Monday, October 14, 2013

Art Library

by Carol A.




The snobbish truth is that I thought that there were reader-writers and visual artist types in this world. I suspected that the right-brained types maybe weren't so interested in communicating with words, and maybe were not quite as talented in getting their point across. But my viewpoint wasn't intentionally snobbish since, as a reader-type, who could casually throw off a college essay in an afternoon, I also felt that I was useless in the art world - and unable to even draw a straight line. (The grass is always greener....)



Then I started to grow into and with the internet. I started to see it as the miraculous teacher that it is. In the privacy of my home, I can try anything out - without the hassle of the commute, the peer pressure of other students, or having to persist through the occasional bad teacher. If you don't like a course you're taking or your enthusiasm for a subject wanes as you get deeper into it, you can simply stop with no explanations due. On the other hand, I'm not a total recluse - I do believe in human interaction, and the happy accidents that happen with real communication. Even in a disappointing class, you can meet a mentor, friend or contact that furthers your goals in life, and you can learn from the other students; from having the access to materials. Sometimes you learn life lessons from all the machinations you go through just to get to class! So when I do find a subject that I enjoy in an internet class, I pursue real world classes and opportunities with greater focus and passion.

What I have discovered is that I could not have been more mistaken about the differences between visual artists and wordsmiths. I should have known from my occupational expertise, and my years of child study team consultations, that learning is an individual pursuit and that there are as many pathways to learning successfully as there are people. For the most part there are not bad teachers - just people who teach in a way that is not conducive for your personal learning style.



The rise of the blogging world or at least my discovery of the blogging world that I can relate to, just puts the "final nail in the coffin" of my out-dated conceptions. I mean really, with teachers like Kim Klassen, Tracey Clark, Matt Kloskowski, Xanthe Berkeley, Scott Kelby, Julieanne Kost to name just a few - can anyone discount the ability of artists to teach? With writing out there, like our own Kelly's month-long writing exercise challenge (happening right now here), like that in my favorite photography journals Stone Voices, and Lenswork  and with engines like Google, Goodreads and Pinterest to help you search out someone with expertise in just about any topic, you can find more instruction, passion and inspiration  than you could read in a lifetime. Even if an artist writes only one wonderful essay about his or her personal passion - we all have access to it! That's why I love blog posts like Dotti's last one, that offer favorite blog suggestions.




At the last workshop I went to, art and photography books and journals were scattered on the coffee tables for us to page through whenever we had a minute. I purchased several when I got home. I have also spent some lovely afternoons at the library paging through some beautiful art and photography books and exploring new journals. An afternoon like that can open a whole new world to you.

So this post is just a long way of asking you for your book and journal recommendations, as a follow up to Dotti asking what your favorite blogs are. Would you add to my winter reading list? I'd be grateful!



"Everyone is a reader. Some just haven't found
 their favorite book yet."
                                     Ashley Lighthizer 




15 comments:

Karen Main said...

Totally recommend The Drawing Mind by Deborah Putnoi, an interactive sketch book which transports the creative mind to some gorgeous discoveries through drawing.

AFishGirl said...

"Photographically Speaking" and "Within the Frame," both by David DuChemin. I really think they're grand.

Viv@within the Frame said...

Inner Excavation by Liz Lamoreux is a patricular favourite of mine...

Carol said...

I'm so excited. I have not heard of any of thse - Thanks you one and all!

Kim Stevens said...

I would concur with Pam (AFishGirl) on David DuChemin, I have both of those books and love them...a lot to soak in. I also have Michael Freemans book "The Photographer's Vision" to finish and then I will get some of his others. And I too have Liz's book and have glanced at it - thinking maybe this winter I will start it (I have always wanted to do a series on my blog as I follow along with it).

Dotti said...

Well, I could have sworn I commented on here earlier but my comment is nowhere to be seen! Anyhow, I always love learning about new resources and between yours, Carol, and our readers, we've got some good ones. One of my favorites is 'Understanding Exposure' by Bryan Peterson. And as Fishgirl and Kim said ... most anything by David duChemin.

Cathy said...

My bookshelf is full of books. I also love David DuChemin and I just picked up Understanding Exposure. One of the best books I have read is Visual Poetry by Chris Orwig. Oh there are too many. I had not seen Lenswork, so thanks so much. Great post.

terriporter said...

Oh, this is such fun and so informative! I have both the David DuChemin books (got them last Christmas) but have only scratched the surface. I have read Understand Exposure several times and it's a classic. I also have Understanding Close-Up Photography by Bryan Peterson which I have read over and over. The Chris Orwig one that Cathy mentioned sounds like one I should look into. I took some Photoshop classes from him on lynda.com and really liked his teaching style. If I were going to recommend a book that hasn't been listed here by someone else, it would probably be one of Peter Ensenberger's "Focus" books called Focus on Composing Photos, a great book on composition.

sherrygaley said...

I have read many of the books cited here and they are all great. I would throw in the books by Freeman Patterson. He was leading the way in creative photography when David and Chris and Brian were still in short pants. He does the kind of photography that many FOLers would totally love. Well worth exploring. http://www.freemanpatterson.com/books.htm

Deanna said...

Oh so much great information. I just ordered a couple books mentioned in the comments, and I want to add a couple of more "themed" books....one is a good one on food photography entitled "Plate to Pixel" by Helene Dujardin....the models are yummy, and the 2nd one since I am getting into family photography as a small business, is "Photographing Families: Tips for Capturing Timeless Images". A good one for extra tips and hints about family photography....she even lists the attention span of children's age groups. And one more about family photography...some unique posing...The Design Aglow for Family Portrait Photography. All of these can be purchased thru Amazon.

AFishGirl said...

And Freeman Patterson. Yes.

kelly said...

oh this is so good. definitely going to look into all these great suggestions!! i'm also currently reading 'a million little ways'. not specifically a 'photography' book, but i love that it speaks to a broader definition of what art is.

Linda said...

Great post! I'm excited to see some new things to add to my list!

Deb Crecelius said...

Thanks!

Cathy H. said...

Great post! I have a few of the suggestions and now I have new ones to check out.

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