Wednesday, November 18, 2009

GREAT BOOK FIND!


I was reading Peggy Stermer-Cox's blog the other day and she featured a fabulous blogsite called "Making a Mark" by Katherine Tyrrell, an English artist. Intrigued, I wandered over there and fell in a Rabbit Hole! Hours later, I was still wandering around her site going from link to link to link! She is full of valuable information and does tons of research. This was a real treasure trove from a very generous artist.

I came across a recommendation from her for a book on composition (shown above) If you click on the blog title it will take you directly to the Amazon page where you can order the book. I, of course, couldn't wait that long so I headed out to my local book store, bought the book and read it in an evening. I wanted to present the information the next day to the Critique group I am leading, since we will be focusing on composition for the coming month.

The brilliance of this book is its' simplicity. The author has distilled lots of information into easily understood, clearly illustrated concise, digestible chunks! I never realized how difficult it was to distill art information into a few paragraphs until I started working on my book. I think I must have passed this book up before because it looked too simple, but that is the true beauty of it.

Composition is critical to any successful painting and that means there has to be some planning and thought put into the design before the paint goes on. Especially in watercolor. It is always so tempting to jump right into putting paint on the paper or canvas. But, without a well structured composition as the foundation, there isn't enough paint in the world to disguise a poorly conceived painting. That old saw "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail" holds true.

I had a chance to visit the 2008 National Watercolor Society traveling exhibition at the Adobe Art Center in Castro Valley after the critique class. Now there is a fabulous collection of well composed and executed paintings. It's almost criminal what catalogues do to beautiful art work, so when ever possible, make the time to see excellent work in person. It motivates us to strive for higher excellence in our own work.

7 comments:

Sandy Maudlin said...

Greg Albert's book is very, very good...and the things he discusses are easily applied to a painting with just a little planning. Thanks for the new website lead, too. Have a glorious Thanksgiving.

Kathy said...

Thanks for mentioning this book, Myrna - I'll look for it!

Rebecca said...

Wow, thank you for sharing the information about the blog - it is possible to get lost in there for days!! What a great resource.

jane.w.ferguson@gmail.com said...

Hi Myrna,I have that book and have use it alot.Thanks for sharing as always

BMoon said...

Good morning, Myrna, and I add a huge YES for this book. I stumbled upon it at the library, and have taken it out twice now, each time absorbing more and more of it. Thanks for sharing it on your blog.

Tonya Vollertsen said...

I have this book, love it, have used it a lot! Another one that I bought at the same time is "design & composition secrets of professional artists. It is a compilation of several artists and their work used as examples. published by International Artist. Very good as well.
Thanks for the blog tip!

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Thank you so much for this comment - which I've only just come across while browsing your blog because you've been nominated for a Making A Mark Award!

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