Sunday, April 25, 2010


Susan Rothenberg, in an interview, says that she spends 90% of her time in the studio reading. Back when I was neck-deep in my thesis project, a friend recommended the P.J. O'Brien series of 20-some novels, which carried me through that process.

So I'm curious. Are there other Blackfishers who read as part of your art-making project - either for relaxation/escape or as part of your source material? And what do you read?

I'm drawn to long novels or series that I can get totally immersed in. I've read the O'Brien series twice and will probably do it again in a couple of years. Dickens is good, and Austen too. Lately I've begun the Your Face Tomorrow trilogy, but it is much slower-going.

Sometimes poetry is like a welcome blast of cold air clearing out the cobwebs, as effective as a run around the block - Christian Wiman, William Stafford, William Meredith, Mary Oliver. Lately I've started Wiman's book, Ambition and Survival - On Becoming a Poet. Reading about someone else's creative process is usually pretty instructive, and writers are better at describing it than visual artists are.

If you have favorite books and authors, please - share!


helen said...

I am a fan of Blackfish and just started to do some drawing. I love to read and want to suggest to others who also like to read to check out this local website dedicated to local writers, poets and indie bookstores,
Reading Local :

Sue said...

I love to read novels -- it's something I do daily and especially enjoy when I travel.
Presently I am reading "Gone With the Wind" which I am thoroughly enjoying. Great books that I have read recently are: "Edgar Sawtelle" by David Wroblewski, "I Know This Much is True" by Wally Lamb, "The Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou,"
"Snow" by Orham Pamuk, "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini, "Unaccustomed Earth" by Jhumpa Lahiri, "Cold Mountain" by
Charles Fraziur, "Revolunary Road" by Richard Yate, "Growth of the Soil" by Knut Hamson and "The Reader" by Bernhard Schlink. I highly recommend all of them. Another wonderful authoress to add to the list is Isabel Allende. Reading is a profound spiritual experience and I believe it does effect my artwork. Happy reading Joellyn and Helen!