Books

October 2019: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

October 2019: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

This book is not new.  And I'm sure many of you have read it.  But I am recommending it for a specific reason...

From time to time, everyone - not just artists - become exhausted.  Creatively, intellectually, physically - you name it.  Exhaustion and depletion can hit and leave you flat and needing to refuel.  A big part of overcoming a creative slump or period of exhaustion is learning how to rest whatever it is that is tired - and then just exactly how to refuel...

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September 2019: Find Your Artistic Voice By Lisa Congdon

September 2019: Find Your Artistic Voice By Lisa Congdon

While this book doesn't contain a magic formula for quickly discovering what ingredients you will use in your specific work, it offers a road map to discovery.  She begins by breaking down voice into a combination of "skill, subject matter, medium, and consistency", and argues that if practice, honesty, and persistence is applied you will arrive at your own work.  According to Lisa, that arrival is "entering your own orbit", a thought that makes so much sense to me.
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August 2019:  In Pursuit of Inspiration by Rae Dunn

August 2019: In Pursuit of Inspiration by Rae Dunn

In Pursuit of Inspiration is a beautiful, slim volume illustrated with gorgeous pictures and whimsical watercolor paintings on matte finished pages.  Scattered throughout are the author's ideas, observations, and stories about where to find and how to look for inspiration.
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July 2019:  Born To Run by Christopher McDougall

July 2019: Born To Run by Christopher McDougall

This book changed my life and I absolutely recommend it to anyone, whether you are a runner or not.  However, I DO NOT advocate barefoot running - but this book is also not about barefoot running, which is a common misconception about it.
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June 2019:  Draw Your Day By Samantha Dion Baker

June 2019: Draw Your Day By Samantha Dion Baker

If any of you are feeling stumped in your practice - or like you don't know where to begin with one, I would recommend giving sketch journaling a try, and this lovely book provides a wonderful and inspiring guide to getting one started.
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May 2019:  Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

May 2019: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

One of my favorite ways to find new inspiration for painting is by looking to other mediums.  Turns out, not surprisingly, that the subject of how to write is rich soil to dig into for visual inspiration.  Anne Lamott has a witty and dry sense of humor that moves quickly while still making you feel like you're on the inside of the joke.  She uses this style to dispense advice about writing that translates shockingly well into the visual realm. 

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March 2019:  Make It Till You Make It by Brendan Leonard

March 2019: Make It Till You Make It by Brendan Leonard

This is a slim little volume (under 100 pages) that you can page through in one evening.  As stated on the cover, it contains 40 Myths & Truths About Creating.  Plenty of these will be familiar ideas to many of you, but Brendan Leonard has a ruthless and concise take that gives fresh perspective.

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February 2019:  The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by Thad Carhart

February 2019: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by Thad Carhart

This book is about more than "rediscovering a forgotten passion" as the the cover suggests.  It is about doggedly pursuing something new outside of your routine.  It is about finding inspiration in unlikely places and finding new friends even geekier than you are.
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January 2019:  Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles & Ted Orland

January 2019: Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles & Ted Orland

This book both surprised me and confirmed some of my preconceived notions about it.  It surprised me in that it wasn't a fast read.  It's a relatively slim volume that I figured I would absolutely devour.  Instead I nibbled at it.  Some nights I would only read one paragraph, as that could provide enough food for thought for the entire next day.  
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December 2018:  Sacré Bleu by Christopher Moore

December 2018: Sacré Bleu by Christopher Moore

I've read Christopher Moore before.  He is completely zany, but very well-researched, and hilariously irreverent.  When reading his books I find myself rolling my eyes one minute, bursting out laughing the next, bothering Matt to read a passage out loud, and all the while rapidly turning pages.  
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November 2018:  A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

November 2018: A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

I'll admit right off the bat that I am only an occasional Hemingway fan.  I can appreciate his genius while not always enjoying his stories.  However, I found A Moveable Feast to have some exceptionally inspiring parallels to painting.
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October 2018:  Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat

October 2018: Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat

This book is an oldie but a goodie, and by 'goodie' I mean excellent and life-changing.  It was actually years ago when I first read this book, and it has remained one of my favorites ever since.  You know how when you think back over the books you've read - the most memorable and influential books in your life always stand out?  For me, this book is one of those.
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