Michael Portillo

I enjoy watching Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys, based upon  Bradshaw’s Guide (which was first published in 1913). These programmes were screened on BBC TV in 2010. They remind me, to some extent, of some of John Betjeman’s poems. Anyway, I have made a pen and ink portrait of Michael Portillo and you can find this on the Sketch Pages of my Lewis Music website:

I will briefly mention a small technical matter while on the subject of art. For a long time I have been annoyed by the way India ink tends to feather or bleed on cartridge paper and even the more robust Bristol board. I had some correspondence with Windsor & Newton, the art materials suppliers, about this; they were very nice and sent me a fresh pot of their India ink, but the problem still remained. I shall call this problem the Bleeding Feather Syndrome (BFS will do as a suitable acronym).

I was heartened to discover, when Googling in an act of mild desperation, that there are other BFS sufferers out there. Indeed, I chanced upon a bit of chat in which possible cures were aired. Apparently, the trick is to find some good quality ink jet printing paper, preferably at 200 gsm or more. I hope to explore this solution in the near future. I should say that the problem arises only when using dip pens with India ink. I have used drawing pens from size 0.05 to 0.005 with no adverse effects. However, drawing pens lack the character and random blotchiness of a well-gunged dip pen.  

I must make some pastry for a celery tart. I’ll speak to you later, my dear blogophiles.

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