Welcome to the art of curiosity; my personal amble through the worlds of art, crafts, books & all manner of other curiosities. You'll find examples of my jewellery & art work plus an account of how I'm attempting to confound depression & my bipolarity by pursuing my creativity. There's a lot of whimsy too; my mind set is distinctly frivolous at times!

So, Dear Reader, won't you join me on my journey?

Monday, 24 May 2010

The Art Journal & Creativity Bookshelf: The Long List!

Our house groans with books. Literally. Walls have been scaled by carpenters & cabinet makers ( being married to someone in the antiques trade has its perks - Bushwood Antiques, I thank you) and shelves have been adhered to any wall not suitable for paintings. I love peering into books & sniffing out their treasures. And my books are more informatively interactive than Kindle. All book lovers should look away right now because I hereby confess to the sin of writing in the margins of my paperbacks. Indeed I have paperback copies of some of my hardbacks purely so that I can carry on a written conversation with the author. Remember the quote from my last blog entry,

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You, too? Thought I was the only one."

Well this is just one of the reasons why I write in my books; the magic spell of recognition.

My little addenda add an extra dimension to re-reading old favourites. 'Did I really think that? Oh shallow youth!' ( I rather enjoy feeling pompous about my younger self; it shows I may have actually learnt something as I've travelled through life and that all is not necessarily lost!) In fact my long standing loves which I refer to again & again, such as Virginia Woolf's diaries or Carrington's 'Letters & Extracts from Her Diaries', have special journals devoted to them which stand by their sides on the bookshelves. Carrington's paintings have always beguiled me, but when I read her enthralling letters & saw the illustrations which she added to them, I fell under her thrall & have remained her slave ever since.

Indeed, many, many years ago, it was Virginia & Carrington who first inspired me to keep a journal of my own. At first it was just a diary, but this one volume has blossomed into many. I now keep a diary, a reading record ( for thoughts I dare not expose in the books themselves!), an art journal, as well as a multiplicity of sketchbooks ( which, to my mind, are another form of journal). The latest addition is a more formal illustrated journal whose shape still hasn't comfortably settled in my mind.

But I digress. The reason for this post is that I've been 'editing' my art journal resource shelves. Not because I'm divesting myself of any of the books which have helped me along the journalling path, but because some seem more pertinent to the shelves in the Shack where I paint & make a mess whilst others seem more suited to the calmer climate of my study.

Now that I've finally finished dusting off & restating the bookshelves, I thought I'd list a selection of favourites books which I've referred to as I've mined my way through my own particular seam of journalling life. They are of particular help in the bad times, but also nourish me in the good. In other words, they are Battle Books!

Here goes...

Firstly the greats. You can treat yourself to books by any of the following authors and each & all will hold your hand and delight, inspire & inform you. Make space for:

Lynne Perella, Gwen Diehn, Danny Gregory, Maggie Grey, L.K.Ludwig, Ricë Freeman Zachary & her wonderful interviewees, Sark, Alan Fletcher, Dan Price & any of the volumes of 'Illustration Now'.

And now, in no particular order, here comes a lengthy selection of my favourites. I've added links to Amazon, not because I'm on commission ( because I'm not) but purely so that you can read a little more about each particular book.

'Kaleidoscope' by Suzanne Simanaitis
'Exhibition 36' & 'Digital Expressions' by Susan Tuttle
'Celebrate Your Creative Self' & 'The Creative Edge' by Mary Todd Beam
'Art Escapes' by Dory Kanter
'Collage Sourcebook' by Holly Harrison, Jennifer Atkinson & Paula Grasdal
'Mixed Media Collage' by Holly Harrison
'Journal Spilling' by Diana Trout
'Life is a Verb' by Patti Digh
'1000 Art Journal Pages' edited by Dawn DeVries Sokol
'1000 Journals Project'
'Complete Guide to Altered Imagery' by Karen Michel
'Exploring Colour' by the late Julie Caprara
'Handmade Prints' by Anne Desmet & Jim Anderson
'Drawing & Painting People: A Fresh Approach' by Emily Ball
'Painted Paper' by Alisa Golden
'The Artist's Sketchbook' by Lucy Watson
'Sketchbooks: The Hidden Art Of Designers, Illustrators & Creatives' by Richard Brereton
'Mixed Media Self Portraits' by Cate Coulacos Prato
'The Nature Diary of an Artist' by Jennie Hale
'Art Stamping Workshop' by Gloria Page
'Printmaking + Mixed Media' by Dorit Elisha
'Drawing From Life:The Journal as Art' by Jennifer New
'Journal Bliss' by Violette
'Drawing, Seeing & Observation' by Ian Simpson
'Sometimes I Think, Sometimes I Am' by Sara Fanelli
'Experimental Drawing' by Robert Kaupelis
'Creating Sketchbooks for Embroiderers & Textile Artists' by Kay Greenlees
'Making Journals by Hand' by Jason Thompson
'Artist Trading Card Workshop' by Bernie Berlin
'Mixed Emulsions' by Angela Cartwright
'Practical Printmaking' by Colin Gale
'Creative Awakenings: Envisioning The Life of Your Dreams Through Art' by Sheri Gaynor
'Taking Flight' by Kelly Rae Roberts
'Collage Unleashed' by Traci Bautista
'The New Creative Artist' by Nita Leland
'Keys To Drawing With Imagination' by Bert Dodson
'Creative Paint Workshop' by Ann Baldwin
'Drawing Matters' by Jane Stobart
Jim Krause's Colour Index Volumes I and II
'Sources of Inspiration' and 'Pattern, Colour & Form' by Carolyn Genders
'Connecting Art to Stitch' by Sandra Meech
'Acrylic Revolution' by Nancy Reyner

There are more, but I fear I may have exhausted you and that, dear Reader, will never do.

PS, I'm avidly awaiting the arrival of 'The Journal Junkies Workshop' by Eric M.Scott & David R. Modler which is available in the States, but not here in the UK as of today. Help! I'm not known for my patience! I have discovered Eric's blog though for which I shout 'Hurrah!'


Jean said...

I need to save this list! I am so ignorant of so many of these great books and I respect your opinion above all others on these. Thank you for taking the time to write this out for all of us. It is REALLY WONDERFUL!

xox jean!

the art of curiosity said...

Bless you Jean! You are so kind to me :-)

Jennifer xox

little sheep said...

ooh...i'm jealous of your book collection! the only one i have is journal bliss, and just that makes me want to run out and buy some more...

the art of curiosity said...

little sheep,

Violette's book is divine, isn't it? Have you ever looked at any of Sarks' books? One of my favourites is 'Make your Creative Dreams Real', but she's published so many which all give her readers lots of juicy ideas to contemplate & do, She's a joy, just like Violette!

Take care,


Anonymous said...

I want to come live at your place to raid your shelves, LOL! I have quite a few that you mentioned...

I'm probably ordering The Journal Junkies Workshop from bookdespository.co.uk today...

the art of curiosity said...

Hi Caitlin!

I wish you could 'come on over' :-)
Do you have any particular favourites?

Jennifer xox

Diana Trout {Nan.DT@verizon.net} said...

Wow, that is a great list! Thank you for including my book! I'm honored. I've seen Journal Junkies and it looks fabulous.

the art of curiosity said...

Thanks for dropping by Diana :-) I'm enjoying working with your book so much - it's got so much real juice in it!!

Jennifer xox