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The Beauty of Printed Pages

July 1, 2011

Call me old fashioned, but I still love books and magazines that are printed on paper. Yesterday I was reminded of one good reason.

I’ve been watching a wonderful set of DVDs from Lynda.com to learn as much as I can about CorelPainter. I’ve had the software on my iMac since I got it 6 years ago, but in the interim I had gotten comfortable with PhotoShop Elements. Old habits die hard. And even with Elements, I had used only my favorite tools and have never even explored that completely.

I’m determined to learn Painter because I know it has more natural and painterly tools for artists. The more I see of the DVDs the more fun I know it will be.

Meanwhile, last week I decided to order a book on Painter. Yesterday the one I chose arrived at my door, Painter IX Creativity by Jeremy Sutton. I thumbed through it yesterday afternoon, and in just the first chapter are pages filled with pictures of sample brush strokes in the context of various artworks that taught me more than an hour of sitting and watching the DVDs. Not that the DVDs aren’t great — they are. But a book is a different experience altogether.

Besides being able to flip through the book to specific things I want to review, I can put sticky notes inside and mark those places, I can lay it down beside the computer and actually go through the steps as I see something I want to try. And if my results aren’t what I think they should be, I can flip back a couple of pages and re-read it. (That’s something I do a lot!)

This has been just one example of how an old-fashioned print book can be a great tool for learning, and why I don’t think videos or even downloaded books will ever completely replace them. But I also don’t think one has to choose. In this instance, they definitely work together to enhance the learning process.

I’m addicted to books about art, gardening, and fine dining. My favorites may have paint smudges, scribbled notes in the margins, or perhaps even a chocolate stain or two.

What do you think about books vs. digital how-to’s and demonstration videos? Is one better than the other, or must we even choose? Will there always be a place for old-fashioned print books?

And speaking of printed pages, I’ve just received my new copy of the July/August issue of Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine. My good friend Kim Radatz is featured inside, and one of her artworks is even on the cover. Kim won fist place in the magazine’s Artisan 2011 Competition.

I was also delighted to see that Ro Bruhn, a longtime friend of this blog, is featured in The Life of a Fabric Book in the current issue as well. I love Ro’s stunning work and you will too.

Congratulations to Kim and Ro!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 3, 2011 12:15 am

    I keep a few art books by my bedside to flick through – somehow the laptop doesn’t have the same appeal. I like DVDs for seeing how something is done, but nothing beats paper-in-hand for inspiration. I think we live in an age where we can have the best of both worlds, picking the media we need to get the best from the message.

  2. July 4, 2011 5:56 am

    There’s nothing like flicking through the printed page!

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