I love books! While I like many types of books and read both fiction and non-fiction, I am going to list here selections that have been interesting in various degrees in my art development life. This list has not changed much over the years. I had a group of books that were and continue to be the basic ones that taught me valuable lessons.
It’s interesting to me to know what you have read that has been influential, so give me input on your reading list and feedback on mine: email@example.com
Creating Abstract Art
Dean Nimmer ©2014
This is another book that I have been drawn to that deals with abstract art. Mr. Nimmer gives his take on the creative process and like the previous book, gives lots of exercises that some will find helpful. This book has a little more technical information that deals with math and proportions. It has lots of good information and is a great way to play with some new approaches to doing abstract art. It is very well written and illustrated.
Painting and Understanding Abstract Art
John Lowry ©2010
This is a fun book that has good explanations and definition regarding abstract art. There are many exercises that are constructive and can easily be done when a person just wants to brush up, organize some thoughts and free up from a temporary block. I particularly like to give myself little exercises to do that stretch me out and are good warm ups. This book is well written and has many good tips.
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life
Twyla Tharp ©2003
This book has some really good ideas about analyzing your own method of being productive. It is geared to all artistic endeavors whether it be painting, writing, performing or other activities. Sometimes we read these books that may suggest working a certain way but in Twyla’s book she wants you to do what works for you with the end goal of increasing your creativity and using your time efficiently. Our brains all work differently….this book contains good information.
ART FUNDAMENTALS: Theory and Practice
Ocvirk – Stinson – Wigg – Bone
This is an old book, circa 1960’s, and has been updated several times. It was the basic textbook for an Art 101 college course that I took years ago. Probably any basic art textbook will suffice. You want a complete guide to art theory that gives some art history and explains the basic principles of design.
DESIGN SYNECTICS: Stimulating Creativity in Design
Nicholas Roukes 1988
This is an updated version of the textbook with a little different take on the basic principles and elements of design. Also has interesting exercises and projects.
DRAWING ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BRAIN
Betty Edwards 1979
This book has become the Bible of teaching drawing over the years. It’s used in all school levels including college and it widely used in art schools. I have also seen it used and/or referred to by quilt teachers. If you want to learn to draw, with a little self-discipline, you could easily work through this book on your own. The exercises are well described and easily accomplished.
DRAWING THE LIGHT FROM WITHIN
Judith Cornel, PH.D. 1990
This book appealed to me because I liked the use of patterning and added color into some basic drawing skills. It also addresses the creative component of the drawing process.
ZEN SEEING, ZEN DRAWING
Fredrick Franck 1993
A good compliment to the first two in this category. Mr. Franck’s approach gets much more into your head and heart and explores the idea of being one with your drawing and the subject. Very Zen.
ART & FEAR
Bayles and Orland 1993
Of the many books out on creativity and the psychology of making art, this is usually on the top or near the top of most lists. It’s a small book, easy to read and really lets you know the score when you decide to make art your life. Great information and a must read for those interested in the subject.
NO MORE SECONDHAND ART: Awakening the Artist Within
Peter London 1989
This book was quite insightful to me and made some good points. I really appreciated some comments early in the book about unrealistic expectations. Also, about a person’s commitment to their art in terms of time spent perfecting their art/craft and focus.
Robert Fritz 1991
This author has written other books an leads seminars on creativity and the creative process. He has some very good ideas on organizing your creative life. The principles in this book offer common sense ideas that would be beneficial in all phases of your life.
THE ARTIST WAY
This book looked at creativity in a different way by reducing the process to a twelve-step program. Many people in all areas of the arts have found this program quite helpful. I tried working through the whole process and while it did not all work for me, some parts and some information was quite helpful.
CLAIMING YOUR CREATIVE SELF;
True Stories From the Everyday Lives of Women
Eileen M. Clegg 1998
This is a compilation of stories about how these unrelated women have used creativity to make their lives fuller and more meaningful. It is a great “feel good” book and an easy read that makes many good points and the stories illustrate how to take this information and the information in all of the books in this category and how this translates to your own everyday life.
The following is a list of books that are full of exercises and theories about making art and getting the creative juices flowing in a “hands on” way. Each has a different twist but all have merit and can have interesting things to try when wanting to stretch and/or grow in a new direction.
LIFE, PAINT AND PASSION
Michell Cassou and Stewart Cubley 1995
CELEBRATE YOUR CREATIVE SELF
Mary Todd Beam 2001
LEARNING BY HEART
Cortia Kent and Jan Steward
FREEING THE CREATIVE SPIRIT
Adriana Diaz 1992
There are three books by Judy Chicago that really spoke to me. Through the Flower, Beyond the Flower and The Dinner Party all tell the story of the journey by a talented, committed, and groundbreaking artist.
BARBARA OLIVER HARTMAN | 122 RED OAK LANE, FLOWER MOUND, TX 75028 | 972.724.1181 | firstname.lastname@example.org