My Lings

About this Series

When my oldest child was a little ‘un I used to read to him at bedtime. One of the books I read to him was called “My Things”, which included image of basic things a child could identify such as ball, a shoe and other everyday objects. Somehow, Alan could not say ‘th’ so My Things became My Lings—hence my series of metal point drawings depicting the simple things of childhood. There is the irony in using this most sophisticated, rather archaic and mysterious of mediums to draw simple things like dolls, flowers, shells, birds, and jacks.

I prepared each sheet of handmade Indian paper by first painting a layer of off-white gesso. I taped the paper to a hard surface so that it wouldn’t buckle as the gesso dried, thus forming even margins all the way around the edges. This rendered the paper able to register a line drawn using a silver, gold, platinum or copper point. The instrument I used is a stylus into which a short length of metal wire is inserted. The friction between the sharpened wire and the gessoed paper causes particles of metal to adhere to the gessoed surface. Modern technology has even produced a paper that is clay-coated so that gesso is no longer needed. I also have done a number of drawings on a black gesso ground using silver point and gold point.