Monday Matchup #55: Noodler’s Ahab Flex- Navajo with Noodler’s Navajo Turquoise

Parental wisdom has it that if your child is crabby, you should put them in water. Parents know that bath time can turn a tantrum into peaceful play time. But does this wisdom still apply as we get older? Our problems get bigger — we’re not crying over spilled milk but instead struggling with work disappointments, relationship issues, or money woes. Perhaps our water needs to get bigger, too.

Madigan dives us into the sea, drawing inspiration from the swirling blues in the Noodler’s Ahab Flex- Navajo and Noodler’s Navajo Turquoise and an EE Cummings quote.  Cummings espouses finding ourselves in the sea. What better place to let our problems drift away and rediscover our resolve and purpose than in that salty tumultuous mass?

Perhaps the sea is too far for you… a quick dip in the local pool is sometimes enough. And of course, a good ink wash can never hurt!

Noodler’s Ahab Flex Fountain Pen – Navajo is available at for $20 while Noodler’s Navajo Turquoise in a 3oz Bottle is available for $12.50, or an ink sample for $.99. 

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

2017-10-11T14:01:20+00:00 July 6th, 2015|Monday Matchup|15 Comments
  • Kathy

    Madigan, this might be my favorite Monday Matchup. I absolutely love it, and it resonates deeply with me. I am a scuba diver, and underwater I feel so at peace, so relaxed and so near God. The quote is quite personal. The Noodler's Navajo Turquoise is exquisite. It really looks like you've used more than one ink; the color variation is wonderful. How do you keep the white lettering white–do you write it in wax first? Just curious. Thanks again for sharing your incredible talent!

  • Madigan

    Hi Kathy! Thanks so much! This is may be my favorite one I've done as well. I'd had the idea in my head for awhile, but you never know exactly how it will turn out. I couldn't believe the color variation! It's such a gorgeous ink. I outlined the letters and then did an ink wash, leaving the letters as the negative space. Since I used water color paper, the ink bled into the white space a a little bit giving it that bubble look.

    I'm so glad this resonated with you- I'm also a scuba diver! 🙂

  • Tom Johnson

    Wow, that makes three of us! I have not dived in over 20 years but used to dive a lot, co-started a local dive club, and dove in the Keys, lakes, with Manatees, ponds, quarries, and a nuclear reactor (pool reactor). Kathy is so right, I felt at peace, like in another world, so relaxed and near to God. This is just beautiful Madigan! I always think "this is the best so far", every Monday, when I see such beauty.

  • Kathy

    What a great coincidence. Three scuba divers in this comment section! I've never been in a nuclear reactor….wow! That's quite an experience! I have been in plenty of quarries, ponds and lakes, though. Of course, nothing beats salt water….which leads to an ink question. We know the beautiful color of the water in the Keys and the Caribbean. Which ink most closely matches that perfect color? I think I'll buy a case of it! Noodler's Navajo Turquoise, as diluted, is a contender, but straight out of the bottle? What do y'all think?

  • Tom Johnson

    Kathy, it has been so many years since I went diving on beautiful reefs, I can't really remember the color that much. I think it should have some green tint to it. Never got to dive in the Caribbean, though I had friends who did. I think a blue with some aquamarine to it. I do remember when we went deep and the reds and yellows filtered out of the spectrum the light turned a grayish blue, like a twilight maybe. It lost everything but shades of blue-gray. That was at 60 to 90 feet. I preferred the reefs at 20 to 40 feet with all the life and color. I do remember the mustard color of fire coral and the burning and itching later from it!! Don't think I want that color ink, though I bet Madigan could do magic even with that color.
    Not good with colors, but maybe a tiny bit of a green (a fern green), a touch of gray with Navajo Turquoise and see if that needs to be diluted some.
    The pool reactor was full of deionized water, visibility was like nothing I've ever seen. Like being inside a 22 foot cube of acrylic. Cheaper to give me a charge number for several hours than to make a device to reach the reed switch I removed and replaced later with a good one.

  • Kathy

    My goodness….I had no idea someone would be sent down to reach a switch!

    Funny how even years later we can remember the mustard yellow color of fire coral! Touching that stuff is not a pleasant experience!!! I don't even want to see mustard ink! Madigan, I'll look at it if you create something with it, but otherwise I'm turning my head!

    I'm with you, Tom, on diving shallow. I actually had to dive to 140' as part of my scuba instructor training years ago. What a waste of air! The good stuff is in the first 40' feet, and one can see it so much better with the natural light.

    For the inks, I'm thinking maybe Noodler's Blue Nose Bear and Diamine Aqua Lagoon…just a touch of BNB maybe. I need to put some more thought into the perfect "Keys ink!"

  • Calligraphy Nut

    Madigan – beautiful work for #MM! Love that blue and well – Ahab – what's not to love!

  • Madigan

    Hey Kathy! I think my pick ink pick for Caribbean water would be J.Herbin Bleu Azur. It's not a fantastic color to write with- a little too pale in my opinion – but it is fantastic for ink washes. If I were trying to create a Caribbean beach scene, that's what I'd go with. Aqua Lagoon would be my second choice, though! You have a good eye for color.

    I'm with you and Tom on the diving shallow. I was certified in Martinique and we did almost exclusively shallow dives. I didn't see any mustard coral, but we did go through a cave underneath a coral reef that was full of red Caribbean lobsters. Such an amazing experience to see them all together and in their natural habitat! 🙂

  • Tom Johnson

    The pool reactor was here in Lynchburg, where I worked. Date was something like 1977. It was a research pool reactor, the fuel rods never reached boiling when it went critical, only used for nuclear physics research. No contamination in the water. The fuel rods were removed and placed in a deep pit safely shielded from me. Never thought I'd go diving in my lab job!

  • Tom Johnson

    Oh, Madigan – what a thrill! Diving in a Caribbean cave under a reef. Sounds beautiful, surrealistic. The Florida reefs of 30 years ago were the best dives I've ever made. The deeper dives are a waste of time and air. 20 minute dive time? I spent 3 hours at 20-30 feet with my twin-50 tanks.

    Fire coral covers other corals in areas and feels like a hot wire touched your skin. Looks like mustard colored suede. The allergen left in your skin breaks out in cycles of itching over the following several weeks.

    How about adding some General of the Armies to a blue shade ink?

  • 2nowBfree

    Yep, I included Diamine Steel, PR blue suede, and Noodlers Squeteague along with my first Ahab in the same sample order. The ink discounts are too great to pass on and I've totally blown my FP budget for the month. Lol And btw your artwork is fabulous! Thanks for the suggestions. I'll be on ink overload but will keep the other two in mind. Be well!

  • Kathy

    J. Herbin Blue Azur would be great! 2nowBfree suggested a teal ink sample package (great idea). I'd like to have a Keys/Caribbean diving ink sample package! We already have some great ideas for inks to include! General of the Armies is a great addition. We could include some coral colors as well, just not fire coral, please! Maybe some parrotfish colors, or even Sergeant Majors….gosh, I need to go diving!

  • Tom Johnson

    Clown fish! I always loved those guys, and loved the parrotfish too. They all were so wonderful to see up close. Saw a beautiful cowrie shell once, picked it up off the reef to look at it up close. Totally different. Then I remembered their body covers their whole shell until they pull it back inside. Never took any living creature, left them where I found them. How about conch pink?

  • Kathy

    I love clown fish! I think my favorites are the damselfish. Tiny (3") and fiercely protective of their home, a coral. Got to love their attitude! Conch pink would be a great addition. How about a couple of J. Herbin inks…Rouille d'Ancre and and Bouquet d'Antan?

    Like you, Tom, I leave only bubbles. Try not to touch coral or anything else underwater. I do stick out my finger (gloved) for the damselfish to "attack." Suppose I shouldn't aggravate them, though.

  • David Thompson

    Marvelous bit of work! Thank you!