Thursday, May 13, 2010

On the Nightstand

I've been consuming books this spring, all non-fiction; there's a sense of urgency to my reading, as if I suddenly realized that hmm, one day I'll simply run out of time and I'll die, having never learned how to use a circular saw or make a souffle. Somehow it seems less tragic to say, "Dang, I have days to live and I never read any Pushkin." But enough of my mortal angst, I'd rather share some of my current reads that are inspiring all kinds of new ideas.

The Vital Gesture: Franz Kline

One of my heroes from the abstract expressionist movement in the mid-20th century. I'm intrigued by the process by which Kline found his style late in his career and worked humbly, tirelessly in search of his artistic voice. His journey is as inspiring (and complex) as his paintings, which seem so spare at a glance, but reveal themselves slowly under closer inspection. Highly recommended.

Hans Hofmann

I love how his bold color blocks both explore spatial tension and convey profound energy (or inertia, or both, as with Pompeii, above). His influence as both a painter and teacher inspired generations and continue to influence artists today. Plus his painting are just so beautiful.

Rethinking Acrylics by Patti Brady

This is a really fresh look at the flexibility of the acrylic medium. Brady encourages readers to think beyond acrylic, canvas and brush by exploring the use of acrylic mediums, less conventional applications (such as pouring, lifting, dripping and faux encaustic methods), acrylic transfers and watermedia effects. This book takes an already versatile medium to new, exciting levels. My head is bursting with too many ideas to count. It's a lovely dilemma.

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