|Winter No.2 from the Season Cycles Series|
Well, somehow this felt like a big week with a couple of nice blog features for Missouri Bend Studio! Robyn Gordon's blog Art Propelled post on Nature Lovers featured one of my recent book pages, along with the work of some other really wonderful artists. Many of the readers of this blog are surely familiar and probably followers of Robyn's blog as well! If not, it's a gem and I encourage you to visit just once...you'll be hooked! I was also fortunate to be the topic of the day on the Thursday sketchbook feature on the Artisans Collective blog, which you can link to here. Since I don't really keep a bona fide sketchbook, I sort of walked through the process of making one of the book page pieces using the most recent Page from The Book Of Loose Associations.
Also as you can see, I've moved into a winter mindset and have started up on the winter pieces in the Season Cycles series. I have a few more in the works in the studio, but the second one was posted today. I've been reminded of the beautiful shimmering grays that winter brings and am finding out that perhaps this is my favorite season...at least in terms of inspiration for making art! Not to worry, I'm not letting the book pages go....they are still in process as well!
Late this afternoon I managed to spend a little time on the couch reading and that was delightful...not only to be reading and watching the gorgeous sunset with a glass of wine, but reacquainting myself with the rhythm of winter days when darkness sets in early and I tend to hunker down and surround myself with books. That got me thinking again about books and the recent posts about books in many of the blogs I follow. I have books and bookshelves in every room in the house and have hauled nearly all of these friends of mine across the country and across town in recent moves. I tried to part with them, but found I couldn't.
Many of the books I've collected have not been read and truth be told, I doubt I'll ever get to some of them, but give them away....highly unlikely...they belong here on my shelves. Of the books I've read, so many have sent me soaring or stopped me in my tracks while whole new worlds opened up or brought me to tears when I couldn't imagine that such words strung together across a page could be quite so beautifully written or so powerful. But ask me to tell you about them, to describe them...I'm kind of at a loss. Perhaps my memory is not so great, but I think the issue is really that when you read a book, it's like a fine meal (the expression "devouring a book" is probably quite appropriate) that you consume and that literally becomes a part of you....in a physical way, but also emotionally as a memory of a time and place. Enjoy a delicious meal, but in a few days time, if asked, could you describe it to someone else in any meaningful way? You could only say in the most cursory terms how wonderful it was, or perhaps how awful, but chances are you probably couldn't even call up in your own body the very tastes you experienced. Any good book read, once savored, is likewise absorbed by the body, nourishing even as it becomes a part of the very structure of our being....it has become who we are.
So here's what I'm getting to...I randomly pulled a few fine dining experiences to share with you. I can tell you this about each of these books...every one has been a part of making me who I am. They lifted and transported me to unknown places and I returned from each journey just a little larger.
The Book of Salt by Monique Truong, beautifully written novel about Paris in the 1930s through the eyes of the Vietnamese cook employed by Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. This was her first novel and I've been looking for something new every since...
The Shape of Content by Ben Shahn...the book must be a classic and if you ask me, it is essential reading for an artist.
River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West by Rebecca Solnit. I think Rebecca Solnit is pure magic...here's the blurb from the cover, which I wholeheartedly endorse: "Brilliant...never less than deeply intelligent, and often very close to inspired." -- New York Time Book Review
Now I've gotten myself all excited to reread these little gems!
So....what books have so moved you....what books have provided your best meals???? I'm anxious to hear!
A hearty welcome to the recent followers of this blog! Have a fine weekend everyone!