The Artist in Fiction or Creating Your Own Story

Sometimes it is hard to separate the two, don’t you think? I mean the hard-baked idea of what an artist is or is not. The journey of an artist becoming an artist may be singular, but it is accompanied by a lot of noise!

Do you chart your own path or are you casting about for an identity that will fit? Masked or unmasked, imaginary or realistic, we hold in mind the idea of an artist, the ideal kind of artist we aspire to be and the one we encounter in the mirror.

You, already, have it all! An artist is creator and creation in constant flux and motion. There is a huge art eco-system encompassing Sunday painters, internationally-recognized artists and everyone else in between. While there are multitudes of artists, one story counts and that is the one you are creating. Continue reading “The Artist in Fiction or Creating Your Own Story”

Eyes on Art: Art Exhibitions

Take your own sweet time. Peruse. Investigate. Gaze, fully and deeply.

There is no substitute for an unfiltered viewing of a work of art. The encounter between the viewer and the object is personal and unmatched. Does it grab your attention? Are you compelled to look and not, merely, glance? Excited, indifferent, pleased or repulsed we cannot help but to respond to works of art.

Continue reading “Eyes on Art: Art Exhibitions”

Here’s Looking at You!: Documentary Films about Artists

An artist’s life can be as compelling as the work they produce. A documentary, at best, strives to render a portrait of the artist as honestly as possible. This, of course, is as close as any of us will get to being in the same room with a person whose life and work draws us in.  What will you find that you do not, already, know?  Will this new view enhance the experience of the art or detract from it?

Continue reading “Here’s Looking at You!: Documentary Films about Artists”

#BookBingoNW2017: Art and Artists

What is art, anyway? Merriam-Webster defines it as “the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects.” With such a broad definition, there are many different directions readers can go with this particular Book Bingo square. Here are a few strategies for filling this square:

Fiction

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A few authors, such as Tracy Chevalier, Susan Vreeland and Irving Stone, have made a name for themselves writing historical fiction about art & artists. Titles like Girl With a Pearl Earring, Girl in Hyacinth Blue and The Agony and the Ecstasy are some of the more famous titles in this genre. However there are hundreds of great fiction titles about art and artists – some well-reviewed recent titles include A Piece of the World, The Goldfinch, The Blazing World and The Blue Guitar. Find more fiction about art and artists in the Library’s collection by using the subject headings “Art—Fiction” and “Artists–Fiction

Biography/Memoir

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Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2017: Art and Artists”

Seek the Story

Edward Hopper’s paintings were inspired as well as inspiring. Who could view his moody and spare piece, “Nighthawks,” and not look for a story therein? A recent short story collection, edited by Lawrence Block, called In Sunlight or in Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper, makes that point. In the foreword, Block writes:  “Hopper was neither an illustrator nor a narrative painter.  His paintings don’t tell stories. What they do is suggest—powerfully, irresistibly—that there are stories within them, waiting to be told. He shows us a moment in time, arrayed on a canvas:  there’s clearly a past and a future, but it’s our task to find it for ourselves.” The authors that Block has gathered in this anthology are not your average fly-by-night writers—these ones have big names: Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Michael Connelly, Jeffrey Deaver, Lee Child, Robert Olen Butler, to name a few. They all obviously have a ken for Edward Hopper as the depth of this collection demonstrates. Continue reading “Seek the Story”