Thursday, 7 February 2013

An Artist's Bookcase

There is a little bit of re-assessment going on at the moment, as it seems it is going to be a while before I have a studio and therefore have to make the best of what I have.

Room is a big issue, so I have tidied away almost everything that does not relate directly to oil painting - no more experiments with pastels, paper all tidied away, watercolours accessible but in a drawer and not lying about ready to be picked up

My books have also taken part in this - last year (during 28 drawings later) I was gifted a Kindle and it has occured to me that I don't really need quite so many paperbacks. So there has been a winnowing. Those that bring back memories, are brilliant or difficult to get are staying, the rest off to the charity shop. Which means I can re-arrange my art books out of big piles and into proper bookcases.

Starting with this one. The first layer is mainly books I am reading/plan on reading soon, the second are novels etc to be read, the bottom cookbooks etc along with beautiful, useful, inspirational reference books that I want to be able to consult in seconds.

So, to go through a few of them - The Art Of Urban Sketching speaks for itself, I have flicked through it (not least because the mega talented Wil Freeborn is in it, but haven't actually read very much of it yet.

The Artists Way - Julia Cameron - got about a third of the way through a few years ago, found it in the clear up and thought maybe I should try again. This kinda thing not normally for me, but it seemed to have a few useful ideas in it, not least the idea of having time every week to just do whatever you fancy. But writing every day not for me (but then, why am I writing this?)

The Artists Anatomy of Trees - Rex Vicat Cole - a quarter through this one, borrowed from the university library when I started painting trees. One I plan on finishing quite soon.

Oil Painting Techniques and Materials - Harold Speed - a classic, and always worth a browse when struggling. Gives me someone to argue against . . .

BP Portrait Award books from 2007 - 2011 - need to get 2012 soon. Really want to enter this some day, even if most of the work is photo-realistic. I find there are always a few gems.

The Inner Apprentice - Roger Neighbour - written to help GP trainees and trainers learn, I found this a very good book on learning skills. Another one found again, and never actually finished before.

Landscape Painting - Mitchell Albala - cause now I'm doing some, it might be an idea to read about it. No need to reinvent the wheel - and this book is nicely laid out and clear. about three-quarters in. There is also a blog, which the link will take you to.

Creative Illustration - Andrew Loomis - This is available online for free, but I like books. Started reading it from the library at Vytlacil in New York, got it when I got back as it seems to have a lot to say about composition - an area I need to practice. Unfortunately a little down my too read list presently.

Composition - Arthur Dow - A classic, and very useful when I red it a couple of years ago.

Imaginative Realism - James Gurney another much recommended blog, the book I found less useful. But may find it's place once I start bigger, more complex paintings.

OK, onto the bottom shelf - Velazquez the Technique of Genius - Jonathon Brown and Carmen Garrido - self evident, really. The close-ups are especially useful

Inspired by Light - Ken Howard - inspiring to know that realism is out there, part of the RA etc.

Below these are two books from Ludion's classical art series - Titian and Velazquez's complete works. There is also one for Brueghel and Vermeer, which may be the next purchase.

Any recommendations out there of what I should be adding to the bookcase? There is still a little room . . .

P.S. I'm over at Good Reads if anyone wants to join me. Also, yes I was inspired by James Gurney's post about artist's bookshelves over at Gurney Journey . . .

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