News, Reviews & Coverage of the Artists using Ballpoint Pens, the Artwork They Create, the Tools They Employ & Other Equally Newsworthy but Overlooked Art & Cultural Topics, Worldwide.
Dave Warshaw San Diego, California
Allan Barbeau Dublin, Ireland
Ralvin Dizon Pampanga, Philippines
Scott Mackie Aberdeen, Scotland
Art: Upper Paleolithic Ballpointer 2014 ballpoint on paper ©The Ballpointer
Missing The Ball Point
EDITORIAL by R. Bell originally posted October 27, 2014
Dimes-to-donuts there's a ballpoint pen within reach of you right now. Reliable friends, always there when you need them; on standby to scratch a Hitler mustache onto The President or blacken the teeth of the covergirl dujour. Your grade-school composition books were probably filled with more stream-of-conscious creative filler than actual studies. But this proletarian tool is no longer just for signing checks, writing postcards or doodling sweet nothings.
The origins of ballpoint artwork echo the humble origins of art itself. Caveman roots; the universal, instinctive urge to create. For some, an irresistible force; to express oneself, to leave one's mark, to teach, using whatever tools are available. All that's necessary is the will to do so, pressed by a bit of creative curiosity, aided by ingenuity. "Let's see what happens when i do this." Galleries, museums and art critics enter the equation much later.
There you sit, a dozen-thousand years later, surfing through the daily barrage of "viral" news. A headline grabs you: "Starving Artist Illustrates The Bible on his Bedroom Wall Using Ballpoint Pen." Well, "starving artist" doesn't mean much anymore; with the amount of aspiring artists art schools churn out every year its a miracle anyone goes onto a career. "Illustrating the Bible"? Hasn't that already been accomplished in any number of formats any number of times in any number of languages? "On his bedroom wall"? Children cover walls with masterpieces daily, to their parent's dismay, worldwide. And the "ballpoint pen"? Now, there's a story, right? Well…
News outlets worldwide still report about artwork created using ballpoint pens as if, in the half-century since its invention, the pens have never been given any artistic consideration. Prior to the advent of the internet and social media, their ignorance could be forgiven. Nowadays ballpointers are everywhere, in every corner of the world, and the so-called ballpoint "Wow Factor" in and of itself carries less weight. The internet and social media are these days awash with ballpoint art blogs of every stripe, although with varying content. Ballpoint art classes may already be part of a curriculum somewhere. But the birth of the internet didn't mark the beginnings of ballpoint innovation; if anything, it merely serves as proof of how commonplace it has become, or how it has been all along ・・・
PICKSARCHIVE The Ballpointer staff choose the artwork and let the artist explain it in their own words posted April 2, 2015
Yodomi TV Stage 2014・16 x 12'' (41 x 31cm)・ballpoint pen and sumi ink on paper・artwork © Ryusei Ichimaru
''It took around 2 months, completed in November, 2014. I drew rough outlines in pencil, then in ballpoint pen. If I had 2 or 3 hours free time, I'll work on it. Sometimes I'll get home at 8pm and draw until around 9am next morning. Not pro artist, I'm making artwork and working a job separately, making artwork after work, so it depends on my condition. When I feel good I draw. When I don't feel good I don't draw. The ballpoint pen I'm using is "Uni-ball signo 0.28". I almost always use this ballpoint pen. I used one pen on this artwork. After that I used sumi ink on shadows. The balance was good.
About this image, a man watching TV. TV showing the foolishness of the world, a machine to laugh at peoples' foolishness. The stagnation (yodomi ) of the world is reflected. Someday you can't think your own thoughts. More than a human life, it's the life of a machine. Development of civilization makes people regress, the world gradually becomes a folly. So this man here watching TV is indeed foolish, too. I often feel like drawing about the foolishness of people. But on the other hand, wanting to show an exciting world is also on my mind. I think our imagination grows by excitement. Your own brain and heart grows. Everyday without thinking, people even throw away things they should think about. But if their imagination grows even a little bit, "what shall I do, what's my purpose, if things stay this way what will happen," I think they can realize many things. When I draw pictures blaming people for foolishness or when I draw imaginative worlds and exciting pictures, I draw them with the same feeling. I want people to realize "something is off". I am very happy if someone is moved by my art''・
Girl With Flowers 2015
11 x 16'' (27.2 x 39.3cm)・ballpoint pen on paper
artwork © Ler Huang
''The concept comes from “Double exposure” (or ”mullti-exposure”). I got the inspiration from the special technique in photography, to make a multi image shown in one photo. Because I really love this photographic technique and being experimenting and creative challenge, I tried to use that in my drawings to interpret woman and flowers. It really came out as a new style and a unique feeling when I combine them together, a unique aesthetic overlap.
In this art piece, the flower is Chrysanthemum, which is my mother’s favorite flower. The blue one represents calm and circumspection, the orange one represents warm and kindness, and the red one represents giving and care.
Most of people love the flower in blossom rather than in withering. Although the flower is withering, it is the moment that it begins to grow the next generation. Few people notice that, but it’s the most honorable period! I couldn’t describe the touching moment in words, so I just drew it. I briefly sketched by pencil, then lightly color with colored ballpoint pens. Orange color, blue, dark blue, red, pink. Finally I use O Kin Kon ballpoint pens to draw all details and deep shadows. It took 3 days to complete this art craft, completion date February 10, 2015'' ・
PENNAME ARCHIVE by O. Lebron posted October 27, 2014
Merry Christmas 2004 ballpoint on paper 62x43cm © Serhiy Kolyada
Since 2014・Volume 4
View more PICK PIECES and read about these artworks in the artists' own words in The Ballpointer PICKPIECE archives. Click on the artwork to see their PICKPIECES.
Ryusei Ichimaru Tokyo, Japan