Books and bottles
I tend to be a greedy reader, gobbling up the story as I race through the pages, often guiltily because I know I’m not doing justice to the writer’s painstaking work. But the book I’m reading now is one I keep putting aside because it is so beautifully written, I can hardly bear to finish it.
How to paint a dead man by Sarah Hall has a number of threads to it (a good way to slow down greedy readers), and one of these threads is the translated diary of an old artist in Italy who has spent most of his life painting bottles. It draws fairly clearly on the life and work of Giorgio Morandi, so to slow down my reading, and to make the book last longer, I decided to find out more about Morandi and his paintings.
Sorry to tell you that while on one hand I’m a greedy reader, I’m a lazy writer on the other, so I’m not going to make this a tidy and well-researched post about Morandi – I’ll just stick in some pics of his bottles and give you this choice quote from his Wikipedia entry :
“His drawings and watercolors often approach abstraction in their economy of means.”
Painting is pretty much a mystery to me. I share my studio with two painters and I watch their work change and grow with interest, but with absolutely no understanding of what they’re up to. Maybe one day I’ll get a chance to give it a bash – wield a brush and some colours, and see how it works. In the meantime, it’s nice to have a bit of daily mystery to slow down and wonder about as I rush back and forth though our studio.