Sunday, April 24, 2011

MY BOOKS…part 2

Further down the wall my eyes encounter several shelves of art books. These fall into four general categories: books devoted to the lives and work of artists, books about art and art history, reference/picture file books, and how-to books. Commanding the most space on one shelf are books by, about, and illustrated by Paul Hogarth, the contemporary British illustrator whose work and approach to art had a most profound effect on me early in my art career. (I will have more to say about him later.)

These are the books I do return to when I feel the need to boost my enthusiasm, search for new ideas, or just want to look at good art. Some of these books have been with me for over 30 years, some I purchased new and a few were “finds” at used bookstores. Among the artists settled on my shelves are: Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Charles Demuth, Maxfield Parrish, N.C.Wyeth,, Edward Hopper, and Norman Rockwell. It has always been much easier for me to identify with realists and illustrators than with the abstract artists.

Also in my study, scattered throughout the house, and in the studio are the reference books, books used for ideas and images for my paintings. They are mostly photographic, depicting one or more places of interest, cities, rural vistas, or wilderness scenes. Because of my interest in architectural art, I have many volumes devoted to architecture and architectural art, which I refer to frequently.
All of the books in this “art library” serve two basic purposes, to nurture the creative spirit and to teach, functions vital to all artists, but especially the self- taught.

Like the practice of medicine…the desire/need to create art is both a state of mind, and an affair of the heart. The books I have acquired over the years serve both.

Just as water seeks its own level...books have a way of finding every available flat surface in the house and studio.

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