​​​​​PICK PIECES   The Ballpointer staff choose the artwork and let the artist explain it in their own words   Vol 3 No 8  posted October 3, 2016

Jonathan Madeja

Quezon City, Philippines

The Dream Food  

(Kain Tayo Sa Labas )  

2016 ・ 20 x 30'' (50 x 76.2cm)

ballpoint pen on paper 

Lennie Mace, 1984   New York, New York

STARPOINTS  by K. Rie  posted February 5, 2016

All but the keenest viewers may have missed the many ballpoint pen cameos on screens big and small over the years. Ballpoints are regulars in Hollywood productions, and not just as set dressing... 

Pensive Performances

With Hollywood's awards season reaching its peak, I offer this year's nominations for Best Ballpoint in a Supporting Role in an Academy Award-winning motion picture

  It's hard to top an institutionalized Angelina Jolie antagonizing hospital staff by pointing the business end of a ballpoint pen at her own neck in Girl, Interrupted, which won Jolie a Supporting ActressOscar and my own vote for Best Supporting Ballpoint Pen in a Dramatic Role last year
    Ballpoint pens, and doodling, continue showing up in many Academy Award-winning films. None as dramatic as Jolie's, but there they are, if only for mere seconds of screen time. In these instances, Warhol's proverbial ''15 minutes'' of fame are closer to 15 seconds; often 15ths of one second...

Peter Ross   Hong Kong

2015  PICKS  page archive MENU

FEB2015~NOV2015click the BALLPOINTER graphic (left) to access the full 2015 menu

Pepe Lozano   Cordoba, Spain

​​​​​​​Choy-Ping Clarke-Ng

Dublin, Ireland

​​Yellow Feral Bisexual 

July 29, 2016・59.4 x 84.1cm (24 x 34'')  

ballpoint pen, pencil, ink on paper

''I really like self-portraits. All of my favourite artists used them as a way to explore and represent themselves—Kahlo, Van Gogh, Dürer, to name a few. They are also a challenge. Apparently it'd be impossible to recognize yourself if you saw yourself on the street. This is because of the distorted image we have of ourselves—for better or worse.

I initially planned to have a dragon curled around me with her head at my feet—but this piece was for a competition and the rules stated "no pets." So, I decided to focus on my love for plants. Half are native to Ireland and half to Hong Kong—my two distant homes. I wanted there to be a strict divide between the varieties, but as (more) plans went askew, I started squeezing things in anywhere. Looking back it makes more sense: I myself am not two halves.

My parents are gemologists, so I've been lucky enough to grow up seeing a lot of fantastic gems—this might explain why they're jutting out of my skin. The final little touch is a halo. It's a dig at all that old Christian art that I find horrifically boring. I'm also definitely not a saint in the Irish Catholic sense—and it's fun to revel in that sometimes''

Contact:  website or email

Artwork © Choy-Ping Clarke-Ng 

Andrey Poletaev   Lugansk, Ukraine

PICKS PAGE ARCHIVES2016:  Read about these artworks in the artists' own words in The Ballpointer PICKPIECE archives. Click on the artwork to see their PICKPIECES.

Shirish Deshpande   Belgaum, India

Original content © The Ballpointer / Mahozawari Unlimited

''I'm not good in English but I'll try to explain my drawing. My own idea. This drawing is all about the poverty in my country. The boy it's me, I represent all people in my country suffering a poverty situation. The tattoo in the body is no house, no education, and no food. The object inside the stomach is a popular fast food here in the Philippines. Not to all person, can't afford''

''kain tayo sa labas, kadalasang bukang bibig ng nakararami sa aming bayan, bayang busog sa kaunlaran ngunit gutom ang karamihan, katagang madalas lumabas sa bibig ng  mga may laman ang bulsa, ngunit marami parin ang naghihintay ng pagkaing tiratira, upang ang sigaw ng sikmura ay maibsan sa aming bayan na walang pakialam sa mga kagaya Kong uhaw at gutom sa sinasabi nilang kaunlaran ng aking bayan''     

Additional information

Artwork © Jonathan Madeja 

Matt Rota   Brooklyn, New York

Chen Zhen   Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Eric Seaholm   Tokyo, Japan

James Mylne, 1999   London, England

Fargo  1996  ''a film by Joel & Ethan Coen''
William H. Macy as Jerry Lundegaard, a guilty party with an inquisitive police chief showing up on his doorstep, is shown nervously doodling. This is doodling at its basest form; thoughtless hand movements, often embellishing something already printed; in this case, onto his ''I heart GOLF'' memo pad using what appears to be a classic Birome ballpoint. In his nervous, repetitive strokes you can almost hear the ''oh dear, oh dear, what to do, what to do'' panic or denial of pending trouble. Macy's Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor was one of seven for the film. Macy didn't win but Frances McDormand did (Best Actress) and so did the Coen brothers (Best Writing/Original Screenplay). 
    Any film portraying both the genius and banality of doodling is worthy of a nomination if only for keeping the artistic or autistic passions, obsessions, or nervous tendencies of amateur doodlers or wanted felons alive

 Read more K. Rie  STARPOINTS on the CULTURED  page.


M.I. Shaikh   Mumbai, India

    Since 2014

Guy Woodard   New York, New York

Shane McAdams   Wisconsin / Brooklyn

Rain Man  1988  director: Barry Levinson 
Dustin Hoffman as ''idiot savant '' Raymond Babbitt is shown doodling in a hotel room during a cross country drive with brother Charlie (Tom Cruise), who is effectively holding him for ransom. 
   ''Rain Man'' Hoffman is using what might be a felt tip or magic marker to sketch some of his experiences on-the-road, but close within reach can be seen ballpoint pens, one or two Papermate pens, identifiable in a glass and pocket protector on the tabletop. That means somewhere in one of those spiral notebooks of his are undoubtedly some strokes of ballpoint savantism. The film won four Oscars, including Best Actor for doodling Dustin...

Dave Warshaw   San Diego, California

Pepe Lozano   Cordoba, Spain

Lennie Mace   Tokyo, Japan

Gareth Edwards   Stourbridge, England

A Year in The Pen  The Ballpointer  Nov 2014 - Nov 2015   PICKS  of the Litter 2015