books and readers everywhere and in my sketchbook too

A Creative Life, art exhibit, artist book, artistic inspirations, Books In Art, drawing as thinking, ebook, kitchen art, reading in art, recipe illustration, sketchbook, visual thinking

One of the many things I love about the Pacific Northwest are the indie bookstores and all of the people I see reading. Almost every time I’m in town I see people reading printed books in coffeeshops, in cafes, in the park, in the library, in line at the post office, waiting for the bus and even while walking down the sidewalk.

For example here’s a sketchbook page (left side) I did just after passing by the lobby of one of the downtown apartment-plexes. There’s a lobby on the first floor and a guy was sitting in a chair reading with his dog on his lap. (I added the cat – just for fun.)

I did the other page (on the right) on the same walk, but just after walking past a café window where a lady was having a dessert and coffee. The book she was reading was about the same small size as her cake! So I had to note that!


Below are several more pages from my “running around loose” sketchbook (a book I take with me when I go to town) as well as a few from my “kitchen sketchbook” (a book I keep in my kitchen at home to doodle in while I wait for water to boil etc.)

These pages – and my many other sketchbook pages full of readers and books – have been feeding my current  “reading and books in art” fine art series that I’ve been posting about in my last several posts. This series of paintings is for an upcoming exhibit. Plus books are a fun topic for me to use in my artistic practice to, well, practice.

I’m still thinking hard about my notion of nesting ideas (like the way one book refers to another book etc.) and this week I’ve added a twist; in past years to accompany my fine art exhibits I’ve included ebook versions of my sketchbooks. What if this year, instead of an ebook, I did a limited edition printed book? And what if it was a book that collected some of my sketches of human readers and possibly included some of my poems/short stories?  So that the poem/story related to the human reader, what they might be reading and also to the fine art?  It would be a way for me to include the story alluded to within my recent painting Epic Tales Of The Pug King for example.

Hmmm…  I’ll keep thinking. And I’ll probably post some of my human reader sketches/illustrations here too and see what you think.

Oh, and to add another layer to my nesting-ideas concept, over on my Instagram page I’m occasionally posting books I’m currently reading.

6 thoughts on “books and readers everywhere and in my sketchbook too

  1. Your creative cogs are always whizzing! It is interesting that you make that observation about the culture where you live. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was in an orthodontist’s waiting room for ages and I was reading a book – an actual paper book, not even my kindle – and I looked around the busy waiting room and every single other person was staring at a phone screen. I was definitely the odd one out in that context.

    1. Thanks. And I’m fascinated by what you said about your observations in the orthodontist’s waiting room. I wish I was social-scientist enough to study the rates of printed-book-reading and phone screen use across the U.S. and how they differ from region to region. I’m very curious about this. For a while here in WA I had noticed that in my exhibits people would use their phones. So I did ebooks for them – so they could use their phones within my exhibit context. That seemed to be a hit. Recently tho I’ve noticed less phone use in public generally here. Of course there’s recently been a public push against “distracted driving” along with several articles in the local WA paper about the negative impact of phone use on relationships (the use of phones during dinner with someone for ex.) – so perhaps all of that has altered behavior?? Again I wish to have a social-scientist handy… 😉

      1. Well, on the subject of dinner, we don’t allow phones at the table at home and certainly not when dining out. However, last time we ate out as a family, I noticed so many tables (not all but many) where people were engaging with their phones rather than each other. It’s so peculiar to me. I use my phone for reading blogs or surfing Instagram when I’m alone. I wouldn’t think to do it in company. But I’m feeling like I might be in a minority.

        As for ebooks, they definitely have their place. I, for instance, find it very useful when traveling. I still prefer proper paper books but I try to be selective about which ones I buy because I had to donate so very many books when we emigrated and realized I’d accumulated too many. Anything I think I will only ever read once I borrow from the library.

        1. I hear you! And similarly at my house we don’t allow phones at the table, or while dining out. For a while there when we’d go out to eat most people around us were absorbed with their phones and not with people at their table. But recently I’d swear that’s changed. Recently during a happy-hour meet up with friends I looked around and the only person in the pub on the phone was someone who was in the lobby waiting for the rest of their party to arrive. And there were lots of people there. Curious! Anyway I also try to keep my reading blogs etc. do a minimum during the week so as to keep focus on my real-life-work. And I agree – ebook have their place. I, too, make heavy use of my library so as to keep my buying printed books to a minimum. Even so…. I love the printed book and end up using my private-home-library as an auxiliary brain; notes and sketches tucked into books etc. Almost every book in my collection is a personal time-capsule. Let’s keep being our printed-book-reading selves huh? 😉

Thank you for reading and sharing encouragements!