Sunday, April 01, 2007

Amusing Myself or How you know you're an Art Nerd

Do you know what I have taken to doing to amuse myself and keep my mind active while I read "Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel" or "Sheep in a Jeep" or whatever for the millionth time? Well, I'm going to tell you. Generally I occupy my mind with one of three things:

Method One: If the book is poetic in form, I identify and analyze the effectiveness of the literary devices used in the book. Alliteration, repitition, rhyme and rhythm are the most common culprits. Its silly, really, but sometimes I will try to skip a portion of the book whose rhythm or imagery I am not fully satisfied with. Andrew usually catches me in the act and makes me read it, however.

Method Two: If the book has a narrative structure, I analyze the authour's perspective, world view, and the implicit virtues emphasized in the book. I look for archetypes and echos of stories and characters from myth and legend. And I put together little theses on the underlying meanings of the book. Sometime I'll share my criticism of Cat in the Hat, which involves Dr Seuss's misuse of the trickster figure to promote the concept of a consequence free society with you. But not tonight.

Method Three: I try to work out the medium and techniques used in the artwork. Is is watercolour, acrylic or oil paint, markers, ink or a mix? Did the authour sketch the paintings first and then watercolour them in? Did they use the pencil crayons or the watercolours first? Was it oil paint or oil pastel? Did they get that effect by using bumpy paper or by using a special kind of brush? Does it look like they drew from life or from their imaginations? What artists or schools of art or design might have influenced them?

I think I might need to get a Masters in Children's Picture Book Literature when this stage of my life is over . . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you could teach a Masters in childrens lit, from the sounds of it.