#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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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”

Interview with an Artist: Ways of Working

Have you ever wondered why the end product of an artistic endeavor is called a work of art or an artwork and not art play? Has anyone asked, “When are you going to get a real job?” Are you working in a real job, yet wonder when you’ll get enough money, time and the space to do your real work?

The path of an artist is a complicated affair and not for the faint of heart. Sure, there can be something fanciful, playful even, about the work of creating a work of art, but play doesn’t get or keep you there for the long haul! Continue reading “Interview with an Artist: Ways of Working”

Handling the Material: Art Techniques, Guides and Processes

In the blink of an eye rubber hits a road, a hand hits the mat, grabs hold of brush or pen as the wrist turns into a twist. Arms do the heavy lifting, the torso pivots. If this were the theater (and it is) the director would shout, “Action!” The whole body is engaged. This is about seeing the thing through. Now is the time to move the idea out of its cerebral cave into the bright light of creation. What necessary implements are needed to complete the task? Continue reading “Handling the Material: Art Techniques, Guides and Processes”

Working the Room: Making Space to Create

A place to think, to spread out, to collect one’s thoughts and work through ideas.  An environment where inspirations are realized, this is necessary to the creative process.  It can be a dining table doing double duty, the corner of a room, space in an attic or basement, but make space.  However you have to make it happen, make it happen. The place that gives you room to work is essential to an artistic practice.

If home is not an option, get creative! Consider use of limited-opportunity spaces such as in a workshop, sharing space or renting.  Work when you can as often as you can. The most important goal, however, is to have a dedicated space in which to see an idea grow. Writers have it easier than other disciplines since they can carry their “office” anywhere.  For those whose practice depends on objects or a place to get physical, locating and securing workspace is an ongoing enterprise.  SpaceFinder Seattle is an excellent place to begin your search. Continue reading “Working the Room: Making Space to Create”