Oh the blah's of winter.I have cabin fever So I've been hunkered down trying to stay warm. As you know the studio is in the basement and I can only work a few hours (less than 3 Hours) before I can't feel my feet or hands. Then it is time to go upstairs and defrost. I am hopeful that March will bring warmer temperatures and real art adventures to report; but for February I thought I would share some reads.
Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese philosophy or aesthetic applied to Art and Design. The philosophy asserts that perfection is unattainable; that aging, crackling, and smudged surfaces are interesting and truer to the real world. An example would be an English Cottage garden with roses, flowers, and herbs tumbling over each other is more interesting and closer to nature than a clipped Boxwood border with pruned rose bushes, herbs and flowers in tidy rows Another example: a sleek polished marble statue is not as interesting as one that shows the sculptors marks, This would show the artist's marks. A Brancusi versus a Rodin. During the Dark Ages when monks copied the bible in calligraphy, they would purposely make a mistake on a page because they felt perfection resided in only in God.
Wabi-Sabi is a short book that lays out the philosophy with many photographic examples of Wabi-Sabi in Nature, in Art, and in Architecture. It is always refreshing to look at things in a new way.
Learning By Heart by Sister Corita Kent; this is a workbook to really observe the world as an artist but also contains Sister Corita's joyous view of the world. Sister Corita taught at Immaculate Heart of Mary College in Los Angeles, California. She was a respected Serigraph artist. If you were young during the 60s and Vietnam you were exposed to her Graphic Posters and Philosophy. She is irrepressible, full of love, life and creativity. If you need to unblock, unclog, look at the world in a new way get this book. It will make you really observe and record. It will inspire you. After just a few pages I started contour drawings, something I haven't done since Drawing 101. The book has exercises and excerpts from Sister Corita's lectures. It has a very 60s vibe to it, Lots of Optimism. Something this jaded world needs desperately
Finally, Van Gogh, A Life; I have been reading this book for over a year. It has been a struggle only because Vincent is so troubled; so many neuroses and psychoses. My heart felt for his family especially Theo who took the brunt of his illnesses. He was so unmanageable at a time just before Freud. It wasn't until the last 6 years of his life that he finally became true to himself or his madness just took over and he stopped trying to please everyone. This book is a mythbuster of the "Ear" incident and in the circumstances surrounding his death. These two incident alone are worth the read. Naifen and Smith did exhaustive research on Vincent and the life and times in which he lived.
So that's it for this month Happy reading.