Tools of the Trade: Books

I’m a bit of a bookworm; reading is one of my passions. I read journals, memoirs, novels, how-to books, self-help books, children’s’ books, cookbooks, etc. You get the picture.

Recently a friend of mine recommended “The Painter” by Peter Heller, so I got it out of the library (love libraries!). It is a wonderfully well-written story about a painter; and I feel compelled to share a few of my favorite passages with you.

“Nobody, not even artists, understood art. What speed has to do with it. How much work it takes, year after year, building the skills, the trust in the process, more work probably than any Olympic athlete ever puts in because it is 24 hours a day, even in dreams, and then when the skills and the trust are in place, the best work usually takes less effort. Usually it comes fast, it comes without thought, it comes like a horse running over you at night. But. Even if people understood this, they don’t understand that sometimes it is not like that at all. Because process has always been: craft, years and years; then faith; then letting go. But now, sometimes the best work is agony. Pieces put together, torn apart, rebuilt. Doubt in everything that has been learned, terrible crisis of faith, the faith that allowed it all to work. Oh God. And even then, through this, if you survive the halting pace and the fever, sometimes you make the best work you have ever made. That is the part none of us understand.”

“The reason people are so moved by art and why artists tend to take it all so seriously is that if they are real and true they come to the painting with everything they know and feel and love, and all the things they don’t know, and some of the things they hope, and they are honest about them all and put them on the canvas. What can be more serious? What more really can be at stake except life itself, which is why maybe artists are always equating the two and driving everybody crazy by insisting that art is life. Well. Cut us some slack. It’s harder work than one might imagine, and riskier, and takes a very special and dear kind of mad person.”

And finally:

“Not everybody can paint”, she said into my ear like a megaphone. “Some people just get to love it. Buy it, treasure it. The way it should be.”

The entire storyline revolves around much more than the painter and his paintings. I wanted to share these passages because the sentiments reflect my thoughts and feelings so much better than I could have written them. Just a little something for you to think about until you can get your copy of "The Painter" from the library.

On a much lighter note, I recently purchased one of my all-time favorite books, "The Little Prince," as a pop-up book.
I Love it!