In honor of my attempts to summon the Painting Angel (which seem to have been successful), I have splurged and bought myself a few different volumes of glossy full color art books, especially from Taschen, and also Flammarion publishers. For the most part I am looking at a few French and Spanish painters working about 100 years ago, because I am very into that time period lately. There seem to be so many parallels, and 100 years ago is not very long, especially generationally speaking.

Anyway, one thing I’ve pleasantly rediscovered after lapsing in my painting practice for a few years (apart from the occasional random project), is that when you look through art books in this exploratory kind of fashion, you don’t necessarily know what you’re looking for. You have an intuition, a feeling, a kind of line work, a color mood, a way of treating painted subjects. You follow it, but then the artists show you more of the latent space, more of the hypercanvas than you knew existed before. And it broadens you. So much so, that when you get back to the canvas the next time, you’ve learned things you don’t know that you learned, and that you didn’t even really know consciously you were looking at, or looking for.

It’s a really pleasant process, and making a routine of it all makes my heart happy. It gives a new focus and intent to how I spend my time, what I look for, and the types of things I explore. Instead of just being ricocheted back and forth between stupid things on the internet that will most assuredly be gone in a hundred years.