Can you recommend some good books for those of us who are teaching ourselves art?  I have no access to art lessons or even a good library, so I am going to build one of my own.  Today I ordered "Painting Abstracts: Ideas, Projects, & Techniques" by Rolina van Vliet and "Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go" by Shaun McNiff.  I need to learn the basics of everything from color to composition to process.  In short, I am seeking to give myself an art education.  What books have been the most helpful to you?

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I love art books - of artist's works and the "how to" variety. And its great that people have recommended the books above. But the best way I find to learn and improve is to follow my heart and interest. The problem with books about "How to" and courses is they take you down a planned route. That route never seems the right one for me - though I'll try any exercise if it attracts me. I've learnt to trust my own route. I'm lucky to have a good friend who gives me feedback on what I do. I expect you will find that through this site, which I think is a great and I'm so pleased to have found it too. My friend rarely gives me negative feedback - and she's right it doesn't work well for me. She always gets me to see what works and then I get a buzz and want to do more.

I guess I'm saying if working through a book is helping go for it. But the best book is the one you create yourself. I was only thinking today that all the best artists seem to break the rules. Some people take the approach that you have to know the rules to be able to break them. But some of us don't work that way. So create and enjoy. And make contact with others who enjoy your creations.  I like what you've put on the site so far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yano, thank you for your comments.  I have wondered if perhaps I'm better off not knowing the rules.  I'm the type of person who wants to understand how everything 'works.'  I guess I feel like knowledge of techniques will give me more tools to work with.  I understand that there definitely could be an advantage to being completely ignorant of the rules, which I pretty much am at this point.  I'm torn actually.  Art at its best and most genuine should come completely from the heart of the artist and not from a set of rules laid down in a textbook.  But, I do have one thing going for me.  I am a little rebellious.  I don't follow a rule, any rule if it doesn't make sense to me.  I guess I'm looking more for knowledge of techniques and how to create certain effects with color, tone, composition, etc.  I'm a person who is very comfortable with breaking the rules, so I don't think that will be a real hindrance.  Are you self taught?  I really like your stone sculptures.  Such a simple, but wonderful, beautiful idea.

I need to add stuff to my profile. One description - self taught - yes. Another - mentored by a great friend - who mainly say "look at that, wow", "Put a mount round that (bit) wow", "You know that would be amazing bigger - this was to a pic that started as an A5 work and ended up on a canvass which was over 1m." etc. I tried a course - I learnt - sadly nothing but the teacher was lousy.

 

But knowing tools is great as well but best when you can use the tool. Collecting tools might make no difference.

 

Yes, I love simple. I wish I could share the power of the (shingle) circle, its easy to see the photo and just respond -"its a circle". Try it yourself and see.

 


I bought drawing for dummy's and acrylic for dummys, and it also has lots of info.  Also for perpective: Perspective by William F. Powell and, Composition by James Horton.  Also you can surf the web and use ask.com they have a big section on art and videos.
Starr White said:
Pauline, I will definitely check out the book depository site.  Cheap prices and free shipping is right up my alley!  Thanks!
Thank you for your suggestions, Destry!
Yano, you have inspired me!  I've never done a sculpture before, because I had this rigid idea that it had to be carved in metal or stone or something.  But, I can do this!  I am fortunate enough to have lots of streams where I live with lots of rocks - really interesting rocks of all colors and shapes and textures.  My children and I are constantly collecting stones and now I have found a use for them.  I will be sure and post a pic when I've completed one.  Thanks!

Yano Rafferty said:

I need to add stuff to my profile. One description - self taught - yes. Another - mentored by a great friend - who mainly say "look at that, wow", "Put a mount round that (bit) wow", "You know that would be amazing bigger - this was to a pic that started as an A5 work and ended up on a canvass which was over 1m." etc. I tried a course - I learnt - sadly nothing but the teacher was lousy.

 

But knowing tools is great as well but best when you can use the tool. Collecting tools might make no difference.

 

Yes, I love simple. I wish I could share the power of the (shingle) circle, its easy to see the photo and just respond -"its a circle". Try it yourself and see.

 

Brilliant - post what you create. Look up the works of Richard Long on the www. His works are a little more "dry" but he won the Turner Prize and I figured that if Richard could do it, so could I but with a bit more fun. I wrote a 15 page document about his works and my response to them but he has never replied. Whicn I find sad.

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