Steve's Reading Room

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

On Writing a memoir of the craft Stephen KIng

I have a secret passion and that is writing although I must confess that most of my skills with prose don't make an appearance in my blog. Could be the little time I devote to editing the things I post. Shame on me. I love books about craft and dedication to the work of getting it done and this book applies to writing as well as painting. King never mentions painting but he does devote many words to developing skills and putting them in the tool box, working everyday, staying away from bad writing and cliches, and reading and looking at good material all of the time. He says that if you don't love to read you probably won't find the time to write. I think this applies to painting also looking at and reading about great art and expanding you horizons of art that you like makes finding a place for yourself easier and much less intimidating. He also says that the muse won't appear if you don't give it a regular time of day to find you, your work habits bring the muse not the other way around. There are many art related gems in the book. I just loved it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Donna Watson Blog

I know this is not truly a book but it is something you should read and follow. It is Donna Watson collage and watermedia artist who has a wonderful view of life, art and community. She not only highlights her own work but also presents artists who she admires and relates to as the feature of her blog. Also of special interest to me is the the links to other artist's blog many of whom are just wonderful to get acquainted to through their blogs.
Go to http::/

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Books from the workshop in Ellicott City

I am sorry for the delay in posting this information but here are some of the books I brought along.
"Master Class in Watermedia" Edward Betts
"A life in Watercolor" Lawrence Goldsmith
"Watercolors" Donald Holden
"The Creative Artist" Nita Leland
"The Artist Design" Marie MacDonnell Roberts
"Motherwell" Frank O'hara
"Milton Avery the late paintings" Hobbs
"The Poetry Within" William Thon
"Richard Diebenkorn in New Mexico" Just a great book
"Elements of Color" Johann Itten

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mark Rothko by James Breslin

A fabulous book that really gives great insight into the man who would evolve into one the greatest, if not the greatest, of the "Abstract Expressionists". He brings to life a man who was never satisfied with himself, his work, or his environment and struggled with his isolation and depression throughout his creative life. One of the most terrific features of this book is Breslin's research into the artists' painting methods and working habits. He explains Rothko's use of glazes and pigment combinations to create the internal glow of his shapes. He portrays Rothko as a non-religious yet highly spiritual man who looked upon his works as his gifts to humanity that should if viewed properly project the viewer into a private world of knowledge and understanding. His relationship with his paintings before and after their sale proved to be extremely interesting. Rothko states " Paintings are skins that are shed and hung on a wall" He felt they were pieces of his life and could not be exchanged and simply forgotten as if they were objects or commodities. Rothko couldn't tolerate infidelity with his art he felt it an act of betrayal if the purchaser decided to trade or sell the work and he would refuse to sell more work to any violator of that trust. Rothko's relationships with his fellow iconic painters is also described and creates a wonderful backdrop for the understanding of this magnificent painter.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"The Writings of Robert Motherwell" Edited by Dore Ashton

Robert Motherwell was a fabulous artist and writer. He majored in philosphy in college and possessed a critical and observant mind. This book contains a huge percentage of his writings on many subjects: political tracks, thoughts on painting movement, the painting process, his own teaching philosphy, and eulogies and rememberances of some of his great contemporaries Pollock, Kline, Rothko, and Smith. Although he was a complex thinker and and as a result a very hard to digest writer, it will be well worth your time to go through this master abstract painters writings. He gives a wonderfully intimate insight into the energetic and creative atmosphere of the early formative years of the New York Abstract School.
Here are several wonderful quotes from the book "A painting is not a picture of something in front of your eyes. It is an attack on the medium which comes to mean something" p. 214
"Nothing as drastic an innovation as abstract art could have come into existence save as a consequence of a most profound need"