Tag Archives: books

…like a psychedelic Cat in the Hat

The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss
Ever since I was in preschool I’ve been a huge fan of Dr Seuss. To this day I can recite “If I Ran the Zoo” word for word, in its entirety. In my freshman year English class when we had to give a speech about an author, I chose Dr Seuss. It was actually pretty fascinating research, learning how he wrote Green Eggs and Ham on a bet (that he couldn’t write a book using fifty words or less), and how The Butter Battle Book was a nod to the nuclear arms race. You never picked up on it as a child, but he actually touched on some pretty heavy subjects. Yrtle the turtle a reference to Nazi Germany? Yup…really.
 
For my birthday eight-ish years ago my mom got me a book called “The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss.” Its page after page of brightly colored watercolors that he did, just for fun. It’s actually kind of strange, because the style is definitely Seuss like, you recognize that right away, but its hard to get used to all the bright vibrant colors. Most of the illustrations in his books used two, maybe three colors to help the publisher save on printing costs. What you get in this book feels like Seuss to the tenth power. Its colorful, and silly and weird and everything I love. You really need to check it out.

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Filed under artists, Inspirations, things I love

best.book.ever. (gotta love when inspiration finds you)

I think it’s cool that most often, I don’t need to seek out the things to inspire me. It always seems that they just appear. It’s pretty rare that I have lukewarm feelings about something. Either I’m ambivilant about something, or I LOVE it. Hot and cold, black and white. The things I love, I love intensely and passionately.

I was in Hobby Lobby about ten years ago buying art supplies (I’m a big fan of the 40% coupon in the paper when buying those big expensive Prismacolor sets) and I somehow wandered over to the poster section. I’m generally not that excited about that area, as I don’t want the same art in my house that millions of other people do. I don’t need puppies in paint cans, or babies in flowerpots, or a black and white photo of the Eiffel tower in my living room. Nothing against anyone that likes those things, but my personal tastes gravitate a little more toward the exotic, funky, or intriguing.

So I flipped past print after print of Monet’s haystacks, Degas’ ballerinas, and charts of kinds of chili peppers, and suddenly this jumped out at me:

Cosmos of the Enlightened Vision

 I LOVED it.

 I’ve always been a huge fan of Eastern art. To me it always feels fresh and interesting, probably because we’re not exposed to it nearly as much as European artists. I especially love the rich colors and exquisite details of Tibetan Art. I looked at the title: “Cosmos of the Enlightened Vision.” It had so much detail that you could practically fall into it and lose yourself forever.

Of course, I bought it. And hung it up. And every time I moved, although some things would fall in and out of the wall art rotation, that one always found a place.

Fast forward to last springs. My boyfriend and I were in a bookstore browsing in the bargain books section. For any artist, this is a GREAT source of cheap reference art. All of a sudden, a book caught my attention. The cover read “The Celestial Gallery” and the art reminded me of my beloved poster. It wasn’t anything I’d ever seen before, but it felt very familiar.

The Celestial Gallery - Romio Shrestha

I picked it up. Flipped through the pages. Page after page after page of gorgeous paintings just like “Cosmos of the Enlightened Vision.” Of course, they were all completely different, but every bit as intricate and beautiful and captivating. Then, smack in the center of the book, was “Cosmos of the Enlightened Vision.” That confirmed it. I had to own this book.

The best part was that, being in the bargain book section, this $39.99 book was marked down to $7.99. Even better, they were having at 50% all bargain books sale (I somehow had failed to notice the gigantic signs hanging up all over the section) and when I got to the register it was only $3.99!

 I went home that day the happiest girl ever.

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Filed under Inspirations