My Book Shelf

Art Inspiration

The Life of a Photograph
5 of 5 stars
If you read one book about photography — this is the one. A remarkable teacher, Abell is generous and honest. Reading this is like taking a workshop with him (which I’d HIGHLY recommend). He shares the set up, the back story of the shot…
Gustave Baumann: Nearer to Art
5 of 5 stars
Proof that small is wonderful. A master woodcut artist. If you’re in Santa Fe, the New Mexico Museum of Art (just off the square) has some wonderful pieces in the permanent collection — and a wall of wonderfully done framed reprints in …
Interaction of Color: 50th Anniversary Edition
5 of 5 stars
50+ years after its release, this still WOWS. Every color exercise brings a new concept forward. There’s an interactive app, too. Combines moving color plates, text and audio for a full surround-sound experience. This book is a gem!
Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
4 of 5 stars
A wonderful reminder — and nudge — to get out of your own way and make art. I love this book. You can read a few pages. Forget about it. And read them again as a reminder of doing what you love is a rare, wonderful thing.
The Sam Abell Library: Life and Still Life
5 of 5 stars
The first in a four volume Sam Abell library — can’t wait for the next installment.
Sam Abell: The Photographic Life
5 of 5 stars
A must read if you love photography — and the life of capturing images.
Thirty-five Years at Crown Point Press: Making Prints, Doing Art
5 of 5 stars
A San Francisco institution of great art and great printmakers. Wonderful!
The Mind's Eye: Writings on Photography and Photographers
5 of 5 stars
A reminder to pick your head up, stop checking your phone and observe the tiny, funny, everyday moments. A great annual read from an all-time favorite photographer.
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
5 of 5 stars
When you’re in yours, time flies (literally).
Vitamin D: New Perspectives in Drawing
4 of 5 stars
Pick it up, turn to any page — and enjoy. Great offering in the “vitamin” series. Reminds you of the raw talent “drawers” have. No hiding behind the lens or lots of paint.
The drawings of Richard Diebenkorn
5 of 5 stars
Some of Diebenkorn’s drawings were included in the De Young Museum show in SF a few years ago. What a treat! This book has more (of course).
Walker Evans: American Photographs
5 of 5 stars
A favorite – this edition is a great compendium of Walker’s wonderful images.
The Americans
5 of 5 stars
An all-time favorite book featuring the face of America from small towns to cities. Day and night. Years ago SFMOMA featured a Robert Frank exhibition with many of these photos, plus his the letters he wrote to friends and to get grants….
Escape to Reality: The Western World of Maynard Dixon
5 of 5 stars
I could look at Maynard Dixon paintings all day — and night.
Theory of Colours
5 of 5 stars
Learn what Goethe saw in the 1800s – and live it all over again. Color by color. Whether you’re an artist or an admirer of the arts, this is a classic.
Andy Goldsworthy: A Collaboration with Nature
4 of 5 stars
Amazing. The ideas and the execution of each installation is fantastic. Makes you look at stones, branches and cracks in the earth with a new, admiring eye.
Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits
5 of 5 stars
I listened to the audiobook–a bit strange when the book features a visual artist. But it was a perfect way to learn about Lange while working away in my studio. Part history lesson, part chronicle of one remarkable woman’s life as a pho…
Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
4 of 5 stars
There’s a bit of a cult following on this one.
Olympic Portraits
4 of 5 stars
Gorgeous images of Olympic athletes from one of the photography world’s greats. Moody, monumental portraits.
Annie Leibovitz at Work
5 of 5 stars
One of my favorites — for the photographs, for the stories, for the inspiration.
Vivian Maier: Street Photographer
5 of 5 stars
An AMAZING story by a gifted — but until recently, undiscovered — photographer. Street photography is the best way to capture “slice of life” ordinary moments of humor, humility and everything in between. Check out the documentary on M…
Woodblock Prints of Gustave Baumann
5 of 5 stars
Baumann elevates the woodcut to a whole new level.
Richard Diebenkorn in New Mexico
5 of 5 stars
I’ll take the warm ochres and burnt sienna over the Southern California / Ocean Park palette. A wonderful collection of Diebenkorn’s paintings from his time in New Mexico. Heaven!
Henri Matisse: Cut-Outs - Drawing with Scissors
5 of 5 stars
What one artist can do with gauche, paper and scissors — it’s extraordinary. The MOMA’s exhibit (runs through early 2015) is amazing. The scale of some of the pieces (and rich colors) is challenging in print. This collection is one I lo…
A Place of Refuge: Maynard Dixon�s Arizona
5 of 5 stars
Wonderful. Read it in the dead of winter when you want the warmth of Dixon’s western palette by your side.
The Philosophy of Andy Warhol
4 of 5 stars
Art is everywhere. Make it.

 


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