Ellen Cornett

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Early in February I began to notice some tingling and numbness in my fingertips. Over time it spread to my up my hands and into my forearms. After visiting my doctor, some pt and massage, it seems to be a pinched nerve that will, in time, resolve itself. 


In the meantime, though, one of the triggers for the discomfort is holding my arm in front of my chest as I do when working at my easel. Oh. That's a problem.


But when one door closes another opens... blah, blah, blah. 


I seemed to be pretty comfortable drawing at my work table. Scale is everything, and the extra soft vine charcoal I had been using at my easel feel too clumsy for tabletop drawing. In casting about for alternatives, I came on carbon pencils. Like graphite pencils, they are graded from soft to hard, but they are matte black like charcoal. And with a good sharpener, it's possible to get a very fine point on them. They are well-suited to smaller scale work, and I can get a great range of values with them.


Sometimes I get really lucky--this has been one of them. I began creating small pictures out of necessity, and find myself now in the middle of a series of drawings. There is absolutely nothing better, and since I began these smaller drawings, one has flowed into the next with such ease and joy. I feel full of ideas and have had little time for much besides drawing and teaching since early April. 


Hoping to continue the flow, and going off now to start some sketches for the third blind mouse.

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