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Why I love Kenton Nelson's sensually intelligent 'Perusal'

Just updated my website with this wonderful painting by Kenton Nelson, a California artist who is keeping the style of the 1930s WPA artists alive. His work is full-bodied, whimsical and richly American.

When I first saw 'Perusal' on a friend's Pinterest board, I was instantly smitten. I love the way the straight lines of the wooden chair and baseboard form a solid perch for the curvaceous reader, which is so apropos of the way craft structure holds up the art of writing. The woman's posture says everything about how it feels to take a story in hand.

For me, 'Perusal' evokes exactly what books mean to me as a reader and a writer: respect for the straight lines of grammar and craft skill, a profound affection for characters reflected in the careful turning of the page, a sensual love of story that is centered in the heart and gut rather than the head, and then there's that gracefully sly pinkie finger doing its own thing.

Huge thanks to Kenton Nelson for allowing me to use this image on my website and business cards. It's my secret dream to own this painting some day, but for now, I'm thrilled to hang it on the wall of my online home. (And I splurged on one of his spectacularly beautiful coffee table books.)


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