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Thread: What are some of the art books that have inspired you or helped your work?

  1. #31
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    I'm waiting for the DVD. Frank is another one who suffered for his art. I guess it's pretty common knowledge, but he had a stroke because he used to paint in a closed room breathing turpentine fumes and he was too much of a tough guy to ventilate. But as another great Frank said, he did it his way. (Actually it was I did it My way, but you get the point).

    Wow, a lot of great books listed here since last night!

    You know, come to think of it, I suspect all the really good artists were not exactly normal. It's sort of de rigeur... normal people can't be great artists. It takes an uncommon person, and sometimes that means someone with problems mentally or socially. But at least they got to make something great of their differences.... otherwise they would have just been weirdos. I remember my instructor in college talked about a group of abstract expressionists who all decided to go in and get psychological help. He said they got 'cured', but never did any decent art again. I don't know who it was, or how truthful it was, but it sounds cool.

    Isn't it frustrating, the way 'normal' (read non-creative) people just don't get it? Being an artist automatically makes you different. I saw a great quote the other day from Will Self (incredible but only half sane contemporary author). I don't remember it perfectly, but it was something along these lines:

    How can you relate to normal people when all they want to talk about is beer and sex and the latest reality show and you're busy trying to find a way to tie together all the elements of pop culture since the Kennedy assassination and bring about the end of the world without undermining your main characters motivation?

    Last edited by Darkstrider; May 3rd, 2004 at 06:18 AM.
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  2. #32
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    Originally posted by Darkstrider
    something along these lines:

    How can you relate to normal people when all they want to talk about is beer and sex and the latest reality show and you're busy trying to find a way to tie together all the elements of pop culture since the Kennedy assassination and bring about the end of the world without undermining your main characters motivation?
    DS- LOL, What a great quote! Sounds pretty contemporary too! That could almost be a thread itself, "great quotes that have influenced you", cause sometimes it's the whole book and sometimes it's a few lines that stick with you.

    Yeah it was weird to see Frank walking around in the Documentary and he was visibly affected by the stroke, at least he's walking around at all, but I'm not sure that he can even paint anymore. Very Sad. He definitely made an impact when he was able though.
    Everybody knows you don't need to paint with turps anymore right?? There's lots of other options, and they're getting better all the time.

    You know, come to think of it, I suspect all the really good artists were not exactly normal. It's sort of de rigeur... normal people can't be great artists. It takes an uncommon person, and sometimes that means someone with problems mentally or socially. But at least they got to make something great of their differences.... otherwise they would have just been weirdos. I remember my instructor in college talked about a group of abstract expressionists who all decided to go in and get psychological help. He said they got 'cured', but never did any decent art again. I don't know who it was, or how truthful it was, but it sounds cool.
    I'm sure there could be a lot of debate on this one. It's cool in a "Romantic Sense ", Definitely makes for a more colorful story or history, but it's also kind of "Fucked Up" too if that's the only way it can happen. I guess I agree with you or at least feel there's tons of examples to prove your point, but then maybe the crazy lives are just more memorable, and stand out more in history. I bet a lot of artists here would go a little crazy if they didn't have their art as an outlet. They all seem to have a manic drive that keeps a fire under their ass so they continually produce.

    My dad is a songwriter, and has been for over 30yrs, been married 4 times, and has had a crazy life, never has seemed to get it together except for his songwriting( considered one of the best songwriters in Nashville), he's had his moments but you know what i mean. Now he seems to have gotten his life together, married to a great woman, has good health, he's happy, but he's not producing hardly any work. He's still crazy but he's happy and he doesn't have that drive to produce anymore. So like I said there are plenty of examples to support what your saying but it's still kinda "Fucked Up".

    I don't know the term "die rigeur" ? What does it mean?

    Thanks for the post, I love that quote!

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  3. #33
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    I was just posting on another thread and it made me think of another book/artist you should look into. Julie Taymor, she's a very inspiring lady.


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  4. #34
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    Oh, don't get me wrong... I'm not advocating that people should screw up their lives to try to become better artists or anything. Personally I'm a bit socially maladjusted, but not too bad. I sort of shun too much company.... but it's not like I'm all screwed up or anything, just a little neurotic. Maybe I just like to think that it puts me in good company. I suspect that if I was one of the cool people, I wouldn't be an artist. My life would be fulfilled without needing it.

    Anyway, "de rigeur"... sorry, sometimes I start thinking I'm all intellectual or something (I aint smart enough to really be). It means something like par for the course or "the way things have to be".

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  5. #35
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    this is the Zbukvic book.. he is amazing.. he does almost exactly what i wish to achieve with watercolor..




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  7. #36
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    DS- Oh I totally got you wrong. Don't worry about it dude, everybody's at least a little fucked up. That's part of what gives life texture. I actually thought you were making a good point. Which comes first the craziness or the good art? Are they synonymous? connected? Questions i've asked a lot. besides I like what you have to say.

    "de rigeur"Huh? I'll use that someday.

    Anymore Recomendations???

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  8. #37
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    Main Loop- Wow , That looks kick ass!!! Thanks

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  9. #38
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    Another inspiration.



    I'm doubling up on this one that I put up on another thread that darkstrider is running about Schiele. He's been a big influence for a while but the great thing about this book is you get to see some of the process.

    And if your into him, you gotta be into Kent Williams. One of the first real painters i saw get into comics. Awesome!











    Blood started it all for me, and if you hadn't guessed I'm a big fan.

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  10. #39
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    So, you got all those? I have them all except for Blood, and on that I got 3 of the original comics, just missing one, but I need to get the GN. Then there's also Meltdown, which is an absolute classic. KW as Wolverine... how cool is that??!! I want to get ahold of his War Prayer series.... if you look around on his site there's a listing of a religious place you can get it from. And of course there's a whole slew of stints in different comics... some great Crow covers, a few brief segments in '(something); a Chronicle of Destiny Foretold', and countless others, and more recently the Playboy illos. Hey, that's why I buy 'em. honest!

    I first encounterd him in Epic Illustrated in the 80's, along with all the other greats of that time, Muth, Hale, Pratt, Sienkiewicz and McKean. It was a life changing experience, and was what made me decide to get serious about art. Williams is definitely my favorite though.

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  11. #40
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    Mike- Yeah all of them except the exhibition catalogs, I just tagged them from his site. I actually first saw his work in epic too but didn't know it was him, and when I went back and did research later I found his stuff in my old epics. I've got all the ones you've mentioned except warprayer and the exhibition catalogs and a few of the playboys. He's my favorite too. McKean's Cages is right up there too.

    Yeah dude we've got very similar taste, how do you apply that in your work? I've seen a little bit of your stuff at your site but I need to spend some time with it. Do you paint as well?

    A new one for you.
    Life Lessons: The Art of Jerome Witkin

    couldn't find pic, but it's a great book and he's a great painter




    The first 2 are from a series called portrait of a young evangelist i believe, don't quote me, saw them live and was blown away.





    Gotta see this work live, amazing.

    Last edited by Bojee; May 4th, 2004 at 12:12 PM.
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  12. #41
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    Hey, you need to add a bracket on the beginning of that IMG tag.

    "Yeah dude we've got very similar taste, how do you apply that in your work?"

    Well, it just so happens I spent a good portion of last night scanning and uploading some stuff. Hope to hear from you over on that thread. Actually, I feel like the last 2 paintings I've done (the ones I have on my site, just basic Frazetta/Jones emulations) are my first sucessful paintings, aside from some watercolor/gouache stuff (that I also need to post).

    But this is getting pretty off topic for this thread! I'm really digging that pic you posted with the pajama people! BTW, do you bear an uncanny resemblance to Henry Rollins, or is that him in your avatar?

    Last edited by Darkstrider; May 4th, 2004 at 12:07 PM.
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  13. #42
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    Pajama People, your funny , that's Aushewitz( or at least concentration camp victims) , he does really powerful subject matter.

    He did a piece of Oppenheimer in a confessional, confessing his sins to a priest who had been burned in the blast.

    Crazy stuff but really powerful.
    You might know his brother's work too Joel Peter Witkin, he's a photographer and his stuff is really wild too.


    This is a tame one.

    More crazy stuff, I like Jerome's work much better.

    What section are you going post your stuff on?

    Henry Rollins? Never heard that before. Must be the picture, I'll take it as a compliment though.

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  14. #43
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    Mentioned this one earlier, one of my early influences.

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  15. #44
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    Wow, I was actually pretty sure that was Rollins. He's the Man... I don't like most of his music all that much, except for a few songs, but his spoken word stuff is incredible! He's like a punk rock standup philosopher. I actually got to see his spoken word tour in St Louis, and it was awesome.

    Anyway, here's the thread where I put my stuff: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...threadid=22809
    It's in this forum.

    Oh, if you want to pick up the Works catalog, you can order it through the Allen Spiegel Fine Arts website. Here's the web address: http://www.allenspiegelfinearts.com/product.html

    You have to order by snail mail.

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  16. #45
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    Mike - Thanks for the link.
    Nope it's not henry, just little old me, Like I said it's probably just the picture, a girl the other night said I looked like Gary Busey! Eeek! :eek: Hope she meant young busey. How's that for range!

    Ok gotta keep this going I know theres more books out there that have inspired you guys.



    OK here's a must have as far as I'm concerned, you can't beat the old school illustrators and this'll give you a taste of the best.

    Something old, and now something new, I've really been liking this guy alot lately. I think he's got a great sense of design.He's pulling from other influences but I think he's got his own thing going on. It's ashley wood.






    and while we're in the woods I should mention Brian Wood, this is great book with all the preliminaries from "Channel Zero".



    Great stuff , another guy who I think has a great sense of design, Must be the last name.

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  17. #46
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    Heres a few to mill over....many more to come...


    Ron

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  18. #47
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    I don't think you have enough books Ron


    This is a great thread guys, If only I had some money...

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  19. #48
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    you have a library to die for.. and thats not even all of it?? :eek:

    Mcginnis!

    those books on Russian painters and Zorn, Sorrolla etc, howd you get those? it seems, the ones that are in print, are way out of my league.. how much did you pay for em?

    I saw the harley brown starving artist book.. nice

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  20. #49
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    Ron- Awesome that's the way to do it, what a great collection. i'll have pour over this some more before I comment.
    Might give me some insights to how you think.lol

    Thanks for posting.

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  21. #50
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    Wow the more I look at this the cooler it is, I love looking at other peoples libraries. thanks so much

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  22. #51
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    The Famous Artist School' s correspondence course, these binders if you can find them have alot of great material.They have courses on Painting, Illustration, and Cartooning. They've just started re-printing some of the material, and I found a site that said they were still doing the correspondence course. The info is great.



    Do you have these Ron??

    here's the link to the site
    http://www.famous-artists-school.com...l/guiding.html

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  23. #52
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    Hah, Bojee, looks like you have a couple sets...I have a copy, but not an original. I am hooking up with an original copy this weekend I think...I have 12 other shelves to photograph stilll...heh


    ron

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  24. #53
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    Hey come on Ron....
    it's no fair just going to the library with a camera!

    Wow, those are seriously all in your collection? Sweet! When can I come over?

    Bojee, my mom had a set of those Famous Artists binders when I was a kid. In fact, that's how I first got started. And yeah, I still see commercials for them every once in a while. I remember drawing the pirate.

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  25. #54
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    Ron - Yeah I've got the painting binders, 2 of the illustration course that I found at a value village for $7 bucks ( what a find ), and one of the cartooning series. There such a score for my colection! A lot of my books are in storage right now cause I'm living in a smaller place so I guess I started this thread cause I'm a little homesick for them.

    I like the shots of your library, it may end this thread relly quick cause you probably have every inspirational art book on the planet, but it's still great to see. It reminds me of Marko's thread about showing everybody's studio. That's a really cool one too.

    Could you pick out a couple and talk about why they're useful/inspirational in your opinion??

    Thanks for sharing. :thumbsup:

    Mike- Awesome, aren't they great , I didn't know that "can you draw the Pirate" guys were the same people. Wow they need to update their ad.

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  26. #55
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    I was a fan of this guys work way before the Movie, definitely worth a look.





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  27. #56
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    A new one for you.
    Life Lessons: The Art of Jerome Witkin
    OMG! That painting of the window reflection is amazing! Thanks for posting these links Bojee, definitely gonna have to check that out.

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  28. #57
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    Groover- beg, borrow, or steal to see his stuff live , it'll blow your mind. I'm glad you like it, not everybody has heard about him.

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  29. #58
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    I know I'm straying into dangerous territory here but if any of you guys like abstract figurative work this is a great book, The title might be hard to see it's the "Bay Area Figurative Art" 1950- 1965 . To me it's a great book for distilling paintings down to the essentials. Very cool stuff.



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  30. #59
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    Some of the finest art instruction books I've ever seen: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/se...400525-6984950

    The author is Robert Beverly Hale, who was an esteemed lecturer on artistic anatomy and drawing at the Art Students League in New York (among other places). Here are some pics:







    Hmmm... can't get the big image to post, so here's the little one:


    What's so great about these books is the way Hale describes the artistic process. He really breaks down the way an artist thinks, and you can tell he's honed his teaching techniques over many years.

    Last edited by Darkstrider; May 8th, 2004 at 04:30 AM.
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  31. #60
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    Wow! It's really interesting to see what everyone has in their collection.

    Here's mine. The bottom's what I'm looking at today.

    I'm doing the "nomad schooling". Meaning I haven't attended a school. But, I pick up figure drawing classes and the like on the side after work or on the weekends.

    The most important to me here are:
    The Loomis Books.
    Brigdeman
    Rockwell

    I'm gonna sell my Famous Artist Course pretty soon.

    Not pictured.
    Tons of magazines.
    Tons of misc photo ref books.

    Cheers,

    Phil

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