More snow! Last weekend I fashioned some weatherproofing for my camera and walked over to Fulton’s Pond to document. The day before we saw someone ice skating on the pond. I have a pair of skates, but I’m a little too nervous to venture out for that, as charming as it sounds! Maybe if the cold was more consistent, but we’ve had a few mild days here and there.
According to my last few blog entries, I have been spending time exclusively on nature walks and furniture arrangement. But I have been drawing too! It’s just that since I've incorporated higher quality scans, I've had to start saving up new pages in batches to scan them in-person rather than post lower quality photos each week.
I had hoped to finish these first 18 test pages by August (meaning, within five months), but I officially finished up yesterday (eight months). With illnesses, politics, and a move, I'm okay with that. And then last night, I was very antsy during election coverage, so I redid an entire page that I wasn't happy with between 8pm and 2am. There is one other page I would like to redo (page 2), as well as a couple individual panels, which I would need to retroactively photoshop in to complete an otherwise solid page.
Here's a spot-the-difference! I'm kind of embarrassed by the original (right), but I think this shows how much you can learn and refine a style with a few months and a lot of practice. Here are some clear changes that have developed:
This is what all the pages look like together so far. I'm enjoying the ladder of purple part-way through. Funny how patterns like that develop unintentionally. At this point I don't think I can photograph them as a group anymore because the footprint is too big! Channeling Jo March with her pages-on-the-floor technique.
I started yesterday with a scenic walk in a pretty chilly wind. A lot of the leaves have suddenly fallen already because of the big snow last week. The pond near our house is so charming and I made a friend in the small duck pond in the park. I'm still watching election coverage as I write this and am trying not to fall into a panic spiral while results remain unclear. That said, the closeness of this race and the hypocrisy, callousness, selfishness, and cruelty fueling the Trump movement speak to the shameful state of this country. I cannot see eye to eye with any individual who supports Trump and his conspiracy theories, as he stands for so many hateful things and is incapable of exhibiting basic human compassion.
I'll wrap this up with some calming photos of ducks and fall leaves and moving water instead.
Our friends Nick and Rachel got married yesterday! The ceremony was in a beautiful athenaeum in Providence, RI. The officiant made quite an apt comparison between a hall of learning like the athenaeum and the friendships and cultures of those around you, which are all collected in one room during a wedding.
Afterwards, we drove to Gracie's Restaurant for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, dinner, speeches, and dancing. It was a wonderful evening of catching up with friends, dancing to hits from our middle school days, and talking about old times. I didn't go to school with this crowd, but I've known everyone for about ten years now, so through exposure to stories I almost feel like I was there for a lot of it.
The highlight was likely the last song of the night, "Hands Down" by Dashboard Confessional. I was pretty thrilled to find that there were at least 20 people besides me who were screaming all the words and jumping up and down. Who says DC was all just "emo"?
Anyway, I think this is a wrap on wedding season for us. Glad we ended it with a bang!!
(Also, below you will find a slideshow of Nick, Chris, and our friend Ben taking throwback photos commemorating their high school band "ATL". This was at the afterparty.)
This afternoon a couple of friends and I went to Honeypot Farm to pick apples and grab cider donuts. It was pretty crazy because the weather was so beautiful, but I tried to avoid including the crowds in the pictures. Afterward, we got a tour of our friend's farm and got to hold some chickens and pet some sheep!
Deidre and Sam's wedding was on Sunday, out in Western Mass on a beautiful farm. On Sunday morning, I drove an hour north and met up with Chris, who was getting ready to take photos with the other groomsmen. We chatted and determined that the wedding party would be hungry after the reception and the party would likely continue in one of the farm houses on the grounds, so we ordered 20 pizzas from Domino's and stuck them in various fridges for later. I think the people at Domino's thought I was a bit crazy when I carried them all out to the car.
The wedding was beautiful. The centerpiece of the grounds is a giant old tree out on the far end of a field, which made the walk of the wedding party and eventually Deidre very summery. Sam's grandfather officiated the wedding, and got a lot of laughs when he combined their named by accident and made it a catchphrase.
Cocktail our took place in a covered area with lots of cheese, charcuterie plates, hors d'oevres, and drinks, then we headed into the barn for the reception. The highlight was definitely their first dance, to a touchingly peaceful acoustic version of Andrew Bird's "Night Sky" (5:15 in the video below). There were also a couple of lovely/joke-packed speeches by Deidre's sister and Sam's best friend.
It has been such a pleasure to be part of all of these weddings the last couple of weeks and to see how uniquely each couple has chosen to celebrate. Excited for the next one, in October, for Nick and Rachel!
Still fighting jet lag, and only worked four days last week before heading out to Connecticut for my friend Jess's rehearsal dinner and wedding. It was an unplugged wedding so I didn't take any photos of the ceremony, and I wanted to stay in the moment during the reception, so I only got photos of the rehearsal and wedding prep. But some highlights were Sammy's dad making a hilarious speech during the rehearsal dinner regarding a photo on Sammy's phone, Jess's dad making a speech that revolved around Harry Potter and his daughter's resemblance to Hermione, Jess and Sam's adorable, heartfelt, and tearful vows, and their first dance (which started traditional and then ended with a lot of jumping and a lost boutonnier). Congratulations, Jess and Sam!
Next up is Sam and Deidre, which came the next day, but I'll make a separate post. All wedding photos will be posted in the "events" section on the photography tab. I've never professionally photographed a wedding, but it's so fun to unofficially document the weddings of my friends.
We ended up doing a lot of touring in the city, so I'll try and keep my writing short and sweet here, but heavy on the photos. It was incredibly hot and humid this week, so I got a bit pink walking around, but we squeezed in a lot of things anyway! Including an excellent tour of the crypt of St. Michael's, which included some mummified bodies from a couple centuries ago. The use of wood shavings and the cool temperatures in the crypt caused natural mummification in the cheaper coffins, whereas those of wealthy people are completely unpreserved; the rich were encased in metal coffins that did not allow any ventilation, so the bodies within are basically destroyed by their own decomposition.
Not sure why that is the one piece of information I'm sharing in this post, but here we are.
I'll also add a bit about the St. Stephen's cathedral. At the end of WWII, the roof of St. Stephen's caught fire and collapsed due to the wind picking up embers from fires on the ground. German forces were ordered to blast the entire cathedral to the ground as part of a campaign to eliminate significant cultural landmarks as they retreated, but the German artillery captain who received the orders refused. Because of that decision, the building still stands and only the roof was damaged unintentionally. It was fully repaired within 10 years of the war ending. You can see some photos of the exquisite tiling below.
On our last night in Vienna, we got stuck in the rain on the way to dinner, which cooled things down a bit; I included a shot of the puddles during the downpour.
I'm sad to be leaving tomorrow, but excited to get back to my routine a bit. And to see Chris and the guinea pigs. My parents will continue onto Salzburg, with 4 more weeks spent in Austria and Germany. I can't imagine!
The bachelorette party was excellent! We stayed at an AirBnB in Orleans, and the bridal party did a great job preparing different activities. Including “beer olympics” (which ended with a single game of Root that lasted at least an hour), a cooperative game called “Crossroads” which had the bride choose different actions if she did anything predictable, plus dinner and breakfast at some great local joints.
The beach was also lovely, even though it was a bit cool. The tide was out and you could walk out as far as the eye could see.
It was also wonderful to meet all of Jess's friends from medical school. It's funny; when you're close with someone and then meet the friends they've made in your absence, it's great to immediately be able to recognize why they became friends and see their individual chemistries. And I feel like it ends up being easier to get along with the friends of the friends you are closest with, because they end up having a similar set of values and senses of humor.
Anyway, that last sentence didn't make much sense. Here are some photos!
Hannah Dunscombe is a painter and portrait artist based out of Mansfield, MA.