Wednesday, May 29, 2002 5:16 PM

I'm on my way out to the art store to get a new Rapidograph {or its like}, since my old one is all dry. I was explaining to my husband how I need to take the pen apart, run it under hot water while keeping a careful eye out for any teeny parts that might end up down the drain, and hope that would do the trick. If not, I'd need to run out and go shopping for a new one. He said to buy a couple of spares first so that I could get started as soon as I got home, and clean the old pen later; and then he said, very seriously: "The quality or availability of your art supplies should not be keeping you from making good art. Go out and get your pens." Well, of course. This is why he is the entrepeneur extraordinaire; I would have spent half the night trying to clean out an ancient pen or seeing what markers I had that might pass muster, instead of doing it right the first time. I can picture a split-screen in my mind: on the left, frustrated and ink-splattered Elena is washing out a pen with a 000 nib to no avail. Then she runsrunsruns around the studio, trying out markers, desperately wanting them to be waterproof, knowing they weren't last night but hoping something magical happened between then and now that will make them work this time. At 9pm, she runs to the art store and is too tired to do any work when she gets back..... On the right side of the screen: Elena, happily drinking tea and with The Simpsons on in the background {don't laugh this is how I work}, is inking and painting up a storm. Her biggest problem is remembering not to dunk the brush in the tea. Of course he's right; I just was {wrongly} obsessed with the idea of cleaning my pen rather than actually doing work. I could choose the right side of the screen every time if only I would plan a little.

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