Now for the Book List.
Everyone has their weakness and mine is art books. If I win a prize I buy an art book. If I'm feeling low, a new art book is sure to make me happy. Teaching has been the perfect excuse to give into my book jones. I will even design a new workshop to justify a purchase.
They have been a surprisingly good investment. A book I was going to put on this list, was purchased five years ago for $30.00. It is now out of stock and in demand and my $30.00 purchase sells for $170.00 (I own two copies!). That said, this year I made sure the books are all available (at least at the time I'm writing this) and reasonably priced. Most of them can be bought on Amazon.com with exception of the self published books by Richard Schmid. All the books have links to where they are sold.
Anders Zorn: A European Artist Seduces America.
By Oliver Tostman
Finally a book on Anders Zorn written in English! In 2013 two US museums held exhibitions of his work and books were published to coincide with them. The one listed here is from the show at the Gardner Museum in Boston last spring. If you are not familiar with Ander Zorn, he was a Swedish artist who painted from 1880 to 1920. Like Sargent and Soralla, he was traditionally trained and like them he expanded his painting to capturing the figure in outdoor settings. What is unusual about his work is that he used a limited palette of three primary colors plus white to make the majority of his paintings. This is a nice introduction to this Swedish artist who is gaining long deserved fame in this country.
The other exhibit on Zorn is currently showing in San Francisco. There is a book that goes along with it and is receiving rave reviews. Santa, if you are reading this please put it on your list for me? That one is also available on Amazon.
The self portrait on the left shows Zorn with his limited palette. The painting on the right shows his skill at painting figures out-of-doors.
Price: $35.84 To purchase this book click here
Painting More Than The Eye Can See.
By Robert Wade
I have owned this book for 30 years and still find Robert Wade’s teachings to be timely and engaging.
Wade is a great interpreter. He can take a scene before him and completely change the elements to reflect a different time of day or weather condition. He can do this because he understands light. Wade explains in a simple straightforward manner how artists can learn to control the light to create the work they want.
Even though this is a watercolor book I find the concept applies to all mediums and subject matter.
Prices vary from $38.00 to $11.00 depending on format and condition.
To purchase this book click here
The War of Art:
Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
By Steven Pressfield and Shawn Coyne
This is a powerful book for combating creative resistance for all artists. What do I mean by resistance? Ever have one of those days where you find every excuse to do something else besides paint (write, sing, dance, or whatever creative endeavor calls to you), even though it is what you long to do?
This is a poetic book on the power of resistance and how to break it. There is also an interesting section in the back on the artist’s muse.
This is my go-to read when I feel like procrastinating or am feeling a lack of inspiration.
Price:$9.38 paperback on Amazon. To purchase click here
ALLA PRIMA II ~ Expanded Edition
Everything I Know About Painting, and More
By Richard Schmid
I own the original ALLA PRIMA, and consider it my one "must have" art book.
Schmid has updated ALLA PRIMA and it is currently for sale on his site. Below is his description of the updated version:
For fifteen years, the original edition of ALLA PRIMA has been considered one of the most comprehensive art instruction books on the market and the standard in classical art education both in the United States and abroad. Now, it's even better. Alla Prima II is over a third larger overall, with over 328 pages, and 262 images of paintings, photos, step-by-step sequences, diagrams and bibliography. Plus, ALLA PRIMA II includes a comprehensive index for convenience.
Price:$125.00 Hardcover, $85.00 Softcover. To order click here
Richard Schmid, The Landscapes
I have been lent this book on several occasions and always find it inspiring. This is not an instructional book like ALLA PRIMA but it is a collection of Schmid's beautiful landscapes. Here is a description from his website:
In this landmark, large format book, Richard Schmid not only takes us to the many places he has painted, but also shares with us the fifty year path he traveled from youthful painter to seasoned artist. This is the visual tale of an artist and his lifelong romance with the colors and light of our earth. With delightfully candid narrative and over 300 full color images, Richard reveals what it is like to go out and capture life as it is happening. Discover how landscape painting is unlike any other form of art; and that artistic skill is only one of the many abilities demanded.
Price:$135.00 for hardcover $75.00 for softcover
Both books can be ordered from Richard Schmid.com