The more rigorous drawing schedule over the last few months has been a good way to figure out what I feel most productive listening to at different times of day/during working sessions of different lengths. Lately I've been listening to a lot of podcasts and audiobooks as opposed to music, my usual go-to. I think this is partially because these pages have no dialogue, so I don't have to worry about messing up any text, but also I listen to a lot of the same playlists and artists on repeat to put myself into a kind of trance and channel certain emotions, so it's nice to listen to stories sometimes to break that up. My regular rotation includes...
Morning drawing sessions (1-2 hours):
Evening drawing sessions (1-4 hours):
Weekend drawing sessions (4-10 hours per day):
Last weekend we stayed in Providence for the night for a viewing of a live orchestra playing the soundtrack to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with the movie. It was so cool!
We have a tradition of offsetting our observation of Valentine's Day by a week or so to avoid the crowds, so this was the main event this year. It would have been nice to also go ice skating (a standard component of Shmalentine's Day) because the rink is right outside The Graduate, where we stayed, but it was way too cold!
Over the last few months, I've been giving this website a makeover. New slideshows, a home page, a news feed (this is it), new banner, new photos, etc. Here are some other changes I've made to the site, in case you were wondering:
Sometimes I like the look of an unfinished painting, even if it can't stay that way. In progress photos are also helpful in diagnosing where a certain aspect of the painting went wrong, or if I am toeing the line between done and overworking, so I take these pictures as often as I can. I sometimes have more than twenty of a single paintings and they start to look like a rather poorly made stop motion video.
Introductions to Sketchbooks
I have a lot of sketchbooks. Here you can flip through their contents, and read about them and how they came to be.
Blogs/sites from Kara Kuntz, Thomas Moran, Dave Douglas, Eggy Ding, Mary Misura, Sandy Lowden, Bonfire Blue, Emily Rebecca Dwyer, and Marie Komanecky. I've lived with all of these people at one point or another, and I love what they do.
Bye bye Ceramics
I took down my ceramic work because I haven't made anything ceramic in a few years now. I can do without the dust, but sometimes I miss slip-casting and sgrafftio decorating. Everything is archived here if you're interested: ceramics
It seems that creativity, whether birdsong, painting, or songwriting, is as adaptive as anything else. Genius – the emergence of a truly remarkable and memorable work – seems to appear when a thing is perfectly suited to its context. When something works, it strikes us as not just being a clever adaptation, but as emotionally resonant as well. When the right thing is in the right place, we are moved . . . In my experience, the emotionally charged content always lies there, hidden, waiting to be tapped, and although musicians tailor and mold their work to how and where it will be heard or seen, the agony and the ecstasy can be relied on to fill whatever shape is available. We do express our emotions, our reactions to events, breakups and infatuations, but the way we do that – the art of it – is in putting them into prescribed forms or squeezing them into new forms that perfectly fit some emerging context. That's part of the creative process, and we do it instinctively; we internalize it, like birds do. And it's a joy to sing, like the birds do.
How Music Works, 29-30
My friend Chris Conway and his band Bonfire Blue just put out a new album, and we collaborated to design the band's site banner and album cover. We went with the first and last images shown above, but I included some other cover possibilities that were in the mix. Follow this link to listen to "Lacrim Flood" when you have a quiet moment: http://bonfireblue.bandcamp.com/album/lacrim-flood
Hannah Dunscombe is a painter and portrait artist based out of Mansfield, MA.