11 Nov

Book Clubs vs. Painting

Apples to oranges, you might say? Book clubs have nothing to do with painting? Not true for someone like me, who loves reading as much as she does art and who never seems to have an idle hour. Fortunately, both activities can serve similar purposes.

Reading a novel puts me into another world. I get completely engrossed, don't countenance interruptions well, and can forget about the day's news in what passes for reality these days. Painting has the same effect, putting me in the infamous "zone" without the bother and pain of becoming a runner. Both these loves can involve others, providing a social outlet. Book groups – at one time I belonged to three simultaneously – help me learn from and appreciate what I read. Art exhibits, openings and workshops let me interact with and learn from other collectors and artists, who tend to be interesting people.

Even more luckily, I am able to accomplish both reading and painting relatively quickly. Having all the patience of any self-respecting two year old, that helps quite a bit. A dramatic novel, a funny travel book or a thought-provoking mystery will find me giving new meaning to the term "a real page turner." I've been known to polish off a book in an evening. Belly laughs and the reading aloud of particularly clever passages are often involved, much to the chagrin of my husband. Some books, of course, are more complex, requiring highlighters in multiple colors (of course), also a tad annoying to anyone in the same room.

Similarly, some paintings are more complex, especially my cityscapes. They require proper perspective, so the buildings don't appear to be tilting (too much, anyway.)  The people need to be standing or moving in semi-realistic ways. My seascapes, on the other hand, tend to flow more quickly and to be almost therapeutic, like this recent sunset scene.



  1. Beth,  Two things I li ve to do too!  Reading – but I'm horribly slow. And painting – but I have to carve out a couple hours at least because more often than not I'm in my zone too and have lost all track of time. 

  2. Hi Beth–you've expressed that feeling of getting in the zone so well.  I feel so much the same way–do you listen to music when you paint? I do–helps me detach from the rest. And I love my book groups–all 3 of them–if I could only keep up! I'm hoping to get in the zone all the more–the election season has taken a toll on me–as on many–I'm ready to detach all the more often.  Take care–love seeing all the beautiful work you are doing.

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