Art is one of the most interesting and fascinating subjects in the world, so it makes sense that books on it are always popular. From history of art to artists’ biographies, here are our top 5 picks for the best books on art!
Helen Gardner’s Art Through the Ages is an essential resource for any student interested in learning about art history. It offers a comprehensive overview of art in chronological terms, with an extensive geographical scope.
1. Art and Fear
Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned pro, art is an endeavor that often involves fear. This irrational, self-defeating feeling is often the source of creative blocks.
In this book, artists David Bayles and Ted Orland offer generous and wise insight into what it feels like to sit down at your easel or keyboard, in your studio or performance space, trying to do the work you need to do. They explain the challenges that so many artists face, and they show how you can overcome them.
One of the most important things you can do as an artist is to learn to confront your fears and worries. This will help you to focus on the task at hand and not let these pesky thoughts sabotage your creativity.
Some of the most common fears include doubts about your work, and whether you can succeed or not; the fear that others will not understand or appreciate your artwork; the fear that you will never produce good art; and the fear that you will lose control of your creativity. These fears can be especially problematic when you’re just beginning to make art, as they can deter you from trying and causing you unnecessary stress.
The best part of this book is that it’s written in a straightforward, no-nonsense manner. Its no-psycho-babble approach will put you at ease while discussing the most important issues that affect you and your art. It’s a must read for any artist. It also explains the best ways to tackle a range of fears and doubts that often impede your creative process. If you’re a painter or a writer, this is a great book to add to your library.
2. The Artist’s Way
The Artist’s Way is a seminal book on creativity. Millions of readers have found it to be an invaluable guide to living their creative life. It was first published in 1992, but has been updated and expanded to reflect the latest research and insights into the creative process.
This book teaches you to overcome your fears and blocks so that you can start doing the work that you want to do. It includes a 12-week program that guides you through the steps to recovering your creativity and finding a deeper connection with yourself and purpose.
Its basic tools for enhancing your creativity include writing morning pages and taking yourself on an “artist date.” These are both essential parts of the program, and they can help you get out of your head and into your creative process. You can also get more creative by completing the creativity exercises in the back of each chapter.
Throughout the course, Cameron encourages you to write three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing every morning. This can be a challenging practice, but it is an excellent way to clear your mind and spark your imagination.
In addition to this, you will be required to take yourself on an “artist date” weekly. These can be solo outings, or group activities designed to nourish your creativity.
You can find many resources online to learn more about these topics and how to get started with your creative process. Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has been a popular choice for many people looking to develop their creative skills and overcome their fears of failure. It is a powerful self-help tool that can help you discover your inner artist and begin to pursue your dreams.
3. Artists’ Strategies for Overcoming Creative Blocks
Artists often struggle with creative blocks, which can be a source of frustration and self-doubt. These blocks can last one day or weeks, and they can affect everything from writing and painting to producing music.
The good news is that there are many ways to overcome these creative blocks and get back on track with your art. The key is to understand what causes it and find strategies that work for you.
A common creative block is a lack of inspiration. It can be a result of burnout, mental or physical exhaustion, fear of failure, or self-doubt.
When you feel a creative block coming on, make sure you take time for yourself. Whether that means reading a book, listening to a podcast, or doing a little exercise, it’s important to put yourself in a different space and see things from a new perspective.
Another way to overcome a creative block is to keep a journal. Write down thoughts, quotations, and observations that inspire you. It’s important to save these ideas so that you can reference them when you’re stuck.
It’s also a good idea to keep an archive of your work. This can help you identify and discard old pieces that you might not like so much.
You don’t have to delete them completely, but it’s a good idea to look at them and evaluate them from a fresh perspective. You can also ask yourself what you liked about them, and what could be improved upon.
While creative block is frustrating, it’s a natural part of the artistic process. It’s also important to remember that this period will pass and you will be back on track with your creativity soon enough.
4. Mindy Weisel
Mindy Weisel, whose parents were survivors of the Holocaust, is one of the best-known and most successful second generation artists in the world. Her paintings, largely abstract in style, explore themes emerging from conscious and subconscious thought and complex emotional situations.
Her work can be seen in many public and private collections, including the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Yale University, and Israel Museum. She is also an active participant in the United States Art in Embassies program.
In her memoir AFTER: The Obligation of Beauty, internationally renowned artist and author Mindy Weisel, cousin to the late Elie Wiesel, traces her search for beauty in her life that began as a child born in the Bergen-Belsen Displaced Person’s Camp to parents who survived Auschwitz. Her courageous and honest portrait of her struggle to understand the black hole into which she was born, as well as her successful journey in becoming an artist with her own voice, and an unshakable will to live with beauty, is most inspiring.
By weaving an eloquent tapestry of her art, narrative, poetry and journals, Ms. Weisel offers moving insights into her life and work, especially her deep-seated conviction that beauty and love can overcome tragedy.
She is an engaging and articulate speaker who inspires audiences to contemplate their own feelings and history, encouraging a fuller, more creative life. Her books, including DAUGHTERS OF ABSENCE: Transforming a Legacy of Loss; and TOUCHING QUIET: Reflections in Solitude, and numerous exhibitions are a testament to her belief that art can help us overcome our greatest fears.
She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Sheldon, a lawyer, and their three daughters. Her paintings can be found in private and public collections worldwide, and she has been interviewed for numerous publications.
5. The Art of Creativity
Creativity is the ability to generate new and useful ideas that have both originality and value. It is a skill that is unique to every individual, and it can be learned and developed.
Creativity takes place in a person’s mind, but it may also occur in physical objects, such as paintings or musical compositions. The creative process is a multistep one that involves many stages, including idea generation and emergence.
Several theories have been proposed to understand the process of creativity. These include Explicit-Implicit Interaction (EII) by Helie and Sun, which incorporates a number of fragmentary ideas about incubation and insight into a unified framework.
Invention of new ideas requires a lot of effort and often results in mistakes. However, these mistakes allow the creator to learn and grow.
A key element of the creative process is to have a clear idea of what you want to create. Having clarity of purpose helps keep your mind focused on the task at hand and prevents you from becoming distracted or overwhelmed by unrelated thoughts.
The creative process also requires the use of various techniques and materials, as well as the ability to see multiple possibilities. For example, in a drawing or painting, you may have a picture of a brown object in your mind but not know exactly how to depict it.
Regardless of what you want to achieve in life, it is important to remember that creativity is an invaluable resource. It can help you to find solutions to problems, make discoveries and even make money. In fact, research has shown that creative people are generally the most productive employees in any workplace.