Tuesday, 19 January 2016

My Moleskine and Parker addition

I have a couple of brand names I'm absolutely crazy about - two of them are Moleskine Notebooks and Parker Pens. There is nothing more satisfying than jotting down notes or making sketches in one of the incredible Moleskine note books with an incredible Parker pen or pencil. The inter-action between pen and paper inspires the senses like no other for me and creativity seems to spring forth like a fountain.

Just packing all my Moleskine Notebooks in a certain order on the shelf gets my creative juices flowing and can lead to re-decoration of the whole room to display them more prominently or spark an idea for the next sketch.

A Parker Esprit pencil sketch in one of my Moleskine notebooks

I got my first Moleskine in 2005 when I commented on a family member's lovely note book (her name is Antoinette) and she duly pulled a new one out of her handbag and presented it to me as a gift. I've been hooked ever since! It goes everywhere with me and although I am also a total technology and gadget freak, nothing satisfies like putting pen to paper.

"A man's penmanship is an unfailing index of his character, moral and mental, and a criterion by which to judge his peculiarities of taste and sentiments." - 4th Earl of Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope, in "Letters to His Son by the Earl of Chesterfield on the Fine Art of Becoming a Man of the World"

Moleskine is the legendary notebook used by European artists and thinkers for the past two centuries, from Van Gogh to Picasso, from Ernest Hemingway to Bruce Chatwin. The notebooks come in various colours (I prefer the black, and it's leather bound to boot) and sizes and have a bound cover with rounded corners and an elastic closure. An expandable inner pocket made of cardboard and cloth in the back of the note book contains the Moleskine history. It's such a nifty idea, I sometimes even put a couple of ten rand notes in there in case I need a cold drink on one of my walks. The acid free paper pages are thread bound. The various formats come as ruled, squared, plain, address book, sketchbook, memo pockets, info book, storyboard notebook, Japanese Album, music notebook and water colour notebook. Needless to say, I have several of each!

Some of my Moleskine sketch and note books ...

I use my Moleskine note books for various applications - sketching in pencil or ink, to-do-lists, water colour paintings, one for notes on what my students will be doing in their next art class, I use one as a Gratitude Journal (jotting my daily gratitudes), one for my inner-most thoughts (carefully hidden from prying eyes!) and a few more for whatever...

Some watercolour sketches from my Moleskine sketch books. The sketch books contain 200gsm watercolour pages - size 8" x 5" :

W&N watercolour

Black ink Parker pen sketch in Moleskine 200gsm sketch book
W&N watercolour and acrylic in Moleskine 200gsm sketch book

As for Parker pens - fountain, ball point and pencils - these are all neatly lined up in various boxes - some cardboard, some silver with velvet lining, some clear, brightly-coloured modern plastic or metal - and sorted into categories of black, gold, stainless steel, different sizes of pencil leads, etc. (do I detect a bit of OCB here?) A new acquisition sparks un-packing and re-packing of the collection and normally leads to starting a new to-do-list (just to 'try out' the pen!) and a couple of sketches.

My love affair with Parker pens started when I was 7, when my father gave me a Stainless Steel Parker pen as a birthday present. This was followed by a request for a pen or pencil every birthday, but money wasn't full up in those days and my collection grew slowly. After college, way back in 1966, as soon as I got my first pay cheque, a Parker was at the top of the list of "must have's". It was a beautiful, plain Stainless steel Parker, which ate up a big chunk of my salary, and which was my favourite for many years, but unfortunately got stolen about 4 years ago. I wish that person as many happy writing hours as I had with it.

I found this quote on the internet : "There is a fine line between dreams and reality; it's up to you to draw it."



  1. Wat ek hier wil skryf kan ek net in Afrikaans sê: dis die mooiste storie ooit!! Ek deel jou liefde vir pen en papier. Ek verstaan ten volle wat jy beleef as jy in een van jou lieflike notaboeke skryf. Hierdie blog is die grootste inspirasie en ek gaan dikwels hier kom inloer! As ek jou moes punte gee hiervoor, sou jy 'n A++ kry! Dankie dat jy jou passies so deel Maree!

    1. Liz, jou woorde is 'n riem onder die hart vir my! Baie dankie vir die A++ Juffrou en dankie dat jy kom inloer het! xxx