Alchemical Quill, No. 14



spinel, carbon, and cinnabar on paper

47.5 x 25 inches


Collaborative painting by Ian Boyden and Timothy C. Ely

Series: Alchemical Quills


One Monday, Tim Ely arrived at my studio with a great satchel.  I asked him what it contained.  He answered: “Oh, my favorite drafting tools, dividers, compasses, some of my favorite technical pens.” Addressing the satchel, I asked it what dreams it had brought along inside of Tim. Tim pulled out a gleaming stylus. I asked Tim, if he ever felt like he was the pen's tool. What if the strange marks he loves to make are actually the language of the pen itself? Tim answered by pulling out a bottle of ink. In preparation for Tim's visit, I had been working on some images of feathers, archetypal images of writing.  Following our conversation, I invited Tim to fill some of these feathers with his writing. We titled this rather Borgesian series Alchemical Quills.