Learning to Read

Think back to when you were a little kid learning to read. The first thing that you needed to know was the alphabet, then the way each letter sounded, and then how you put those letters together to make words. Words become sentences, sentences become paragraphs, paragraphs become essays, essays become books and books become a library. If you only know how to read a book then books would be your only way of seeing the world. But what about paintings, or poetry, even architecture? How do you read those?

To read a painting, you should try to paint. You don’t start a painting by painting. No, you start a painting by drawing with the paint, mapping an image on to the canvas. The first 10 minutes of a painting are the most crucial, just as important as learning the alphabet. The more advanced you are as a painter the easier it is to read other paintings. Think about looking at the composition, the lighting, color, contrast, and texture. If you can understand all that then you can understand why an artist chose to paint like that. You can now see the world from a painters perspective.

To read a poem, write a poem. To read architecture than I highly suggest watching as many episodes as you can on HG TV or ask an architect.

One of my teachers in middle school said “When your a little kid you learn to read, but as you get older you read to learn.”