Watercolor: What’re we doing Today (& Digital vs Paper Books)


What’re we doing Today? 8×10 Watercolor on paper

If you visit here often, you might know I’m an Audiobook fan.  I recently finished listening to News of the World, Born a Crime and The Demon Under the Microscope, and I loved all of them. I’m challenging myself to read (listen to) 25 books in 2017, which is lofty – for me – but aim for the stars, right?

If you’ve never listened to an audiobook while painting and drawing, you can give it a twirl for free with this link. Download your first book for free, and if you don’t like it, cancel out of Audible, but keep the book. 🙂 Not a bad test, eh?


Reading Light Watercolor on paper

Paul LaFarge wrote about digital vs paper reading in Nautilus:  The Deep Space of Reading; Why we shouldn’t worry about leaving paper print behind.  I love books, on my shelves, in my studio, on my bed stand, in my hands and narrated to me while I paint. I don’t think paper books are going away, but I have friends and family who wouldn’t touch an electronic reading tablet because they’re convinced it will contribute to the elimination of paper books, and dumb down our reading abilities. If you’ve ever debated the issue with friends (or yourself), from either side, Paul’s essay is a good read.

The Internet may cause our minds to wander off, and yet a quick look at the history of books suggests that we have been wandering off all along. When we read, the eye does not progress steadily along the line of text; it alternates between saccades – little jumps – and brief stops, not unlike the movement of the mouse’s cursor across a screen of hypertext. ~Paul LaFarge

Choosing books based on plans – like my recent travels to France – opened a festival of reading choices as friends recommended A Year in Provence, The Greater Journey and The Little Paris Bookshop.  I listened to and loved each of them. If you’ve read other books that take place in France, please share titles and authors in the comments.  I’m still dreaming about cheese, baguettes and the rolling hills of Provence. And I’ve got many books to read before the year is out. 🙂


The poppy fields in St Remy (the Monastery of Saint-Paul de Mausole) where Van Gogh was treated for a year, and completed about 150 paintings & drawings. (Photo courtesy of the lovely & talented Ann Flynn)

Thanks for visiting today, and I’ll see you in the next post!


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Art Quote

More recently, books, especially paperbacks, have been printed in massive and inexpensive editions. For the price of a modest meal you can ponder the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, the origin of species, the interpretation of dreams, the nature of things. Books are like seeds. They can lie dormant for centuries and then flower in the most unpromising soil.

~Carl Sagan

4 Responses to Watercolor: What’re we doing Today (& Digital vs Paper Books)

  1. kimminichiello June 7, 2017 at 1:26 pm #

    All the Peter Mayle books on the south of France are a hoot! Keep reading or listening don’t just stop with A Year in Provence!

    • Belinda DelPesco June 9, 2017 at 10:48 am #

      Hi Kim! Yes, I’ve listened to two so far (A Year in Provence, and Toujours Provence), and friends have recommended Hotel Pastis, but it’s not available as a digital audiobook. I’ll keep looking. Which Mayle books did you love?

  2. gaelle1947 June 5, 2017 at 10:55 am #

    As you know, I too love audiobooks. I appreciate that this format enables me to “read” more books without sacrificing painting or driving time. They also lull me to sleep – better than a sleeping pill – and serve to crowd out worrisome thoughts (and yes, I always remember at what point I fell asleep the next night!). These don’t threaten my love of print books (thinking of the song: Torn between two Lovers LOL!). I usually have anywhere from 5 to 10 hard copy books on the go (half of them usually art books). It is so reassuring to know that if the power goes off, or batteries run out, or the internet-beaming satellite gets swallowed up in the cosmos – I can still hold a book – and if it happens to be a copy I own (vs library copy), then I can really love that book back with margin notes and underlined passages. I am addicted to both! A library patron once referred to books as his “passport to adventure”. How true! I LOVE how your paintings so beautifully rendered the cozy intimacy of reading.

    • Belinda DelPesco June 6, 2017 at 10:05 pm #

      Hi Gayle,
      I think we were both librarians in another life. But in the art reference section of the library! I hadn’t considered the lulling to sleep potential of audiobooks, but I get how that could fill thoughts with better dream fodder than what we might come up with naturally. And I wholeheartedly agree that books are a passport; I just last weekend told my early-reader grandkids about the way books take us to places far away, to meet people we never imagined, even while we sit in our own rooms. Yay for books! And yay for you, fellow book lover and kind hearted compliment-giver!

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