Sunday, March 17, 2013

Whitelines and Samurai

Last weekend, my son and his friend accompanied me to the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH to see Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armor Exhibit.

It was really interesting and rather puzzling - as any exploration of another culture tends to be. I am still wondering over the absolutely terrifying mask and helmet that featured a rice bowl and chopsticks, in the middle of the forehead...? Perhaps the first lunchbox? (Or Bento box, actually).

In my past, I used to enjoy visiting museums and sketching the cool, ancient artworks. It has been such a long time, I wasn't sure I would get the chance, but these kids wandered off without me... to discuss - gosh, I can't even remember the big words anymore. No matter. I found a very cool, creepy headdress to sketch. Planted myself firmly in front of it as to cause as much annoyance to other viewers as possible. And drew...

... in my new notebook.

I think I may be in love.

But I am already thinking of ways I would improve it...

I had heard about the Whitelines series of notebooks - very cool idea... the paper is very pale gray and the lines are... you guessed it... they are white lines. They don't interfere with your words and drawings the way that black lines do. A few weeks ago, I stumbled across the notebooks on and not only can I not resist a great deal when it's on something I actually want, but they had these uber-cool-super-geeky-new-notebooks called Whitelines Link. Same notebooks, but with special little squares on the corners that allow you to use a (free) app to photograph the page on your iPhone. Big Whoop? Mmmhmmm. But it takes the photograph, automatically squares up the page, removes any lines or grids from the background, AND will pop it into your Evernote or whatever account. Yes, of COURSE I ordered one!

I tested it out at the Samurai exhibit. I used a black PaperMate ball-point pen, yes, the cheapy kind - it's my favorite drawing pen, and this Whitelines Link notebook.

Here is my original sketch, as photographed by my iPhone:

And here is what the Whitelines Link app captured and emailed to me:

I was impressed that it picked up many of the finer lines - and eliminated the background. Interesting shift in color, but I remember a science fair project from Middle School that explained how the ink in black ball-point pens, and felt-tip pens, is actually composed of many different ink colors. I should make a color sampler and see how that compares when photographed...

As I was getting the link for the exhibit to paste up above,  I noticed they have the actual mask that I sketched, on the website!

These samurai must have been truly terrifying! Up close, you could see that they actually have razor-like silver teeth. Nowadays, they are tarnished and black, but imagine them new - and flashing ferociously in the sun as this fellow charges straight for you! (I apologize ahead of time for the nightmares...)

Speaking of nightmares. Well, dreams actually. I have a fantasy of a dream calendar, notebook App thingy. If any of you readers are techies,, or know someone who is, please pass them my idea. It will make them rich, and me - very happy in my OCD way.

This is my calendar. I use a Moleskine journal that has a weekly calendar on the left page and a notebook page on the right. This works for me - I have to be able to write things out and make sketches, etc. with an actual pen on paper. But I am also a tech-geek. I want an app that will take a picture of this... mess... and auto-magically put the events and times in my Mac calendar, and the notes into Evernote and the people and phone numbers into Address Book. OMG. And I use the little stickers to keep track of when and how long I exercise. I want that on my computer and iPhone too!
OK - let me know when it's ready to download. ;-)


  1. nice information. Thank you for sharing it. Thanks Packers Movers

  2. That is a very cool and wind-inducing mask! Personally i need to be a lot more techno-geeky, I'm still trying to work out my ancient cell phone....

  3. What an innovative product! Thank you for testing it out and reporting your finds. I simply must order one of these notebooks! I love your sketch...who knew a PaperMate would be a famous illustrator's pen of choice?! Your photo of the samurai mask and headdress looks like something that needs to be in a Dr. Who episode. (Which is something I say with great admiration, as Dr. Who is our current family obsession.) That exhibit sounds like a great way to spend the day with your son. Even if you didn't actually experience the museum together, I'm sure you had lots to talk about afterward.

  4. Aren't those whitelines notebooks the most fabulous items. I have several. They make drawing a new tangle much easier for me when "space" between, below, above.... is an issue. Once I am familiar with what I "should" be drawing and where, I can transfer my drawing of the pattern to the truly blank space of my tile or journal. I have a small one that looks like it has been thru a battle, which I carry with me almost everywhere. It is my reminder book. I have drawn my favorite tangles (and some not so favorite) in it and when I require inspiration for a blank space, its with me. It's full to the brim and I hate to think about having to carry two. Thanks for sharing all your insights...

  5. I realized that I did get to experience a bit of the exhibit with the kids. There was a huge, amazing, illustrated screen. The description mentioned the leader had a dragon helmet and red underwear... or something like that! Anyway, the three of us searched the screen for half an hour, but couldn't find him. It was like "Where's Waldo" - very frustrating - we were so determined! But we did see a lot of other interesting characters. The screen was like an ancient comic book - every single person had different details and was engaged in different activities. And some had the funniest expressions!

    1. I followed your exhibit link and was really impressed with the International Art and Artists website. I'd never heard of it. I was able to find out that this Samurai exhibit will be coming to Birmingham, AL this summer...Yessssss! Perhaps I'll get a chance to take my kids and see it for myself! It's a 4-hour drive. That's do-able, right?! There were lots of exhibits that looked interesting, so I will have to spend some time exploring that website and the various exhibit touring schedules. Another THANK YOU to you, Sandy!

  6. Thank you for sharing your experience with Whitelines Link and your fantastic drawings!

  7. OK, I want the sketchbook and the app too (after someone creates it). Thanks so much for posting about the whiteline book...what a clever idea. Love your site!

  8. Just got my notebooks and can't wait to get to drawing in them. I think I'm really going to love them.

  9. I think what you want has already been invented. Except for the weekly calendar. Although it seems like a hassle to have to photograph what you wrote!

  10. Very useful information. Thank you for sharing it. Thanks 99th



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