Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Continuing art education & a list of books

Alyson Stanfield at artbizblog posted a wonderful list of non-fiction books about art on August 20, 2008. Be sure to read the comments because several people posted about their favorite art books too.

First I went to the web site of my local library and placed several titles on hold. They send an email when there are books to pick up. I do wish they didn't come in clumps because I picked up six books. I can always renew or return them and place on hold again. The rest of the books I placed on my Amazon wish list which is about five or six pages long but it's a wonderful way to keep track and to let people know about if they want gift suggestions.

First I read "Dawns + Dusks by Diana Mackown which are taped interviews with Louise Nevelson over many years. The author has done a wonderful job of editing all the conversations because it's a very readable and interesting book. I've learned so much about LN's life and especially her art and work ethic. Even as a child she was focused on exactly what she wanted to do and carried this throughout her life. She speaks about her parents briefly but very little about her son. Again, her focus is on creating art. 

 LN worked very hard and designed her life around what was most efficient in her living arrangements in order to concentrate on making art. She wore cotton clothing to work in so it was easy for her to just fall into bed in the same clothes and get up and work again. She didn't care much about what she ate or when she ate--just something on the fly and continue working.

There are many black and white photos in the book and I have to comment on her eye make up. Her eyelashes look like two dead caterpillars perched on her eye lids. She said: "I don't feel dressed without my eyelashes. I don't wear one pair....I glue several pairs together and then put them on. I like it and it's dramatic, so why not?"

About clothing she says: "Let's break tradition. That's exactly why I dress the way I do." "I love old robes. I think I was the first person to wear a sixteenth-century Mandarin Chinese robe on top of the blue denim work shirt."

So it's a good read and talks about her life, her work, her process, her confidence and her single minded focus on working.

Now I'm reading "The Unknown Matisse" by Hilary Spurling. Should be interesting since I know very little about him and the period of time the book covers is 1869 to 1908, the early years.

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