Dear Pastel Journal,
Like the artist Cindy House [featured in August 2008], audio books are a piece of my creating, too. One of my favorite stories is a time when I was standing in front of the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska, where we lived from 1982 to 2002, working on a large pastel. I had my wide-brimmed hat and was listening to a talking book. As the tourists arrived to see the glacier, I continued to do my pastel and was not distracted by the coming and going of the visitors. When my husband came to visit me and called my name and I didn’t respond, a tourist stopped him and said: “She won’t hear you; she’s the real thing!”
I love audio books because they shut off the critical voice—and allow me to just create. I’d be curious what are some of House’s favorite stories/audio books or readers.
Mary Agrell Stroeing
I asked Cindy House if she’d like to fill us in. Here’s what she writes:
It is always such a delight to hear of other artists that listen to audio books while painting. Mary Agrell Stroeing’s story is priceless and she couldn’t have expressed it better when she states that she”love(s) audio books because they shut off the critical voice–to just create.”
I began renting books from Recorded Books—overall, the best group of narrators (several of whom could read me the phone book and I’d be entranced!)—and Books on Tape back in the early 90s. Over the years, I’ve rented hundreds. Early on, all the books were nonfiction—history, biography, nature and travel essays. In those days, I was a great arm-chair sailor, listening to Joshua Slocum’s Sailing Alone Around the World and anything by Eric Newby. Since then, I’ve become a mystery fan, especially British, and especially enjoy books in series such as Ian Rankin, Reginald Hill, Donna Leon, and Laurie R. King, to name just a very few. I still enjoy nonfiction have listened to most the books by David McCullough, Simon Winchester, Bill Bryson and Nathaniel Philbrick. Last winter, though, I particularly enjoyed listening to City of Falling Angels, a story about Venice by John Berendt. And then there is Harry Potter; Jim Dale’s narration of J. K . Rowling’s books is pure genius.
Speaking of Harry Potter, Cindy told me she can’t look at the painting Evening Flight (above; pastel, 13×18) without seeing a quidditch match in her mind, so we know what audio book was in play during that painting!
If you have favorite soundtracks for your painting (whether audio books or music), feel free to bring the discussion right here to the blog. We love to get your comments!