Art Students League of New York on Painting | James L. McElhinney

Friday, December 18, 2015

I began reading the Art Students League of New York onPainting looking for inspiration. As an artist, I am always looking at what other artists are doing and how it relates to my own work. I have always enjoyed listening to teachers, mentors and students discuss topics that they are passionate about, especially art. Passion for painting, expression, experimentation and exploration leap from the beautifully illustrated pages in each section of this book. Urging the student to push ever forward, the artists emphasize the importance of drawing, making mistakes, and trying new techniques.

The book is split into three sections: Lessons and Demos, Advice and Philosophies, and Interviews. My favorite is the Lessons and Demos section. There are tons of paintings and process photographs showing how the artist works the painting from start to finish. This section is full of artists talking about what they do best, and all I wanted to do when I was finished was pick up my paint brush and get to work. There are a lot of nudes in this section which I love. The human figure is something that I would like to use more in my own work. However, I know some people may not appreciate that aspect of this book.

The Advice and Philosophies and the Interviews sections were a little all over the place. The artists were mostly just writing rambling autobiographies. However, I did enjoy reading Deborah Winiarski's piece. Her writing is much more focused on what art is and what it means to be an artist.

Some of the best pieces of advice that many of the artists articulated throughout the book are to surround yourself with art, immerse yourself, learn to see, look and look again, and of course always draw and sketch. I would recommend this for students, artists, and teachers.

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books for this review.