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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Why You Should Reread Your Art Books

'Autumn Comes'          5x7           pastel       ©Karen Margulis

If it is an art book I want it.  I am always on the lookout for art books in my wanderings through thrift stores.  I don't care what the subject is. If is is related to art and under $5 I'll probably buy it and add it to my collection.

What do I do with all of these books? Some on topics that don't even seem to have anything to do with my mediums.  Well I usually manage to find some nugget of wisdom or inspiration in any book and that's a post for another day.  I do have my favorite art books....my 'go to' books that I like to read and reread. The ones I always seem to share with my students. These books never seem to get put away.

A peek at some of my art books
And then there are books that I read or tried to read at some point but didn't find them helpful. These do get filed away. You know these books....the ones that perhaps came highly recommended but when you got them you couldn't get through them?   If you have any books like this Now is the time to take them out and read them again!   Why you may ask?


My copy of Edgar Payne's classic book on composition
You have grown. You have learned things about painting. You will undoubtably know more about creating art than when you first read the book. It takes experience and practice for you to really start to understand art concepts.  So what you may have struggled to understand last year might now make perfect sense.

We are not always ready to understand everything about painting. Sometimes we need to process one concept before we are ready to understand another. But when we are ready......the moment when it all comes together is simply magic!

Take the book 'Composition of Outdoor Painting' by Edgar Payne. This is a classic must have book but I could never get past the first chapter. True the prose is old fashioned and a bit hard to read but when I first got the book a few years ago....I wasn't even ready to try to decipher the prose. So when I took it out last week I was pleasantly surprised to discover the pearls of wisdom in the book. I was able to slow down and understand what Payne was saying. I was finally ready to read this book!

So take out some of those dusty art books that you may have relegated to the shelf and re read them. It may be time!  And I will be sharing some of the pearls from Payne's book in a future post.


Bonnie said...

I received some art books from my 99 yr. old aunt Teddy and one day I plan to sit down and read them. Some are antiques! I looked up Edgar Payne's book you are reading and it is costly. I'll keep a eye open for it as I go hunting at one of the used book stores. Wish me luck in finding it.

David King said...

That is one book I do need to get Karen, thanks for reminding me. You are right they we need to re-read our art books. I usually do a quick read through right after I buy a book then put it on the shelf for when I decide to take the time to actually study it. For some reason I've not been able to get all the way through Carlson though, I did get farther the second time. :)

Anonymous said...

love your painting you should ask more for it! don't care for the frame takes too much away. just a thought.

Gloria said...

I will take out my Edgar Payne! I have had it for years, but as you said, couldn't get through it. I love you paintings because the are full of energy!

Itaya Art said...

I agree. I love books and instructional books are some of my favorites. I especially love collecting them if they are older. One day, I just might need that book on how to paint widgets or whatsits and there it will be! :)

Tim Moore said...

maybe a related but unrelated train of thought?..i too buy art books whenever i see them or the wife does at sales, but i have not read most of them..but i started painting only 4 years ago,i am 53..started digital painting and thought if i tried "real" painting i could understand what it was i was trying to get the program to do..well i picked pastels and have just fallen in love with them, cant get enough...but also am trying other mediums,... and so i start to read the books i have and gain nuggets from them. i think my point is ,yes re-read or just read those books you have..and dont be afraid to try a new medium or technique you read or see..nice blog by the way..

Karen said...

Thank you all for your thoughts! I agree with Tim....you just never know what morsel you will find that you can apply to your medium or try another one!!

Anonymous said...

Timely message. I borrowed pastel-related books from the library, then went on to purchase when I found them through a used, online bookseller. I wondered if I'd made a mistake by adding them to my collection. You're right, there are different techniques throughout, and I need to work out the basics, first.