Recently, I started sharing updates and behind-the-scenes looks at the various creative projects I’m working on: writing, painting, photography, whatever works I happen to have in progress. It’s probably going to take a couple of tries before I figure out the format, but you can expect to see these Sketchbook posts on the last Monday of each month. Love it? Hate it? Have something else you’d like to see? Tell me what you think!
Writing is still going surprisingly well. I’ve mostly been focussing on one scene-that-turned-into-a-short-story (it still fits within the universe of the other writing I’ve been doing, but it stands on its own better than it slides into the rest of the story), but I’m making progress on the story as a whole, too. Though I still haven’t gotten round to, you know, outlining the thing. And I need to do that soon; the ideas are growing faster than I can keep up with them, and I need to put them in some sort of order or the whole thing’s going to turn into a mess.
I haven’t been painting much this month (though I did buy the canvas for the giant piece I’ve been thinking about), but I have started actively drawing again. It’s been a few years since I really put any effort into drawing (before this recent work, the last page in my sketchbook was dated ‘2009’, so…) but I’ve been feeling the lack, lately. I want to move beyond the semi-abstract paintings I’ve been doing, I want to be able to storyboard some of the photo projects I’m thinking about—hell, I’ve got a weirdly-ambitious video project rolling around in my head, and I need storyboards for that before I even think about starting it.
Of course, since it’s been so long since I put any real effort into drawing, I’m kind of rusty. I’m back in skill-building mode, and trying to approach things the same way I’ve been doing with my writing: take it easy, try not to be too much of a perfectionist, and trusting that, eventually, I’ll be ready to tackle some of the projects that I’m so excited about.
‘I’m in Love With My Life’ by PHASES
1. playing… with my Lomo’Instant camera. So much fun.
2. buying… a huge canvas for that painting I’ve been sorta-kinda working out the details for.
3. falling… back into a few minor bad habits. Which isn’t great, but I’m already starting to rein things back in, so I’m not worried.
4. taking… a few quick day trips. I’ve really needed a change of scenery lately.
5. drinking… so much iced coffee.
6. writing… still. I have a hard time believing it.
7. deciding… which recipe from the Big Gay Ice Cream book to try first. (Coffee. Almost definitely coffee. You may be sensing a pattern, here.)
8. feeling… productive. For once.
9. looking… for background noise. (What podcasts do you like? Audio-only, intelligent, ideally around 30 minutes an episode. Tweet me with your recommendations.)
10. working… on some new ideas for the blog.
‘You’re Still Here’ by Riothorse Royale
1. wanting… to just spend all my time making cool stuff.
2. playing… this Salt N Pepa & The Stooges mashup, over and over again. I can’t stop. (via)
3. looking… for a basic recipe for hamburger buns. I’ve got recipes, but I want something fairly simple (and relatively quick. I’m willing to sacrifice some taste for convenience in this case.)
4. catching… up on the current season of Orphan Black.
5. getting… back into drawing. Or… I’m trying to. (For various reasons. I’ll probably go into more detail soon.)
6. realizing… that I really need to build up my summer wardrobe. (On the bright side, it’s not feeling remotely like summer yet, so I’ve got time.)
7. thinking… about how I approach creative projects, and some of the assumptions I work under. I’m reassessing a lot of things. It’s good.
8. feeling… you know that weird sense of loss that comes with finishing a really good book? This isn’t quite that, but that’s the closest description I can come up with.
9. needing… a few sunny, dry days in a row. It doesn’t even need to be warm; I just need to be able to paint the patio furniture. (But! I’ve managed to get my planting done! So that’s good.)
10. being… a bit of a bad influence. No regrets.
Girl jumping over a wall, Central Park, NY, 1967 by Mary Ellen Mark (click to enlarge)
I could have chosen nearly any of Mary Ellen Mark’s photographs to share, but I adore this one. Partly because it’s a fantastic photograph, and partly because I love the parallels with this Martine Franck photo I shared last December.
Mary Ellen Mark | Remembering Mary Ellen Mark, 1940-2015 – Aperture Foundation | Mary Ellen Mark’s legendary photographs