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  1. So in my head under the banner "violet" you have those tending blue and those tending red (plus a lot of strange words such as mauve and purple whose meaning seems hard to pin down exactly?). Rohrer & Klingner's Scabiosa was and is my first love. I have always been fascinated by how the fresh ink goes down blue-violet then dries to red-violet, which echoes so many flower aging processes besides its namesake, but also a little disapointed that the original color is, to me, more attractive than the end result. In my first go through an inky color wheel I had Blue Myotosis and Diamine Tyrian Purple in the blue and red violet slots. With more experience, I have started to distinguish paint colors (which can be pure and bright for mixing) from ink colors (which I prefer darker and more subdued for general writing). Time to look at those violets again? On my first go at seeing what I had I was surprised to find that I seem to be buying inks in the "mid-violet" range over and over, even though in my head blue-violet is preferred. I had full size bottles of Scabiosa (including one in reserve!), Sailor Chu Shu and Birmingham Lilac Wind, all of which were really quite similar. I enjoy Robert Oster's Summer Storm (which I have renamed "Soft Snow of Australia", as for me it is a Winter ink), but either side of this central band was really rather weak. Back to the ink stores I go! After a rather nerve-wracking choice of Robert Oster's Sydney Lavender and Claret to fill the slots. Heres what the first splodgy page looked like (the left edge being Summer Storm, Sydney Lavender & Claret.): OK - so these scans are horribly inaccurate compared to my eyes, but hopefully they do show the relative differences. A simple initial arrangement of a sequence of five: Which, once my sample of Violet Starling arrived, is expanded as follows: . . . . with a finer nib: . . . so the blue and the red ends seem clear, it's those middle four that are subtle: . . . which is a particularly ghastly scan, presumably through its lack of contrast, to my eyes everything is much pinker, but the relative values are correct. Back to my original thesis then, here's a final three: Obviously this is not intended to be exhaustive or comprehensive, just my own personal choices in digging at a general theme. I would love to hear (and see examples!) of other inks in each of these three adjacent color areas (or other systems for dividing them up).
  2. Bluebells, forget-me-nots & periwinkles? I must admit I have never really used blue ink - if I'm going to spend this much money on the stuff I'd rather stand out a bit (nothing ostentatious mind, all, hopefully, in good taste!), but it's really been creeping into my palette this Spring. I rather like this "dappled woodland" look! For me though, there aren't many blues that make a mark used individually, but in combinations like this you can start to see the nuances? Here's a version with the words alongside: "Soft Snow" = of Australia = Robert Oster Summer Storm (works for me as a Winter ink!) The numbers are Kobe's Full Birmingham titles: Allegheny Courthouse Justice Blue Allegheny Observatory Celestial Blue (here in a super extra-fine nib - actually a dark blue a la "Sherlock Holmes"?) Rachael Carson Silent Spring (but I prefer "Rachel's Silence"!)

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