anything, except that it was manufactured in China in 2013.  In a sense, this project is an experiment to figure out what this wood is.  I'm going to cut it as if it were a woodblock print, which will allow me to learn whether I can use the wood that way for any more significant projects.

Had some other business up at the Studio today, but it seemed like a good day to start making this narwhal.  Decided to keep the animal's orientation the same, so the first step was to work out a mirror image of the original sketch.  Then I started sketching it out right onto the block. Here's what I got so far:

Still needs a bit of work. Need to reshape the body in parts, and to check the proper spiral on the horn.  I was thinking of using ink wash to do the block drawing of the creature, in the way that I have often used it for large figure woodcuts.   Took a while but I located my supply of drawing ink and cups, not really needed since I last taught drawing at the college.  But that will wait for another day.