This video -- made by Canadian director Andrea Dorfman using Tanya Davis's song, Art -- reminded me of the joy that art brings me. Making it, appreciating it, discussing it -- what kind of person would I be without it? I have much to be thankful for, and today is art's turn.

My mother tells me that when I was three or four years old, I memorized the words of a children's book she often read to me. When we had visitors, they would point to a page and I would "read" it, to their surprise.
Was that my first memory of the rewards of reading? Maybe. What I know is that books were my portal to the person I am today. Reading led me to many of the other art forms that I've enjoyed over the years: theater, foremost, but also dance, music, the visual arts, photography, design, and the handmade object.

And now a different kind of "book lust" is opening new doors. Book arts has introduced me not only to the craft of making books, but to art forms -- like printmaking -- that I'd only admired at a distance in the past. The more involved I become, the more I realize that the beauty of the handmade book is its ability to take on many forms, both literally and conceptually. It can exist on its own as an artfully-made object -- a blank journal, say -- or it can serve as a vehicle for expressing large and small ideas that incorporate a range of art forms -- as in artists' books.

In my case, my appreciation of book arts is directly connected to my lifelong love of books and reading. And yet, some of my book artist friends are not readers. Hmmm. Sounds like a subject for another post. Happy Thanksgiving, all.


Slow Blogging

Interesting article in the Sunday Styles section of today's New York Times about "slow blogging" and the apparent shift in blogging patterns. Turns out that Todd Sieling, a technology consultant from British Columbia, wrote a "Slow Blog Manifesto" in 2006 positing that "not all things worth reading are written quickly." Hard to disagree with that.

Later in the article someone who studies popular culture and technology says that bloggers who tend to write short posts -- ones that mainly point readers to something they should read or see -- are moving to other venues, like Twitter or Facebook. Barbara Ganley, the blogger featured in the article, seems to agree. Her motto is "blog to reflect, Tweet to connect." As for me, I've yet to Tweet. For one thing, I like to communicate in complete sentences.

I suppose it's inevitable that there would be a blogger shakeout. Burn-out, lack of time, and loss of interest are probably the major factors for those who stop blogging. I'm certainly guilty of the second, and very occasionally the third.

I wonder how arts/artists' blogs fit into the discussion? Most of them, I find, are less about analysis (e.g., political blogs) and more about sharing and inspiration, and that may set them apart. I blog about books and book arts (and occasional asides) partly because the passion I have for these encourages me to share what I learn with others who have similar interests. And over the months that I've blogged, I've been so inspired and delighted by other bloggers' contributions that I feel a certain responsibility to give back, to contribute to the whole.

I'll be interested to see how this develops.