April 17, 2015 - "From One Artist to Another"
It was October, and I was a high school sophomore at the time. I lived in Orlando, Florida - but my family was in Connecticut for my Grandfather's (my mother's father) funeral, which took place at the very end of September. We were in Connecticut for a couple of weeks, and it was not a particularly happy time at all.
One day, close to my birthday, my brother Peter takes me away from all of the busy-ness that was going on at the family house in Norwalk. We went out for lunch together... and then he told me we had a stop to make. We ended up in Darien, at a Koenig Art Emporium (an art supply store). Peter seemed to know the people who worked there (I assume that they were the owners) quite well. He started pulling things off of shelves: Drawing Pencils... Sketchbooks... Erasers... Blending Stumps... a black Portfolio case, etc.. He seemed to know exactly what he wanted... and exactly where everything was. Then he approached the counter and asked to see a set of drawing pens that were on a shelf behind the register.
The pens were beautiful! It was a set of seven Staedtler MarsMatic 700 ink drawing pens, that were so much nicer than the cheaper Rapidograph ink pens we used in our high school art classes. They were marked as being on sale for a mere $96.00. Peter said "We'll take these too." and piled everything together on the counter.
I don't remember how much it all came to... I believe it was a couple-hundred dollars worth of art supplies. He paid... they handed him the bags... and he handed them to me, saying "Happy Birthday".
I was in shock! I had assumed that we were there buying supplies that he needed for some art job he was working on or something. I never in a million years thought that he was shopping for me! Heck, with all of the sadness surrounding my Grandfather's passing the fact that my birthday was coming up just wasn't on my mind. I remember giving him a huge hug and thanking him and him saying "You're welcome, Bro!".
I started using the supplies as soon as I could. I remember walking in to school with my new portfolio and pens for the first time... and other kids in the art class were a bit in awe. I'm not going to lie... it felt pretty freakin' good!
The pencils and sketchbooks and erasers and blending stumps are all long gone now. They were used to the fullest. The black portfolio case and the Staedtler pens, however, remain. They've been used countless times. I still use the portfolio to transport my photos when I participate in photo competitions with the Candlewood Camera Club. The Staedtler pens are kept in their original plastic case... within their original cardboard box... which still has the price tag on it from all of those years ago. It has been a while since I've used them... but I can't even begin to tell you how many drawings and tattoo designs they've been used for over the past 24 years!
They are a cherished possession... from one artist to another.
(Just one of the many drawings I did with those pens. This one if from my Junior year of high school in Orlando.)