Friday, 5 February 2010

Used Books about Landscape Art

Yesterday, I had a field day!

After putting up the new artist bio labels on foamcore at our Drawing London Exhibition at the Barbican Library (see Alleyways and Waterways of London) I joined the Library after discovering (1) I could and (2) they have an excellent section on art books! In fact it's the best section about landscape art I have ever seen anywhere - including bookshops. (Have I told you how I'm constantly amazed by how there are never any landscape painting sections in bookshops stocking a good selection of art books)

I came away with eight books - seven of which were about landscapes in one form or another.

This morning I've ordered three of them plus one more by one of the authors from second hand booksellers. I am now convinced that one of the major sources of good books about landscape art are
  • very good libraries (which still stock old books) and
  • the second hand bookseller
For information the books - which are all about british landscape art of one form or another - are:

Art History - British Landscape Painting
  • British Landscape Painters: A History and Gazetteer (see right) by Charles Hemming - This is a really excellent book which I recommend very highly to those interested in the development of British landscape art. Now on order!
  • British Painters of the Coast and Sea: A History and Gazetteer by Charles Hemming (not seen but if it's as good as the one about landscape painterst then it should be excellent - now also on order.
  • Turner Sketches, 1789-1820 by: Gerald Wilkinson. A lovely little block chock full of reproductions of Turner's sketches from his travels in the UK and Europe. Theer's a narrative for each sketchbook. I ordered this one!
  • Unquiet Landscape - Places and Ideas in 20th century landscape painting by Christoper Neve. This book is descrived as a journey into the imagination through the English Landscape. He focuses on the motives, emotions, uncosnocious forces and contradictions involved in creating landscape art. Altogether he considers the work of about about 30 painters including Paul Nash, Eric Ravilious, Stanley Spencer, Ivor Hitches, Edwin Burra, Ben Nicholson, Joan Eardly and David Bomberg
Art Instruction
  • The Challenge of Landscape Painting by Ian Simpson. So nice to read a book by an artist who has been a professional educator. He used to be the head of Central St Martins Art College in London. It includes interviews with interviews Roger de Grey, Lawrence Gowing, John Piper, Keith Grant, Derek Hyatt, Olwyn Bowey and Norman Adams. Great images and very interesting interviews. Recommended and I've now got this on order
"If you are a painter this book aims first and foremost to improve your painting. If you are interested in landscape painting but not a painter yourself, it aims to increase your knowledge of how artists work and your appreciatian of landscape painting."
  • Landscape Drawing and Painting (A Studio book) by: John O'Connor. A little bit idiosyncratic and a tad old fashioned from a time when talking about drawing used to involve rather more words than is the current trend pushed by the publishers!
A couple of others which I haven't looked at much yet
  • The Inspiration of Landscape - Artists in National Parks - by Brian Redhead
  • Townscape painting and drawing by JG Links
In conclusion, I'm now quite certain see I'm going to become a major buyer of used books while researching my landscape art project.

Long live recycling!

(PS Apologies for the unannounced break from posting - I was much preoccupied with getting ready for the exhibition and getting my tax return filed on time. After which I developed what I referred to as my 'tax tick' in my left eye - and so I needed to take much longer breaks from the computer screen)

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