February 9, 2013 - Read in the Bathtub Day

If one thing is clear to most moms, it's that books and water don't mix well! But if you are very, very careful not to splash, reading in the bathtub is a time-honored luxury. With some sweet-smelling bath salts in warm water, sitting almost immersed, your head cushioned on a fluffy towel and your toes stretched out the length of the tub, reading in the tub could be wonderfully relaxing.

(Let's stick to reading inexpensive paperback books, though! Not library books! And certainly no electronic readers or tablets!!)

Here's another way to go with the whole Reading in the Tub thing!

When I read the words “Read in the Bathtub Day,” I immediately thought of artist Chuck Close. I read that Close had learning difficulties, but he discovered a way to study in the bathtub. He would darken the bathroom but have a single spotlight on the book he was trying to study. He would draw a bath with water as hot as he could stand to get into. And then he would sit in the tub, in that hot water, and he would read the stuff he was studying over and over and over and over again, until the water was really cold.

When Chuck Close did that, he was able to focus on the ideas he was studying, and then he was able to remember them, too!

Each of us has to find out what helps us to learn things. Maybe you need to memorize lines of a play. Maybe you are taking a driver's test on the hundreds of rules-of-the-road. Maybe you are learning a new language. Whatever the case, you should try out many different ways of studying. Some people love making flashcards. Some people teach a younger sibling—because the act of teaching makes us learn more surely and more deeply. Some people make color-coded notes. There are gobs more ideas here.

Chuck Close is amazing.

He creates huge portraits. Sometimes he makes the portraits photorealistic, but way larger than reality.

Yes, this is a painting!
Other times he creates portraits using many small abstract pictures. One painting was made by countless fingerprints made with different colors of paint. Somehow, he ends up with a portrait you can recognize from far away—but you can only see blocks or dabs of color when you are up close.

Check out some of Chuck Close's pictures here

Here is a short video about Chuck Close's portraits and his process. 

Here, Close is interviewed by Stephen Colbert—and he reveals that he paints faces even though he has face blindness!

Read the book Chuck Close Up Close, by Jan Greenberg. 

Also on this date:

Glaciologist and aerial photographer Erich Dagobert von Drygalski's birthday

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