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!
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!'