Art critic John Yau answers the question "why can't we see her eyes?"
Reading Series #2, 11 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches, graphite, 2013 Rick Beerhorst
I was reading the dictionary. I thought it was a poem about everything. Steven Wright
Reading Series #1, 11 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches, graphite, 2013 Rick Beerhorst
The greatest part of a writer's time is spent in reading in order to write. A man will turn over half a library to make a book. Samuel Johnson
Reading series #3, 11 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches, graphite, 2013 Rick Beerhorst
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Joseph Addison
Bookish, Constanza Camarillo
Sabriel, Pearl Beerhorst, drawing available here
The Bridge, Ann Wood
I began reading to Rain and Grace from a new fairytale book last night at bedtime. The book has come from Pearl's Room. I asked Pearl for suggestions because we just finished up Little House On The Prairie and we needed a new book. She wisely recommended The Violet Fairy Book first published in 1901 by Longmans, Green and Co., London. In the preface it includes this;
The stories in this book, as in all the others of the series, have been translated out to the popular traditional tales in a number of different languages. These stories are as old as anything man has invented. They are narrated by naked savage women to naked savage children. They have been inherited by our earliest civilised ancestors, who really believed that beasts and trees and stones can talk if they choose, and behave kindly or unkindly. The stories are full of the oldest ideas of ages when science did not exist, and magic took the place of science.
Can there be anything better than sending children off into their dreams through the pages of an ancient fairy tale?
The painting above entitled "Into Her Book" she holds a German copy of All Quiet On The Western Front. This is a brand new painting taken out of its frame that measures 8x10 inches and is oil on a wood panel.
What is the experience of reading a story? How does it work really? We are creating the images in our mind as we read, and they are completely personal and unique to each person reading or hearing the story. This is different than watching a film, where the filmmaker has created his vision of the word for us.
The experience of reading a book is a slow infusion of the story into our soul over a period of time, usually interrupted by other life experiences that occur between the time we put the book down, and when we pick it up again to resume reading. This slow-drip into our soul's vein gives us time to assimilate the story in a deeper way perhaps - than the dump-truck drop-off of a 90 minute film.
There is also the weight of the book, the illustrations and the feel of the paper on our fingers. Sometimes books have a smell. Sometimes a forgotten pressed flower falls into our lap from a summer day 70 years ago. Perhaps there is an inscription on a blank page or inside cover telling us this book had been a Christmas gift to a daughter in the December of 1948.
I have for many years had the habit of waking up very early in the morning for some quiet time alone. This involves journaling, reading and time for reflection. I feel like this time in the morning sets the stage for the whole day. It is a quiet digging down.
We discovered Julia Cameron's Artist's Way series books a number of years ago and put morning pages and artist dates into practise. Morning pages involves writing three pages in a cheap spiral bound notebook every day, first thing in the morning just what ever comes out. It is like running the hose awhile in summer before you take a drink so you don't end up drinking the crummy hose tasting water. The artist date is a once a week excursion out for a few hours just by your self to do what ever gives you some creative pleasure. It could be a walk in the woods, a favorite coffee shop hangout, or a visit to a museum. The important thing is that you go alone.
Doing morning pages and artist dates along with regularly getting up early in the morning to have some time alone are ways I have found to take care of my self. I have had plenty of crash and burn artist friends and I am doing what I can to live to a ripe old age.