One of the reasons I enjoy ‘on the spot’ sketching is that it takes away your options. No time to overthink, to decide if the composition is correct or to adjust light … you’ve got no choice but to swiftly sketch what you see. Blink and the moments gone. So when John Hall asked me if I’d sketch his shop on Shrewsbury High Street it was just a case of finding the time.
Write Here is one of the leading fountain pen shops in the UK, with an unmatched selection of fine and everyday pens including brands such as Visconti, Yard-o-Led, Lamy and Sailor Pens from Japan. They also stock stationery from Leuchtturm1917, Paperblanks and Crown Mill.
In documenting what you see acceptance plays a big part… I was chatting when a theatrical looking lady with an equally distinctive hat passed by. For the most part people were kitted out in Scarves, hats, hoodies and a surprising amount of ruck sacs. Some of my pens ran out of ink so I was forced to use a marker pen until ink was replenished, you can’t ask people to wait while you refuel. As is often the case ‘mistakes’ or unintentional events can prove to be the making of a drawing. I did manage to capture an array of characters out shopping on this sunny / chilly Saturday in February. Holed up in the ‘Write Here’ shop window facing inwards I had a nice little spot and a warm cup of tea, access to some of the best pens and paper… what more could a sketcher ask for.
Initially I was worried that sketching people browsing in a shop would prove more tricky than my usual coffee house … where quite often people remain relatively still for a moment or two. It was a pleasant surprise to discover people hover over the card section at ‘Write Here’ for some time … smiling, laughing and sharing the cards with the person stood next to them. There was a repetitive process of taking the card off the shelf smiling, turning it over and passing it to a friend. This gave me a warm fuzzy feeling knowing some of the cards were from the ‘Cherie did this’ range.
I had taken my own selection of Lamy pens, at present I’m enjoying Lamy Joy with the 1.1mm nib because the nib makes slightly heavier lines plus the long shape of the pen is nice to hold and sketch with. John who owns ‘Write Here’ also entrusted me with Sailor King of Pens with the Eagle nib (Kiwi Guru) which was an amazing experience. I also used my Molotow water brush on occasion. Having used all my paper I switched to Clairefontaine (sold at Write Here) Graf it 90g… I will definitely be using this paper again.