Charcoal Dust and Patience

There are quite a few projects going down this month (5).  The most involved currently is a charcoal video animation I’m working on for the poet Abigail Warren.  The work is to loosely interpret one of her poems through charcoal animation.

What is charcoal animation?  Well it’s one drawing at a time.  You draw. take a picture. draw. take a picture. It is a methodical art form that I love, and is quite magical when you get to watch the drawings start coming to life and move in video format.  One second of this work is about 16-24 drawings.  1 drawing is approximately somewhere between 5 – 20 minutes.  So it’s involved.

Charcoal animation is a good reflection on what it means to do something with patience and intention.  This is very hard for me in this world of gadgets and goings on and the stuff of life.  I always have this feeling I have to do more, and more and the “not enoughness” of it all. But in this practice, I can’t rush.  It ruins the work of the whole to rush each drawing.  I do have a deadline though, so I can’t get lost in the drawings.  Nevertheless,  I just carve away for hours at the paper with erasers and charcoal carefully laying down the images one by one.



This slow steady practice these next few months in conjunction with all of the other work that needs to get done, is just something I feel compelled to share and it seems to be trying to teach me how to be in the moment, the mysteries, the miracles, the blessings disguised.  It’s a deep vulnerable work of being human and something worth taking some time to pause and consider every once in a while.

Lithia Springs


There is always death, heartbreak, violence, sadness, birth, life, love, ice cream ;).  Whatever life is dishing, it’s a lot.  And sometimes ya gotta turn it off.  But it is impossible to run.  That stuff always catches up.  There are plenty of ways to try and ignore it at times with all of the information coming at us all the time and cocktail hours.   But sometimes continuously rushing sacrifices the greater piece.  At times we are in risk of sabotaging our work if we don’t taking the time to do something with consideration.  I hear that a form of that consideration could be eating when you’re hungry, drinking water, taking a moment of rest….  I think this work is teaching me (again & again) something about the powerful and many times brave step to stop, and listen, and BE for even a minute.

At this moment, this art practice is telling me “to take time in the quiet hours, in still times of peace and meditation and come back to the true you and get to know it again after so many eons of separation, because it has been said that whenever you occupy your center, everyone and everything connected to you lifts.”

Sharon McErlane from Our Love Is Our Power

For this week, I just have been inspired by that message in this slow process of drawing for hours.



About scoutcuomo

Charcoal dust and eraser shavings, oil bars and sketch books, wood, gold pray paint, resin, overly soft blankets, and turpentine, feathers and coffee grinds.


  1. Chantelle

    I was looking at one of your pieces on my wall that i purchased a good while back and decided to see what you had been up to recently. The words it this post inspire me. Sloooow down. The concious thought behind putting things aside and being present. It’s much harder than we think right? I was even trying to rush through reading your wods. Thanks for your words and your great work. I really enjoy it. Always have.

    • Hi Chantelle, It is so hard to do. I feel like I’m equating it to building a muscle memory of how to just be here and now. Thanks for checking in. I’m still trying to practice this.

      Really though, I so appreciate your note. One cool thing about making art and sending it out these days is just that it has a whole other life. Really gives me a lot of joy in this practice.

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