Tuesday, March 6, 2012

TOP TEN TUESDAY -- My 10 Favorite Art Books

1)  The Art Spirit, by Robert Henri -- I've read this twice, and I'm ready to read it again.  It is so inspirational, and is, as George Bellows said, "comparable only to the notes of Leonardo . . . "

2)  The Blank Canvas, Inviting the Muse, by Anna Held Audette -- I have never seen this one on any "best of" lists, but I love this little book!  Great book for any artist who has had trouble "getting started" -- haven't we all?  I'm going to read this one again, too.

3)  Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils & Rewards of Artmaking", by David Bayles -- This is a book written by artists, for artists -- a simple, but powerful, must-read book.

4)  The Artist's Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron -- A course to free your creativity, no matter what form of art you are interested in.  This has been a life-changer for a lot of people.

5)  bird by bird, by Anne Lamott -- So insightful and funny -- about life and creativity.  It is a must-read for anyone interested in creative writing, but I would recommend it to any artist or art student.

6)  The Natural Way to Draw, by Nicolaides -- If you are serious about learning how to draw, get this book!  And then, read it and use it -- do all the exercises.  I did, and it helped me so much!  It's the best "how-to" book on drawing, written in 1941.

7)  Hawthorne on Painting, collected by Mrs. Charles Hawthorne -- This book has so much to offer the painter -- especially in regards to the subject of color.  Charles Hawthorne was a master guide and teacher of art, and this book contains his notes and his students' notes. 

8)  Composition, by Arthur Wesley Dow -- This book, first published in 1899, was written by the mentor of Georgia O'Keefe.  He was very much influenced by Japanese art -- I guess that's why it resonates with me.  It is a classic -- a practical, well-illustrated guide to artistic composition.

9)  On Painting & Drawing, by William Morris Hunt -- another book, based on the teachings of an exceptional teacher from 19th century Boston.  Always considered ahead of his time, Hunt's teachings are still relevant today.  (I think I need to read this book again, too.)

10) Composition of Outdoor Painting, by Edgar Payne -- An important book on Landscape Painting -- no matter what the medium.  Payne was able to reduce complex ideas to simple demonstrations in this classic book.  (Plus, the photo of Payne on the back cover is priceless.)


  1. Pat,

    This is a wonderful wealth of information. I so enjoy looking at your work and knowing that you were once just a young girl from Ohio with a lot of spunk and talent. As always, wishing you the best and thanking you for all you have given to so many.

    Patty (Just) Malyj

  2. Thanks, Patty, for your kind words -- and thank you for checking out and sharing my blog with others!