Black Page 66

Description of work

'Using pen and ink (Rotring isograph .25) because being fascinated by the technical skill and elegance of 18th & 19th c. engravers, I decided to draw the Black Page as a homage to them. Closely crosshatched engraved lines were used to describe the darkest tones in an image, for which I substituted pen lines in ink. I knew it would be more or less boring, but "I can be as anal as the next man," I boasted to myself. I tried to observe my surface feelings with yogic detachment.
Initial excitement at the concept and minor technical hurdles gave way to workmanlike pride which slid into irritation and self-doubt at my initial decision. Should it have been a bold single brushstroke applied with Whistleresque mastery?
Eventually the inanity and tedium of laying one line as close as possible to the last crushed my impotent fury and I became a slave to the process. My concentration seemed to increase and there were even flashes of a sort of pleasure - emanating I suppose from the most perverse part of my psyche.
Nearing the end I wondered - what if I died immediately on finishing the last line? Would it be a fitting or even hilarious epitaph and elegy to my work?
Would it engender general pity and esteem ---- would passersby, stopping to cast a look at it walk on and sigh,
Alas, poor *****!'