[by Cathy Gatland in Johannesburg, South Africa] A local Lamy agent asked Assemblage, a visual arts community in the city, to produce artwork using only their pens and inks for a Design Fair recently held in Hyde Park shopping centre. The sketchers were invited to join in the challenge and we were offered a range of their coloured inks to 'play' with.
The oranges and reds quickly disappeared, and by the time I got to choose, cartridges and drops of deep pink, emerald green, purple, turquoise, blue-black and a luminous yellow-green were my palette - the latter the only warmish colour to mix peachy pinks and browns, producing the rather strange flesh tones above! The colours are really intense though, and a little went a long way. The above sketches were done at 1 Fox, a set of old industrial buildings now converted into pubs, restaurants and event spaces (yes, that is a chandelier in the old corrugated iron shed!) after a little practice and experimenting in town below.
Sketcher friend Leonora and I first sat at a busy street corner and I tried switching cartridges in my pen to produce varied colour lines. The hues are so strong though that it took a lot of linework to noticeably change completely from green to purple. I wrote in the call of the guy closest to where I sat, a non-stop "pondopondotworandi" - two Rand being the price of all his goods, with his neighbour interjecting occasionally with "walalawasaba", meaning "you snooze, you lose"
Trying a bit of water into the mix with my waterbrush - the colours almost ran away from me altogether! Sitting in the middle of the city in among the street traders and shoppers was a distinctive experience, regarded with suspicion by some and ignored - or accepted - by most (only the baby on her mother's back seemed at all interested).