Monday, March 26, 2018

The Joy of Materials: at the Quilt Fair

On March 18, I went over to the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond for the quilt show and fair, Voices in  Cloth put on by the East Bay Heritage Quilters. I knew I would have to ration myself, that there would be some interesting materials. I went a few years ago, but was not so actively working with textiles then. 

Several hundred quilts were on display, including a special section with some lovely textile work from Korea. There is also a blog by Mirka Knaster, one of the curators, that show Korean images here. And more images at Youngmin Lee's blog hereThe Korean quiltwork interests me even more now that I saw the Korean Couture show at the Asian Art Museum in January. The use of what looks like silk organza is stunning.

Previously, photos were not allowed. This time I could take some for personal reference only, but not to share, so I will list some links of a few people who made quilts I admired. 
Jungsik Kim, "Cheokgeori" ("a rack of books" made with traditional Korean paper)
Young Won Kwon, "The Aesthetics of Line/Moon Jar"
Ye Ryung Cho, "Beyond"
Youngmin Lee, "Out of the Box II"
Roberta Horton, "Indigo Rag/Boro"
Jan Etre, "Foray into Shibori"
Jennie Alexich, "Red Squares"
Mabry Benson, "Kuba"
CL Tree, "Aqua"
and the hilarious "Godzilla Fakemono" by Ryan Young made from up cycled denim and with a patch of Godzilla on the back.

My purchases.

Picked up the beautiful sashiko thread at Kimonomomo. Sashiko supplies are hard to find here, but I discovered these folks have a by-appointment-only shop in Alameda, CA. They also have an Etsy shop. I am so doomed.

Two spools of sweet antique silk thread from Tinsel Trading, a shop on my side of town, but I've never been inside. It has all kinds of vintage notions. And a textile roll, which appears to be a strip from a quilt (early 1900s). Someone magical about this object. But it is disintegrating. I'm not sure exactly what to do with it or if I will try to preserve it. I just like it. Had a brief but enjoyable talk with Marcia Ceppos, the proprietor. Read their fascinating story here.

The original quilt seems to have been backed in the green plaid cloth.

And three jars of Jacquard "Lumiere light body metallic acrylic" fabric paint from Sproule Studios. Great for stenciling. The paint stays soft after it is applied. Had a nice chat with April, the proprietor about art, crafts, and teaching. I could feel her excitement about all of these things, and I recognize a good teacher in her. Read her About Us page and check out her last paragraph to see what I mean.

Friday, March 23, 2018

New Art Quilt: Almost Cherry Season

Some of the work I feel most connected to comes to me in dreams.* Usually it is an image that I need to follow. Sometimes a title. Sometimes a whole story, a structure, or a color palette. This time it was the vision of fragments of cherry prints scattered throughout white-on-white fabric. At first I thought I would have to buy white patterned cloth. Then it dawned on me that I could and should certainly print it myself. "Should" because I would feel more connected to it; it would have more meaning to me because I had paid close attention to it.

As I hunted for cherries to draw from life I discovered that they aren't yet in season and that they are a huge import from the western United States. I would have to draw from images online. The quilt would be about anticipation and being in the moment, both.

For the white patterns I chose to print a linoleum block of leaves from my "library" and some related wood type words that included a phrase from the Magic 8-Ball, "Ask again later." On my walks up the hill I noticed the prunus plum/cherry blossoms were out (mid-February), so I carved a new block for them and printed that in light pink.

My cherry drawing and subsequent print is a composite of various images I found online, and it decided it simply wanted to be two colors, just two shades of red, no more. I was on the verge of trying one more darker red, but the print said no. I printed it on paper as well, just a few copies. The prints are here as "Always Cherry Season" at nevermindtheart.

As the prints dried and I waited, I felt I wasn't expressing all the emotions of anticipation and being present; I needed to write, set, and print a poem as well. The first poem I wrote felt too light. Something was missing. I remembered Kenny, my co-worker when I worked in my twenties at Pegasus Books. Perhaps I had been thinking about him all along. I remembered he had given me a chapbook of his poems, and that his Filipino family had been migrant workers. That intertwining relationship of the fruit to human workers felt important to include.

The chapbook I have is from 1998, the cover designed by another co-worker, Gina Lewis (now Gina Lewis Lee). The poems are grounded, dark, poignant, some are heartbreaking, chronicling some of the things he had told me: family, a life cycle from his own childhood and young adulthood to his proposal of marriage to the birth of his daughters to his separation and divorce. He and his former wife lived around the corner from my husband and me. We had daughters the same age who met a few times, too young to remember. The poems were so good. I'm not sure I appreciated them at the time. I thought I would reach out, see if he had a poem for my magazine Star 82 Review. What was he up to? Ask Google. The first listing online was his obituary. 1954-2013.

I cried. I didn't know him that well even though we worked together for two years. He was soft-spoken, thoughtful, loved his daughters and jazz music, dressed well. 

A dream took me on this journey. 
This quilt is dedicated to Kenny's memory. Light and darkness. Rest in peace.

Poems by Kenneth Zamora Damacion online:
(1984, page 34): Hawai'i Review, Number 16, "Young Hands, Young Face"; this is about picking plums.
(1990, page 24): Hiram Poetry Review, issues 48 & 49, "Murder"
(1990, not formatted): from The Missouri Review, Vol. 13, No. 1, "Black Humor"
(Summer 1995): Virginia Quarterly Review, Vol. 61, No. 3, "Parable"

75.5"h x 30"w

detail and poem: "Almost Cherry Season"

While the poem fragments are at different angles,
all the cherries are rightside up.

detail: some running stitching for quilting, also

quilted with embroidered twiny vines/branches

*(Links at the titles) My artist books Tree came as a vision, title and complete book structure; In the Wake of the Dream came as consecutive dreams to be altered; The Elephant's Lesson was a dream; She Is the Keeper was a dreamed story; A Witness to Curious Speed came as a title only; Buddha's Bowl came as a complete story. 

Larger image of Almost Cherry Season will be posted soon at

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What about "Untitled"?

A colleague and I have a longstanding and friendly (I hope) disagreement going. Basically, I believe in titles, and she, for the most part, does not. We had another round of it as we looked at the Way Bay exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum in March, so it's on my mind again.

I wrote a post, "The Untitled Library: How Titles Work," in 2013 here, in which I examine how a title is important in order to give the viewer a starting point. Today I will take up her opinion and examine it from her side. Seems fair. She's a painter, so I will be using painting as the example.

The Arguments for Limited Titles or "Untitled"
A title narrows the viewing experience. When you give a piece a title, the viewer then says, "Oh, it's about that." But sometimes the artist wants it to be about that and more than that, so a title would be limiting the experience. Without a title, the viewer has the freedom to see the painting how she likes. In this case, the artist is trusting the viewer to engage with the painting on her own terms. Like receiving a gift. The artist is also trusting that the viewer will spend the time needed to feel and reach into what she is seeing. I like the idea of trusting the viewer.

A title is forced. For people who are primarily visual, words aren't necessarily part of the game, and trying to come up with a title may be difficult, painful, and may not feel right. The artist may not feel that the title is honestly connected to the work. She may feel it does not add to the experience. And she may not want it to add to or distract from the immediate viewing and reaction to the painting itself. I recognize that I am a word person, that words come easily to me and are an important part of my work. But I acknowledge that not everyone works like this.

A title is good as an identifying mark. Sometimes the artist titles her works with numbers or initials as a way to list the paintings and note which one is in what show and what has sold. Clarity in cataloguing for the artist and for the gallery owner as well.

I think these are valid arguments, and they encourage other questions. Are we making art or are we in the mirror business? (This is the subject of one of my 2012 posts, "The Mirror Business.") How much time will a viewer spend with a work of art? And how much work is reasonable for the viewer to have to do? Titles can be as simple or complicated as we like.

So you see, my colleague and I both have strong opinions about titles. But it's good to step into someone else's argument sometimes, try to understand why they think the way they do.

The blank books and journals I make are probably the only things I do not title.

There's an amusing film that spoofs art and music called, "Untitled."

Monday, March 19, 2018

Wabi-Sabi Egg

One afternoon, I took a little detour from my main event. I idly perused March 2018 Quilting Arts Magazine in the library; one article in particular about making amulets interested me called, "Objects of Comfort," designed by Victoria Gertenbach, which you can see part of here. The scraps were wrapped around shells and sticks, which didn't appeal to me (I like natural things au naturel), but the technique was full of color and texture. From Lulubears I had bought some garnet emery (ground of garnets) to make little pin cushions and thought this might be a good opportunity to combine the amulet/pin cushion/garnet emery and make a small pin cushion for myself to hold my needle when I'm in progress. Because I like the packaging of the sashiko needles, I've been keeping them in their tube in their box and leaving one needle out while I work. Not so good. I'm afraid I'll lose it.

So I made this wabi sabi egg. First I made a loose form with batting around a wooden craft egg and basted it together. I removed the wooden egg, poured in the garnet emery and stitched up the holes! Then began wrapping and basting scrap cloth around the now batting + emery egg. Whip-stitched the edges, adding a few decorative stitches.

The stitching became addictive, and I kept adding more.

By taking the detour I realized how to solve a problem for another quilt in progress.
Just keep swimming, er sewing.

(post about sashiko needles here)
porcupine egg.

(post about making divided insert tray/compartments for a box here)

This is the kit that follows me around the house. 
Plus the sashiko needle package.
There's my little new egg in the center, the wooden egg on the right.
And the assortment of thread, tape measure, seam ripper, scissors, tiny binder clips, small wooden needle case for my other needles, and safety pins.
I can probably take out the wooden egg. But it's weighting down my errant threads.
And I like it, too.
Addendum 3.20.18: Attention Southern California dwellers! Textile artist and designer Christina Kim of dosa is giving a free mending workshop at the new Institute of Contemporary Art LA, on Sunday, April 15, 2018! Love, love, love her work. Wish I could go! See milagros made in Oaxaca on her website here.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Rauschenberg-inspired Coptic Journals

Robert Rauschenberg's energy and whole-hearted investigation and engagement with colors and materials still buzz in me, and I felt I needed to newly investigate and engage with colors and textures in the book form. These journals seemed a perfect place to combine acrylic painting and some leftover fabric scraps I had originally printed for my quilts. I kept to Rauschenberg's colors: white, black, and red. Well, pink crept in, too.

They're small and sturdy. Perfect for carrying with you. 
Great for writing or drawing in tight spaces like diner counters or on a subway.
Nice Strathmore Drawing paper inside.

A little preview from a quilt I'm working on now in these with the cherry blossoms printed from a linoleum block and a peek at the letterpress printed poem.

This one has maps enfolding each signature.
A piece of printed cloth from Housework here on the back.

Textured red and white, with little white accent ties on the spine.
A fragment of the cherry linoleum cut on the back.
(Another peek at my upcoming quilt: Almost Cherry Season.)

If they appeal to you I've put these new Coptic journals up at 
nevermindtheart, my Etsy store.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Star 82 Review 6.1 Is Now Live!

"Still here, Captain." I hear Scotty's voice from Star Trek in my head each time I release a new issue of the online and print, art and literary magazine, Star 82 Review. And here's another! An interesting, thoughtful, and heartfelt blend of distinctive voices, just like always, but somehow this time even more so. Each piece is short and can be viewed or read when you have a moment here or there, enjoyed like a good snack. Of course you can dig in all at once, too.

Easy access!

6.1 web is here.
6.1 print is here.

You can keep up-do-date with the news from the magazine and read the found poem created from the first two or last two words from each written piece at the Star 82 Review FaceBook page here.

Happy Reading!

6.1 Contributors
Claire Ahn
Kathryn Almy
Dan Alter
Micki Blenkush
Chris Bullard
Marion Cohen
Tommy Dean
Carol L. Deering
Salvatore Difalco
Jaimee Hills
Richard Kostelanetz
Jessica Lawless
Kali Lightfoot
Doug Mathewson
Angelina Oberdan
Deonte Osayande
Tammy Peacy
Alejandro Pérez
Jenn Powers
Terese Robison
Valorie K. Ruiz
Tim Sharman
Cathryn Shea
Alan Simmons
Michael Dwayne Smith
M. Stone
Debbie Theiss
Landa wo

Monday, March 12, 2018

Conversation: A New Art Quilt

After seeing the Robert Rauschenberg exhibit at SFMOMA, my head was buzzing with ideas. One was to sew cloth together that first had been pleated. I had no idea what would happen after that. This is a little quilt that spoke to me as I went.

I began with some scraps from other quilts, inspired by Christina Kim. Last March, I had seen a wonderful textile exhibition, Scraps, at Cooper Hewitt Museum, and was particularly enchanted by how she and the other two designers used what would otherwise be waste material from the garment industry. A book that gives you nearly the same feeling as seeing the show is the exhibition catalogue, Scraps: Fashion, Textiles, and Creative Reuse: Three Stories of Sustainable Design. Kim in particular created one line of clothing, used the scraps from that to make the next, and down the line until all that was left were little amulets. At each stage she sourced the production to local people. I have a little bag with scraps that I have printed, so I began with those.

As I ironed and pressed the scraps I heard the words in my head, "folded many times thick." I knew it was part of something Thoreau wrote because my friend quotes it, usually when I am talking about layering, but I couldn't remember the rest. It turned out even better when I found the whole thing. At the full text is in a letter from Henry David Thoreau to Ralph Waldo Emerson, July 18, 1843:
In writing, conversation should be folded many times thick. It is the height of art that, on first perusal, plain common sense should appear; on the second, severe truth; and on a third, beauty; and, having these warrants for its depth and reality, we may then enjoy the beauty for evermore.
I had my title: "Conversation." It is tabletop size: 20"h x 19"w.

Pieces are from these quilts: Seraph; Where Is My Passport?; What Are We Becoming; Hope Rants; Nightlights by the Bay. The white rectangle has a crease ironed down the center like a book. Actually, all of the pieces reference the book form, either by the accordions, the printing, or the page spreads (Thanks, Velma, for planting that idea).

The quilted stitching draws connections from one panel to another. Thinking about Rauschenberg's materials in conversation with each other, too. Common sense, truth, and beauty. Worthy goals for any artistic endeavor.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

A Robert Rauschenberg Buzz

In college I had a kind of first "art mentor," a fellow student who was a couple years older than I was. He drew and wrote constantly, listened to punk music, and introduced me to a variety of artists and musicians I am still interested in today. For all of his cultural introductions, I thank him, Richard Herring, still painting in California. One of the artists I learned about from Richard was Robert Rauschenberg. 

Rauschenberg's work fascinates me. It is bursting with color, texture, and experimentation, technical skill, interesting composition, and curiosity. A friend asked, What about content? and for a moment I was stunned. What about content? But then you look to his questioning the hierarchies of materials and his transfer drawings from the current newspapers, and you find political commentary, particularly of the 1960s. You look at the various projects he set up and you see was devoted to social change through art, whether it was exchanging artwork for health care for other artists in need or working with artists and organizations around the world to encourage conversations and peace. 

If you are not familiar with him, in his own art Rauschenberg is the one who did the assemblage "Combines," the all-white paintings, the black textured paintings, the printed tire track, asked Willem de Kooning for a drawing he could and did erase (he particularly wanted one that could be considered valuable), set designs for Merce Cunningham and Trisha Brown, among many other things. For his time, Rauschenberg pushed and pulled at his materials, tested, and reorganized, mixed genres, including dance and voice, and seemed to have a most joyous time of it! 

Before I went, I was surprised to read a review in the NY Review of Books, "The Confidence Man of American Art" by Jed Perl, an art critic I have in the past admired, in which the tone seems to disparage Rauschenberg as a "trickster, showman, and charmer" and sees his work as "megalomaniacal output" luckily with "embarrassments" left out of the show. But Jed Perl also believes in an old style of artist in which the artist searches for "perfection" even as he is looking outside his main medium, in order to revitalize "a particular discipline." With this in mind, I wondered if something in me had changed. If I would see, too, what Perl sees. Or feel it.

I did not. Perhaps because I believe that an artist has the freedom to change media whenever she sees it will enhance her own growth, expression, or message. Rauschenberg's work has an energy, perhaps a spontaneous one, that is different from the technical virtuosity of highly detailed work. His is a virtuosity with combinations and materials. Sometimes the beauty is in what is there and how the parts are in conversation with each other, sometimes in what is left out, sometimes in how it is cropped or framed. You can see Black Mountain College and Josef Albers' teaching in the opposites that appear, such as: light/dark; soft/hard; messy/clean edges. The catalogue for the show, Robert Rauschenberg is a wonderful keepsake, but if you can see the show in person, I recommend it.

I took a few photos while I was there.

A textile piece with layers and transfers (1970s? forgot to note, possibly in the Hoarfrost series?):

A painting that employs paint, jeans, and a handkerchief:
Untitled, 1958

Selections from a piece made from 97 sheets of handmade paper (63 feet long: it lined three walls of a room), collage and transfers that is connected by zippers meant to be rearranged every time it was exhibited:
Hiccups, 1978

Combination painting and sculpture:
Winter Pool, 1959

An interactive set design for a dance performance, here as a portrait with my friend:
Minutiae, 1954

And a large painting with a funhouse mirror embedded in it.
(Life and art, past and present combined: can you find me?)
Charlene, 1954

The current Rauschenberg exhibition, "Erasing the Rules" at SFMoMA was that "call to action" I wrote about in January. My body was buzzing, and I couldn't wait to get back to the studio and make something.

Much imagery at the Rauschenberg Foundation website here, including a book.
Wonderful SFMoMA Essays about Rauschenberg's work here.
By Sarah Roberts:
Essay about the white paintings here.
Essay about erased drawing here.
Essay about automobile tire print here.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Teaching and Learning

In the article, "Piano Lessons," in the March/April 2018 issue of Poets & Writers, Jim Sollisch states that "There's a difference between teaching and coaching" (25). His example, in summary, is how his young son had a gift for playing the piano, but for many years his enthusiasm was squashed by different teachers. His son just wanted to play, but the teachers insisted on starting in early with theory and technique, which turned him off. Finally, he found a jazz piano teacher, and gradually, as he played, the son wanted to learn more.

I think back to when I began teaching bookmaking and letterpress printing. As a younger teacher, I tried to insist on good technique, point out what could be improved. Some of my college students were ready for this, but I suspect most were not. When I worked as a specialist in an elementary school one spring, I noticed the opposite: that at the very beginner level, the lower grades, many of the teachers did not ask for correct spelling or grammar or perfect drawing, they only asked for the student's reaction, interpretation, or expression. 

Expression and technique. We tend to think of them on opposite sides. Are they? When do we insist on one or another? And when we do insist, are we teaching or coaching?

The context matters. If it is a class that the student has chosen freely, where no grades are given, the teacher just has to be sensitive to the student's needs and interests. If it is a graded course, a certain amount of technique is expected, a certain amount of creativity desired as well. But a sensitive teacher can only be helpful if s/he gains the student's trust. It's a reciprocal arrangement: the teacher must trust the student and the student must trust the teacher.

For a long time I did not comment on the content of my students' work. When you talk about content you are getting closer to personal feelings and taste, subjectivity, and risk. (A 2012 post about different kinds of students is here.If the student is fearful, feels vulnerable, or not interested, it may be that all a teacher can do is present technical steps. Technique is objective, and it can be defined, achieved, and measured; these terms are often used as business goals. The questions from the student's point of view are: What do I do? How might I do it? And how will you know?

Sollisch compares learning to a sport and writes, "You practice and then you learn. More accurately, you learn while doing." This is a reiteration of what artist, teacher, and color theorist Josef Albers wrote in his 1963 book, Interaction of ColorAlbers wrote that experience is the best way to learn, that practice comes before theory, theory being "the conclusion of practice" (Introduction. 1.). While true, practicing and learning only work if you are open to practicing and learning in the first place. Sometimes what you are practicing is not what you want to be learning, generally because it is assigned and is outside of you. And certain approaches to and kinds of practice will help you learn more than others. Albers encouraged radical experimentation in order to learn. While a good teacher is also a coach, a good teacher is primarily a guide. A good teacher is a guide to seeing, a synonym for understanding.

Ultimately, in all my teaching, graded or not, I was able to find a way to meet each student where they were. I could see when a student had trouble measuring or gluing or couldn't get their corners to align. I would either give pointers when asked or suggest other approaches. If they realized that books didn't seem to be what they wanted to do, I made accommodations and let them do a different project. To experiment as they needed. These students often had much to say and/or were extremely creative. Because creativity needs room to keep growing, I tended to be looser on my technical requirements for them. (A 2012 post about working with the personal and the painful is here.)

On the flip side, I also frequently had (primarily graphic design) students who were used to assignments—just as they would be if they had specifications from a client—and they were not comfortable expressing themselves as themselves at all. Sometimes they wouldn't even sign their work. Generally, these students were excited to hone their technique. I would press a little toward incorporating something personal, something that wasn't entirely comfortable to them, but I would not insist.

As we teach ourselves, I suspect we go back and forth between honing our technical abilities and nurturing our creativity. Give and take. Accept or push further. In some projects, technique may be stronger, in others, creativity may soar higher. Jackpot if we get both at once.

The word "teacher" can mean a variety of things. Perhaps in the beginning a person starts out as a teacher but becomes a coach. But another way of looking at it is that a teacher, through practice and experience, can emerge as a better teacher.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Tools: Water-based Markers and Pencils

Preface: I've always loved color and writing tools, but summer of 2016 got me back into pens when I taught a summer course at CCA, "Letter by Letter: Letterpress Printing and Handwritten Text." I researched what was hot in lettering art, taught myself a script with the brush pens, and posted about it here.

Recently, I needed to replace three Faber-Castell PITT artist pens, my go-to markers for drawing in regular and travel journals. But I strayed to the Winsor & Newton aisle, eyeing the colors of the watercolour (I'm going to be going in and out of American/British spelling, so hang on) markers. I would get just one. But which color? 

An interesting question: if you could get only one color of marking pen, which would you choose? For me, yellow is not versatile enough. Red too strong for me. Same for orange. Purple is, perhaps, predictable. Green would have to be dark and foresty, which I didn't see. A brown might be nice for a sepia-toned effect. Blue? Blue-gray? Ultimately, it was between blue and brown. I settled for Payne's Gray, a lovely color. Goodbye, six bucks.

Hello, watercolour pen. How and what do you do? You have two ends: rounded and brush. The ink flow is JUICY! They are pigmented and lightfast. What happens when we add the Niji Water Brush and use it for shading and gradations? This got me thinking about all the watercolor pens and pencils I already have. Watercolor pencils, my first love.  I experimented with the addition of the Caran D'ache Supracolor pencils. 

I also dug out my Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers (also round on one end, brush on the other) and their colorless blender. Some of the pens were a little dry or the tips not as crisp, but with the waterbrush, I would be able to smooth out the dry spots.

TOP, from left to right: Tombow with waterbrush; Tombow with blender; Caran D'ache pencils
BOTTOM: two colors of red from Tombow: 847 (more pinkish red); 845 (more warm orange-red). With these I just outlined the shape, then used the waterbrush.

If you want bright colors and not so much of the wash effect, the blender can work, but it's not really necessary if you have a waterbrush.

Sample colors
TOP: N25 (Payne's gray); N65 (light gray); 055 (bright yellow); 296 (green); 346 (bluer-green);452 (light blue)
MIDDLE: 535 (slightly greener-blue); 555 (blue); 636 (purple); 725 (hot pink); 845 (warm red); 847 (pinkish red)
BOTTOM: 879 (sepia); 990 (beige); 992 (taupe); 933 (orange); 993 (yellow-orange); N15 (black)

I did the lettering in the Winsor & Newton pen, the iris drawing with Tombow and waterbrush. The border outline is a Sakura Pigma Micron PN pen. The PN, polyester nib, pens have a better ink flow and tip than the regular Microns, similar in tip size to the .05. The blue-black is the same color as the W&N Payne's Gray. 

In all of these photos, you can see the buckling of the drawing paper; it's the sketch paper in my Canson black journal (from this previous post). For better results, use watercolor paper or watercolor postcards. But it should be noted that the Tombow pens are dye-based, which is not lightfast, so they are fine for illustration that is meant to be ephemeral or reproduced, not so good for fine art because they will fade.

The Tombow pens are also good for hand-coloring rubber stamps (in place of a stamp pad) before you stamp them. They wash off the stamp very easily. This is a weird little hand carved design. But see how you can spot color it?

Derwent Inktense acrylic water-soluble pencils. Very smooth. Blend well. Permanent when set (you can layer over them, too) and lightfast, I think.

Some water soluble crayons I forgot I had: Cretacolor metallic. Verrrrry crrrrreamy. Good for larger drawings, I think.

And what about the PITT brush pens? They are permanent, pigmented, and blend with each other. What about with the waterbrush? Nope. The dark green bled a tiny bit, but they are permanent, as advertised. I could not get the colors to budge.

The Winsor & Newton watercolour pens really are beautiful, permanent, and less expensive if you get them online. And many options to mix and match with other watercolor pens and pencils. 

Sakura Micron PN (black) | Micron PN (blueblack) | Micron .05 (black)
Winsor & Newton watercolour marker 465 (Payne's Gray
Derwent Intense (Ink Black) | Caran D'Ache Supracolor II Soft (black)
Tombow dual brush pen N25 (Payne's Gray)
Niji Waterbrush (medium)

It turns out the Winsor & Newton watercolour pen in Payne's Gray is perfect for shadows and outlining. Subtle.

Shadows. Subtlety. Sometimes it feels strange to think small and subtle when the rest of the world is shouting.