James Gurney opens his bag, reveals Waterman Phileas

Boing Boing seems to be making a regular series out of its “What’s in my bag?” feature, and the newest one offers a nice little nod to fountain pen enthusiasts.

James Gurney, creator of the Dinotopia series and a well-known artist, opens up his personal bag for a look inside. Along with his paint brushes, a clip-on LED light, a Swiss Army knife and a pocket watch, Gurney also carries a blue Waterman Phileas.

(The Phileas is a beginner’s fountain pen that retails for about US$50, and is generally considered a decent pen for the price. Julie at the Whatever blog reviewed the Phileas Waterman last year when she received one as a gift, and gave it passing marks.)

Waterman Phileas Blue Medium Point Fountain Pen

It’s possible Gurney started carrying the Phileas in his Black Diamond waist pack after a fountain pen accident he blogged about a couple years ago.

Just heard a scream from the laundry room upstairs. Looks like I left my fountain pen in a load of whites. It busted up and bled in the spin cycle. Now we’ll be walking around covered in strange brown spots.

If you are interested in which inks and refills are available for this pen then check out our Complete Guide to Waterman Refills for more info.

Gurney uses fountain pens in his artwork, sometimes for a technique that involves blurring the pen line by using a marker or waterbrush on it.

In case you aren’t familiar with his work, you definitely should check out Dinotopia, a series of books about a lost island where people and dinosaurs live together. James Gurney’s art has appeared in numerous museums, including two pieces at the Jules Verne Museum in France, and he’s travelled around North Africa sketching and painting with sci-fi writer Alan Dean Foster.

In this video, Gurney finishes a sketch of a Berber vendor in Morocco and hands the man a fountain pen to sign his name at the bottom. It’s hard to tell, but it looks like it could be the same Waterman Phileas he carries in his bag.

Do any of you carry a bag like this? And if you do, what’s in it?

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Tony Bridges

As a seasoned journalist and freelance writer, I've spent over three decades telling stories and exploring the world through the written word. With a passion for writing instruments, I found my niche at The Pen Vibe, a blog that shares our collective fascination with pens, pencils, and other tools that have shaped the art of writing.

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