An Interesting Read!

I picked this book up at the library earlier this week.  I just thought it sounded interesting… and it is!  It’s a bit of a “how to” book, but it covers a lot of information about materials and techniques.  The author, Jonathan Stephenson, ties together historical information with painting technique without being dry or academic.  He also really creates a broad perspective on how many different ways there are to paint!  I am having fun with it and might even have to paint along with a few of the demos.

Paint with the Impressionists, Jonathan Stephenson, 1995, Thames & Hudson

“How to” Books

I have discovered the world of “how to” painting and drawing books.  In the past I had always dismissed them as being only for the beginner.  Recently I have been using them as teaching tools in my classes and I have found the information in them to be quite useful in my own studio as well.  I am reminded of the reality of art making: there is no one way to do anything.  Every book offers slightly different opinions on topics like the best way to start, when to use black, how to layer… etc.  Not only do these books hep me brush up on my technique, but they inspire me to try new ways of using a media or approaching a composition.

I have checked out Landscape, by Richard McDaniels, from the library a few times.  This book covered the subject of landscape in various media.  I love the artworks used as examples!  Also this book has a number of fun, playful tips and techniques for making interesting art beyond the traditional approaches.  When I am feeling stuck, this gets me back in the studio.

Wolf Kahn

Wolf Kahn is one of my absolute favorite artists.  I am drawn to his simple, brilliant colors in landscape.  He works in both oil and pastel to create whimsical yet powerful images.  This library book currently sits on my coffee table.  I might just have to buy it.  There are some fascinating essays about Kahn’s life.  The author, Justin Spring, helps provide perspective to Kahn’s evolution as an artist.  This book is full color and is truly stunning.

Wolf Kahn, Justin Spring, Abrams, NY, 2011