We finally have the website revision up and running. This is my first attempt at a post.
I want to tell you about some books you may enjoy for your summer reading and a few tricks…We are heading out to Montana next Wednesday (6/15/16).
Long drive…. If you find yourself in the passenger seat on a such a drive, I recommend having your sketchbook and several pens up front with you. Also some colored pencils.
- Start drawing what is in the distance and as you move toward it, add the detail and buildings. Draw as fast as you can. Do you shading after they have passed by.
- When you are in narrow vistas, chose a species of tree to draw. Start at the top; as you pass it, look for another. Keep adding branches and details as your species appears again and again. Then choose another and start again.
- Or relax and flip through your sketchbook adding colored pencil to the line drawings already there.
Once you are home:
Time to get in your hammock and start reading…
The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro. If you have ever been to the Isabella Steward Gardener Museum in Boston this is a must read. If you haven’t (besides putting the museum on your bucket list) you will still enjoy the combination Shapiro manages to balance in her very written novel.
She not only captures the mystery and beauty of this implausible museum, she successfully uses the unsolved the 1990 heist of 13 major works of art to create a thriller in which the protagonist is a young and very skilled artist who pays the rent by reproducing famous art (as a business) while she struggles to be recognized in the current art world for the quality of her own work. You learn a great deal about the techniques of Degas. And you may smile at how much more difficult it is to achieve luminous glazes in oils than in watercolor.
The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova has some similarities to The Art Forger. The Impressionist period again looms large. The main character is a very complex, exceptionally skilled and dedicated modern artist who is fascinated with the techniques of an earlier period while, again, exhibiting a deep understanding of contemporary art. The Swan Thieves is also a a mystery concerning the actions of people over 100 years ago. In both, letters from the past play an important role as well as reflection on the current art scene.
The authors of both books write lyrically about why one wishes to paint. In this aspect, Kostova has written a book of great understanding. It will help you to appreciate your craft — and possibly help you to better explain its fascination to others.
I was also struck by how the artists in both novels draw their way into an understanding of what they want to paint. I have preached this and was glad to find myself in such good company. You don’t know what you subject is until you draw. And draw. Refine it. Change it. Rework it. Get to know it. Draw. It is what happens in your brain when you are drawing that is the key. Not the marks on the paper.
I would be interested in hearing what you think of the books. Enjoy!
Hope to see you in a class this summer. We’ll be back from Montana 6/29. You may stay in touch via emails.