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Monday and a book or two

June 8, 2015

Books are part of me, with my family, my work, art and my depression, I cannot imagine being without them.  I am always on the lookout for something new (or old) and helpful.  

While looking for something inspirational, a month or so back I was recommended among others, two that have become favourites.  

The first is the Magical secrets about thinking creatively by Kathan Brown.  There are 13 secrets and Kathan uses them as ways to think about etching and its place in contemporary art world.  However, they could be applied in any aspect of creativity, in the studio, at home or in the workplace. I don’t mean that the studio or the home is not a work place but that even someone, in a role at work that doesn’t proclaim creativity, is in the very place where Kathan Brown’s methods can be observed and earning a living might become more enjoyable.   

For instance ‘Secret 11, Take yourself lightly, having a sense of humour and not seeing yourself as the centre of the universe’

The second, Van Gogh’s letters ; the mind of the artist in paintings, drawings and words, 1875-1890 edited by H. Anna Suh. The title is as it is, I dip in daily and plan one day to read it from cover to cover. The letters are written to his brother Theo; more than 700, cast a revealing light on an artist and his work that was largely disregarded in his lifetime; yet is priceless today.

I looked for a quote and hour later … Ho Hum…

He writes to his brother (1884) ‘I can safely claim that since your last visit I have made progress in the technique of painting and in colour- and this will improve still further. It is the first steps that count in painting; later on it is more compliant, and I have some trumps still in my hand. And I believe that I can play my trumps.’

Oh dear I wish I had some trumps  … !

I also recommend these books,  although I do have one regret, neither is small enough fit in a pocket or small bag; so will difficult while travelling.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 8, 2015 10:45 am

    Books…..our best friends, our best drugs, books always the best for our klowledge!!! How Mário Quintana said one day “Books bring us the advantage of being alone and accompanied at the same time”

  2. June 8, 2015 12:08 pm

    Ha, coincidence – I’ve just been reading Van Gogh’s letters – well, a selection of them. Certainly a book to have close at hand and to dip into whenever required!

  3. June 8, 2015 12:59 pm

    Perhaps it was you who recommended it 😉

  4. Kathryn deVillers permalink
    June 9, 2015 8:20 am

    The Magical Secrets collection changed everything about how I make prints–they are amazing! And the Van Gogh letters dispense with the myth of the artist as genius; he started at zero and worked his ass off.

    • June 9, 2015 1:09 pm

      I am working with the Magical Secrets … and agree wholeheartedly about Van Gogh … Thanks for dropping by xx

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