Friday, April 15, 2005

Books and their influence on the art getting made

I've been reading a lot of different books lately, friends have suggested new authors (Robin Hobb, Charles de Lindt), I've gotten some books from the library (Susanna Oroyan doll making books, Mary Mashuta's "Stripes in Quilts", Kevin Phillips "American Dynasty" , purchased books for a class I'm taking about Avalon(Caitlin Matthews "Mabon and the guardians of Celtic Britain" And "King Arthur and the Goddess of the land"), and then there are the existing read and unread piles of books we already own.

My husband just made me a beautiful, big, new bookcase for under our bedroom window, and he said "that's it, no more books than fit in here." Our bedroom has 5 bookcases. We live in a library! I love it. My studio has one bookcase, but it could use two, which means there are piles of magazines and books that have been recently purchased. Don't even look in my kid's room, they have 3 bookcases, jampacked...

I'm drowning in books, but I like it that way. An abundance of books means security to me.

So anyways, I thought it would be interesting to look at exactly how do all these books that I own or borrow influence the art that I actually do end up making?

-The Susanna Oroyan doll books will hopefully result in me having more technical ability in my doll making, and lots of new ideas for hair and faces which I tend to get stuck on.

-The Kevin Phillips book about the Bush dynasty is a political analysis of recent history, and will probably feed into more "statement" quilts that I feel bubbling up, this will make them more completely informed.

-The fiction and the Avalon books and the class I've been taking are making me have more interesting dreams, which I am remembering more and more, feeding my need for fantasy and epic adventures. I tend to draw upon the imagery of my dreams for a lot of my abstract quilts. That tends to be the jumping off point for a lot of them.

-Time spent reading is time spent resting, which with my health issues, I need more rather than less of. So finding engrossing reading material and taking the time to read it, while taking time away from being directly productive, makes it possible to be productive at all!

Somewhat on this theme a new book meme is circulating and its rules are these (via wish jar)
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don't search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do what's actually next to you.

"If intruders such as hungry algae-eating urchins try to move in, the defending garibaldi grabs them by the spines and hustles them out of town, many yards away." From "Wild Ocean: America's Parks Under the Sea" by Sylvia A. Earle and Wolcott Henry, a National Geographic Book. This book has the most amazing pictures, I could spend my life making under the sea quilts just getting inspiration from these photos.

Share your book quote if you feel so inspired.
And go read! It's good for you and good for your art!


Scrapmaker said...

Books....don't get me started. I am the book woman, its an occupational hazard. My husband does not understand the need to OWN books when I borrow so many from the library I work in :)Books are the treasured wealth of the world. I don't know who said that first, but I agree. Jen

Deb R said...

Well, ok, I did the meme, and the sentence I got was kind of weird, but here it is. From "Dance Of Life Cards: An Intimate Tarot"---"Anger, on the other hand, is important." All righty then. No idea where she's going with that because it isn't a book I'm currently reading, just the one that happned to be on the end of the shelf closest to the 'puter desk.

I totally get the idea of connecting books and security, Julie. When I was growing up, even when money was tight Mom and Dad always seemed to come up with money for books (plus we had lots of trips to the library). I love being able to grab an old favorite off the shelf at 2 in the morning if I can't sleep. It's comforting.