Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Art Books and Magazines, and the Elusive Muse

It's rare for me to buy/keep art books or magazines. Over the years, I would hoard magazines expecting to get them out when I needed inspiration. I'd buy art technique books hoping each would make me a better artist. But I rarely READ them, mostly looking at the photos and then dumping them on a shelf. After moving a couple times, I realized I never go back to look in these, so stopped buying them and gave most away. I now live in a city that has two fantastic library systems available to me, where I can search online and ask to have my selections delivered to a convenient nearby branch.

Although I've always loved art, I never really got to study or learn about most of the big name painters. The internet and Facebook really has opened my eyes to some wonderful art and artists (both living and dead)! I click on many Facebook artists' pages and "Like" them so I can see what they produce.

Beautiful stuff, but makes me realize how lacking my skills are! I've had a bit of a dry spell in my own art growth for over six months. I am used to having a couple bi-annual periods where I can't get excited about my art, but this six month spell is really bothering me. In particular, I really want to improve my oil painting technique. I know it takes hard work and time spent working to improve. But it is very hard to do when working full time outside the studio. I need to jump start my ambition to learn!

Last fall, my friend Marianne had shown me a book by UK painter David Curtis, Capturing the Moment in Oils. What a great book. I liked it so much, I ordered it.

He has several other titles too. Although I really enjoy his work, again, I ended up just looking at the photos and not studying. I found he didn't have enough visual descriptions of technique and progress shots, so the book sat.

Recently, I decided I needed to look for a different painting approach (for me) and did a fairly wide library search for oil painting techniques. So many books out there! I narrowed it done to half a dozen or so, ordered them to my library branch, and gave the pile a look. Many of them had the same old format with the gear, the paint, the brushes, the composition, etc. That part I have down pretty good already. I was looking for a book which showed me works in progress to see how the artist went about working.

JACKPOT! Found someone who really excited me - another UK artist, Peter Wileman and his book Painting Light in Oils.
Enough progress shots to get me going. I Googled him and found a few short videos with him promoting his DVDs (there are two; one matching the above book available in US viewing format, but the other, "Inspirational Oil Landscapes", is not US viewing format).

Loved watching him work and how he holds the brush and applies the paint. That's what I need to work on - how to actually apply the paints! So hard to learn without watching someone. I did end up ordering the book so that I can put in sticky notes and highlight things, but I am torn as to whether the DVD would help more. I'll probably order it soon!  ;-)

1 comment:

julie said...

I am totally with you Nancy. I need to see the oaint mixed and applied. You will get there.