The Laws of Nature

Friday, November 27, 2009

A List

As you know by now, I love reading art books. And, I've found that many of you have quite a collection as well. Therefore, I'm listing below the art-related books I've read over the past six months and hope that you'll mention the books you find helpful as well!

Ways of Seeing by John Berger, 1972, Penguin Books

Art Theory: An Historical Introduction, 2nd ed. by Robert Williams, 2009, Blackwell Publ. Ltd.

The Shape of Content by Ben Shahn, 1957, Harvard University Press

Interaction of Color by Josef Albers, 2006, Yale University

Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye by Rudolf Arnheim, 1974, University of California Press, Ltd.

From Ordinary to Extraordinary: Art & Design Problem Solving by Ken Vieth, 1999, Davis Publications, Inc.

Classical Painting Atelier: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice by Juliette Aristides, 2008, Watson-Guptill Publications

Georgia O'Keeffe: Nature and Abstraction, 2007. a joint publication of the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Vancouver Art Gallery

Louise Nevelson: A Passionate Life by Laurie Lisle, 1990, Summit Books


Four Seasons in a Life said...

There came a smile across my face upon reading your post. It was mostly because of the title and a book I just purchased called 'Infinity of Lists' by Umberto Eco. It is the third in a series of art books, with the first two being on beauty and ugly.

Among the books you list is one we share in common, Ways of Seeing by John Berger.

Wishing you a wonderful weekned

Mark Sheeky said...

Lots of technique books there. Art and Visual Perception looks interesting I'm going to look that one up! Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist was my last I think.

Kathy said...

Thanks,Egmont. I haven't read Eco's books but will add them to my "list!"

Hi Mark, The anatomy book you refer to is a good one. I've got it, and I'm glad you mentioned it!

Mark Sheeky said...

Now, after digesting many of your points on Arnheim I'm less excited. The mind operates on images easily but I'm not sure how useful it is to try to rationalise the feeling of each image, when instinct and everything in us makes it obvious?

Kathy said...

Mark, I know exactly what you mean, but I also see the other side of the coin. When I paint, I hear voices in my head (NOT the schizophrenic kind!) telling me things like "check for balance" "change that shape for variety" "are the values right?" and so on. Sure, I'm painting fast and there appears to be spontaneity, but I also remember the lessons learned. So, while I don't make a conscious effort to remind myself of Arnheim's principles, the fact that I once learned them is enough for them to linger in my near consciousness and utilize them while I'm painting. When the painting is near completion, then I use critical judgement, which is more conscious. I believe that all that we learn, sense, and experience is carried into our paintings if we let it. That includes intuition.

hwfarber said...

When I'm asked where I get my ideas for paintings, I usually reply, "From everyplace." Your summary in the comment above is perfect ".....all that we learn, sense & experience is carried into our paintings if we let it. That includes intuition."

I hope you include it in your book. Great list; I have some of these, and I've actually read them. I recently bought the one by Albers.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kathy,
One of my favorite books from the last six months was "Cubism and 20th Century Art" by Robert Rosenblum. I've read other books on Cubism, including Douglas Cooper's book "The Cubist Epoch". What I particularly like about Robert Rosenblum's was his writing style; it was a good read! Douglas Cooper's is a classic, in part because he knew so many of the key artists personally.
I bet you're not surprised I read books on Cubism...!

Kathy said...

Thanks, Hallie. I'd be interested to know what you think of Albers book! Also, I want to encourage my blog readers to look at your blog. I'm so very impressed with your painting about drought!

Hi Peggy, I had to smile when I saw your book recommendations! Of course, cubism :-) Your work really reflects your diligent study of cubism and I've really enjoyed watching the toy pony drawings evolve. If any of my readers haven't seen these, please go to Peggy's website.

Margaret Ryall said...

I love any book recommendations I can get. I've read several you suggested including the must read "Ways of Seeing" I also read Umberto Eco's Beauty.

I spend half my life trying nor to buy too many books and the other half reading the ones I bought. I could go on and on with my favourites but I will control myself. Here's three that I particularly enjoyed in the last several years. I read them when I was working on my Remnants series that focused in part on objects.

Language as Object: Emily Dickenson and Contemporary Art, 1997

Still Life With Oysters and Lemon: On Objects and Intimacy, Mark Doty - a small book that will change how you look at objects. I loved this little book.

Georgia O' Keefe: the poetry of things, Elizabeth Halton Turner, 1999

Then my Reading a Garden series got me purchasing a whole new set of books.

Robert Kushner, Wild Gardens, 2006

I love this artist who has spent most of his life going against the grain of popular beliefs about suitable subject matter for art.

-Don said...

I must admit that most of my recent art-related reading has come from the Katharine A. Cartwright CliffsNotes Study Guide and all the wonderful discussions which have ensued. I love to read, and I even have a huge collection of art-related books, but I rarely read them any more - although I do get them down a lot to look at the pictures (kinda the opposite of the Playboy Magazine phenomenon of everyone buying them for the articles). In fact, in the past 6 months I have read pretty much every genre of book EXCEPT art-related ones - specifically fiction, history, biography, mythology and religion.

With all that said, I DEVOUR every issue of Art News, Art Calendar, The Artist Magazine, and National Geographic as soon as they arrive in the mail. So, I guess I get in my share of art-related reading, just not from books right now. It's nice to know they're there if I need them, though...


Kathy said...

Margaret - thanks for recommending these books! I've read only one of them and will look for the others.

Don - Like you, the majority of my art books have been relegated to the shelves and looked at only when I need to reference a painting or look up a historical fact. That's why I purchase art books rather then borrow them from the library.

Mark Sheeky said...

You're absolutely right Kathy! Today in the warm cold light of a winter's evening I can't think why I could object to reading about and DOING image analysis when I do both all the time. Like Arnheim probably has, and perhaps you, I've got a checklist... many! for each circumstance. Thanks for making me think :)

Kathy said...

Mark - that's what I like about "blogging" - we make each other think! I love reading all of your blogs as well and am learning a lot!

Celeste Bergin said...

a sublime list. I have read some of them...and will add your recommendations to my wishlist!

Kathy said...

Hi Celeste,
Great! I'd love to learn what books have inspired you, as well. (ALL of you)