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Books on Artists’ Shelves

From time to time artists write and tell us of the books they are reading. This is a cumulative listing of those books. Some, like The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron are favourites and are mentioned again and again. Others are less well known or in a state of becoming popular. If you wish to add to this list please do so by submitting your titles to (Robert Genn)

Editor's note: This list is ongoing. Let us know what books have made a difference in your life. We will have them added to the list. Feel free to comment and we will add that, too. Share by emailing

To see more books on artists’ shelves visit our Art Books page at

To see personally recommended online, disc and download tutorials and other learning opportunities visit our Bob’s Best page.

Agee James, and Evans, Walker, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: The American Classic, in Words and Photographs, of Three Tenant Families in the Deep South  (Outstanding depression photography now reissued--DW)  (The writing is beautiful, the story it tells--of poor, sharecropping, depression-era families--is heartbreaking, and the experience of reading about it all is like a baptism by fire. This book just might re-wire your brain--Mike Smith)

Aggett, Lionel, Capturing the Light in Pastel (Paint Pastel)  (He explains his methods very clearly & his demonstrations are broken down in sections so it makes it easy to follow--Arthur)  ...more books by Lionel Aggett

Albala, Mitchell, Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice  (The book has a lot to say to anyone trying to move away from strict representation and toward looser, more open painting. It includes a great chapter on abstracting nature which has been particularly useful to me. And Albala's several sections on color are also insightful, clearly presented and valuable--Blue, Wa)

Albers, Josef, Interaction of Color: Revised and Expanded Edition  (The basic source for all understanding of color and color theory--Dick Nelson)  ...more books by Josef Albers

Altea, Rosemary, You Own the Power: Stories And Exercises To Inspire And Unleash The Force Within  (provides specific, actionable steps to take to tune in to one's own power--Amanda C.)  ...more books by Rosemary Altea

Amber, R. B., Color Therapy: Healing With Color  (We use this text to teach a course on color therapy and how these vibrations affect the mind, body and spirit. I've never seen a more comprehensive book yet on the material and am hoping this will never go out of print!! We need it...--Kristen C. Lauter)

Andrews, Don, Interpreting the Figure in Watercolor  (Don Andrews does a marvelous job explaining light and dark balancing act in the creation of a worthy painting. Design, color and technical understanding are carefully detailed in his instructions to painting the figure--Kathy Bush)...more books by Don Andrews

Angrill, Muntsa Calbo I, The Big Book of Drawing and Painting the Figure  (This is my favorite book on painting the figure. The book demonstrates many approaches to the figure and each technique is demonstrated by a different artist...very well illustrated with color photos of the examples in process. For the student and the master the book offers many angles and approaches in every medium--Kevin Goodman)

Appellof, Marian, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Watercolor  (It's got everything from selecting material and preparing paper, theory and practice of color (selecting, mixing, schemes), basic painting techniques, collaging and less traditional techniques, artistic principles (value, composition), perspective, and painting of textures, landscapes, figures, flowers, and special effects--Arthur)...more books by Marian Appellof

Aristides, Juliette, Classical Painting Atelier: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice  (There is no shortage of information out there about painting...the problem is it's not distilled - what this book gives you is the distilled wisdom of the author - an accomplished painter who runs a respected atelier--Richard)  ...more books by Juliette Aristides

Artists, International, The Watercolor Landscape Techniques of 23 International Artists  (Landscape painting is a tremendous challenge to begin with, and watercolor can be both an excellent and incredibly difficult medium to attempt in landscape. This book shows how 23 artists with very different styles and methods tackle the subject--Nicole N. Pellegrini)  ...more books by International Artists

Ash, Russell, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (Pre-Raphaelite Painters Series) (Spanish edition)  (Wonderfully skilled and beautifully reproduced paintings by a currently unpopular master--Lance Woodley)  ...more books by Russell Ash

Badonsky, Jill, The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard)  (This book helped me to lighten up and allow my creativity to flow, rather than trying to force it out of of myself. I loved Arnold, the bodyguard. He reminded me that my tender, young ideas do need protection. I recommend this book to others who create professionally as well as those who are exploring creativity as a way of self expression--Kay Porterfield)  ...more books by Jill Badonsky

Baldwin, Ann, Creative Paint Workshop for Mixed-Media Artists: Experimental Techniques for Composition, Layering, Texture, Imagery, and Encaustic  (Ann is a most impressive artist and communicator. After one day in a workshop with her, I left with skills and excitement I never expected to have. Now it's simply amazing what she has worked into the 144 pages of this fabulous book...a wide range of beginner to more advanced techniques...all approachable with dramatic effect--Laurie Mullikin)

Bammes, Gottfried, Complete Guide to Life Drawing  (I thought this was going to be another student show-off book but this one is the real deal! Aside from some well made reference drawings it has exercises to do as well--Richard)...more books by Gottfried Bammes

Bancroft, Sarah, Richard Diebenkorn: The Ocean Park Series  (recommended by Bobbe Bergen Dennis)  ...more books by Sarah Bancroft

Bateman, Robert, Thinking Like a Mountain  (About making sound ecological choices which will affect our children's children. Lovely writing--Sylvia Brault)  ...more books by Robert Bateman

Bayles, David, Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking  (This book made me feel as though the authors had crawled inside my brain and purged my thoughts and feelings into written word. It confronts the inhibitions that plunge us into inactivity or stifle our creativity and challenges us to look beyond these destructive forces and continue on the path of artmaking--Laurie Friesen)  (Description of his use of techniques, values, colours, shapes, impact areas and mood. Plus I always enjoy looking at reproductions of his paintings--Bonnie Hamlin)  ...more books by David Bayles

Beagle, Peter S., The Last Unicorn  (one of the last, best fairy tales of our generation. It's a great read for an adult or a child; I first read it in fourth grade, and recently re-read it as an adult with no less sense of wonder or awe--AC)  ...more books by Peter S. Beagle

Beecher, Carmen, Crackers and Oranges  (Excellent book! The writers hand drawn pictures are great. Gives a great description of rural Florida life in the 1950s--Kirk Sackett)

Berger, John, Bento's Sketchbook: How Does the Impulse to Draw Something Begin?  (drawn from Berger's own experiences, especially those connected with drawing, and the philosophy of Baruch (Bento) Spinoza...well illustrated with Berger's own drawings (Spinoza's do not appear to have survived) and is laden with thoughts fully- or half-formed, just waiting to be taken up by the reader. Highly recommended--Stephen Persing)  ...more books by John Berger

Bhandari, Heather Darcy, ART/WORK: Everything You Need to Know (and Do) As You Pursue Your Art Career  (even those who have no interest in the art world may find Art/Work of use. Their instructions on how to pack objects, for example, are so thorough, only the most dexterously challenged will find difficulty executing them. What's more, should this book reach the majority of working artists today, the quality of gallery staff life would improve by a level of magnitude--Paddy Johnson, The L Magazine)

Black, Robert Alan, Broken Crayons: Break Your Crayons and Draw Outside the Lines  (Once in awhile, a book comes along that redefines those pesky negative self-perceptions from our past...In reading his book I realized I've been a crayon breaker all my life...Read this book and maybe you, too, will find that your troublesome behaviors of yesteryear helped pave your route to success. Here's to more crayon breaking for all of us!--Dave)

Blechman, R. O., Dear James: Letters to a Young Illustrator  (This intimate book gives one the feeling of a rare chat with an experienced and generous artist, willing to reveal his bag of tricks as well as some favorite quotations gathered over many years. Far beyond a practical guide for emerging illustrators this book is for ANYone who is fascinated by Where Ideas Come From, and the necessary dance that takes place in the artist's studio--LKP)  ...more books by R. O. Blechman

Bouchard, David, Rainbow Crow  (An acclaimed author of children's books, David Bouchard is also a champion of literacy. This former teacher and school principal has written more than 50 books. Many of them combine poetry, prose and visual arts, and explore topics such as the environment, history and the traditions and cultures of Aboriginal communities. In April 2009, Bouchard was named as a Member of the Order of Canada--editor's note)  ...more books by David Bouchard

Breathnach, Sarah Ban, A Man's Journey to Simple Abundance  (There are no perfect men, of course, but some are more perfect than others, and we can use all of those we can get."--Merle Shain)  ...more books by Sarah Ban Breathnach

Brommer, Gerald, Watercolor and Collage Workshop  (It's the book to have for anyone who wants to explore collage and watercolor together. I will be pulling it for years as a key reference-- K. McCord)  ...more books by Gerald Brommer

Brooks, Leonard, Oil Painting: Traditional And New  ...more books by Leonard Brooks

Brown, Bern Will, End-of-Earth People: The Arctic Sahtu Dene  (Artist, pioneer, filmmaker, journalist, dog-musher, pilot, priest and Robert's friend Bern Will Brown who passed away at home on July 4, 2014 at the age of 94. He is buried at Colville Lake--Sara Genn)  ...more books by Bern Will Brown

Brown, Clint, Artist to Artist: Inspiration & Advice from Artists Past and Present  (A collection of quotations that I've been leaning on for the past couple of months--RG)  (quotations create a sort of ongoing dialogue among the 207 artists represented. At times it can feel like listening in on a conversation among fellow artists--AP)  ...more books by Clint Brown

Brown, Harley, Harley Brown's Eternal Truths for Every Artist  (A genius painter...a genius teacher. Each page I open says something I need to know--Marjorie Cooke)  ...more books by Harley Brown

Browne, Sylvia, Tools for Life  (release from negativity by using intuition, hypnosis, visualization, etc.--Mary Smart)  (When you practice these techniques and concepts, amazing things happen! In my life, practicing Sylvia Browne's "Tools for Life" has improved my attitude, quelled fears, reduced pain, and has made my life happier--Barbara)  ...more books by Sylvia Browne

Buchanan, Ross, Life Without Limits (Strategic Life Series)  (This book is truly life changing. After reading it, I feel I have the tools to define and achieve anything I want in life - to truly live a Life Without Limits. This one gets a strong recommendation from me for everyone!--Michael Smith)  ...more books by Ross Buchanan

Buechner, Thomas S., How I Paint : Secrets of a Sunday Painter  (He has spent a lifetime studying technique, and has been teaching art since the 1950's. Buechner is an oil painter--Bonnie Hamlin)  ...more books by Thomas S. Buechner

Bullock, Margaret E., Childe Hassam: Impressionist in the West  (Color illustrations throughout, many of them full-page. A high level of reproduction allows Hassam's brushwork and colors to shine--Theseus)

Cameron, Julia, The Artist's Way  (A spiritual workshop aimed at guiding the participant to a level of higher creativity--Sandy Sandy)  (Every artist should own a copy of this book and utilize it religiously! It is the kind of manual that can be used over and over again for continual growth. I highly recommend it and feel it is a vital tool for personal creative expansion--Amanda C.)  ...more books by Julia Cameron

Campanario, Gabriel, The Art of Urban Sketching: Drawing On Location Around The World  (Your list of Books on Artists Shelves is so dangerous...Wonderful! I really love this book...check out their website, Urban Sketchers-- Kit Miracle)

Carlson, John F., Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting  (a reliable classic--SJ)  (This is an essential how-to guide for landscape painters. Carlson addresses the real nuts and bolts of how to paint a landscape and effectively deconstructs all aspects of the painted landscape into digestible principles and points, in B&W but too inexpensive not to have on your studio bookshelf--Douglas Moench)

Carnegie, Dale, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living  (revisits platitudes and shows how they are less trite sayings than distilled truths. Turn lemons into lemonade. Count your blessings. Don't cry over spilled milk. He also talked about putting a "stop-loss order" on resentments, having our thoughts work for instead of against us, and how knowledge isn't power until it is applied--Sarah)  ...more books by Dale Carnegie

Castagnet, Alvaro, Beyond Technique: Painting With Passion  (Because of his colour choices, many of his paintings are quite dark. The text covers his painting philosophy. What I enjoyed reading more is the story behind each painting--Parka)

Cateura, Linda, Oil Painting Secrets From a Master  (For more than 2 years, Linda Cateura pursued teacher/artist David A. Leffel, notebook in hand, as he critiqued the work of students, capturing his insights, philosophy, painting hints, and general comments--Rhonda)

Chevalier, Tracy, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Deluxe Edition  (A fictionalized version of the life of Vermeer--Nina Stahlberg, PA, USA)

Christensen, Lisa, Hiker's Guide to the Art of the Canadian Rockies  ("Art is the distillate of life, the winnowed result of the experience of people, the record of the joyous adventure of the creative spirit in us toward a higher world." Lawren Harris--Sue Legault)  (If you like the Group of Seven, you'll love this book. The only hitch is how long it took to receive a book that is pretty much out of print (about three weeks). But it was worth the wait--Mac)

Churchill, Winston, Painting as a Pastime  (Winston Churchill recommends painting for health reasons. Particularly mental health reasons--RG)  (Those who have not read Churchill may not have realized that his masterful command of the English language makes his works very easy to read; this work shows him making thoughtful points so effortlessly that you don't realize how much practical wisdom you are swiftly absorbing...he developed a practical method of relaxation that may be helpful to the many of us who are interested only in mastering our own lives--R. Winn)  ...more books by Winston Churchill

Cleveland, David Adams, A History of American Tonalism, 1880-1920  (This is the best piece of art history I have read in years. Knowledgeable, detailed, interesting and pleasantly readable. Tonalism finally has a definitive history, a piece of scholarship that more than makes up for all the years of neglect and often intentional disregard given this school and most of its practitioners--W. Forsberg)

Coddington, Jim, De Kooning: A Retrospective  (This book is the catalog for the great, albeit belated, retrospective currently held at Moma, supervised by one of the best museum curators in the US, John Elderfield. The illustrations are numerous and of a very good quality. Practically all the greatest masterpieces are present...and also traces some previously neglected sources that show how much the artist was translating the mood of his time on the canvas--Reich Claude)

Coelho, Paulo, Veronika Decides to Die: A Novel of Redemption  (Don't be put off by the title - it isn't a heavy or painful book! It makes one reflect on the pointlessness of not doing what you really want to do and of not being who you really are. In fact, you'll go crazy otherwise!--Ginny Brink)  ...more books by Paulo Coelho

Collier, John, A Manual of Oil Painting  ( Published in 1886, it's a small book of 112 pages with nary a picture, but it's just loaded with attitude, insight and wisdom that's dangerously close to extinction. Fortunately, it's been recently republished in paperback--Robert Genn)

Coote, Maree, The Art of Being Melbourne  (A fascinating history of Melbourne through the eyes of its artist from the planning stage of the city to the present day. Not only is it an insight into the different painting styles of years gone by but an amazing history of the relatively young city of Melbourne. The book includes some of the greatest names in Australian art. I was very fortunate to be included in the book--Mike Barr)

Couch, Tony, Tony Couch's Keys to Successful Painting  (This is the best book on composition and design I have seen. He is a watercolorist, but explains design and composition for any media...It is easy to read, has great illustrations, and, wow, he's awesome!--Lisa Jackson)  ...more books by Tony Couch

Covey, Stephen R., The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People  (Unlike many similar books, this book is written in an approachable, non-egotistical manner, and helps us to remember what matters in our interactions with the world--Amanda C.)  ...more books by Stephen R. Covey

Cox, Mary, ed., Artist's and Graphic Designer's Market  (2500 places to sell your stuff. This book got me an income--Mark Jagger)  (If you're an artist, illustrator, cartoonist, just starting out or a seasoned pro, this is one that belongs in your book collection on a yearly basis--Alejandra Vernon)

Coyle, Daniel, The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How.  (Robert, I would love to add "The Talent Code" by Daniel Coyle--Cindy Wider)  (a book on how to grow talent. The author is against the wisdom that talent is natural. The book is around the belief that talent comes from Myelin...the "insulation that wraps these nerve fibers and increases signal strength, speed, and accuracy--Viriya Taecharungroj)

Crawford, Tad, Legal Guide for the Visual Artist (Fifth Edition)  (great legal tips for the artist about rights, copyright, avoiding disputes, privacy releases, fair use, work for hire,and leases and much more--Bonnie Neely)  ...more books by Tad Crawford

Cummings, Pat, Talking With Artists, Vol. 3  (Volume 1, 2, and 3 - I have read these over and over, like sitting down with artists and visiting with them. Such a rich experience--Colleen Kindt)  ...more books by Pat Cummings

Currey, Mason, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work  (This is a meticulously researched work on the work habits of writers, composers, artists and other creative types. He pulls this information from existing sources, biographies, autobiographies and personal journals. If you are looking for this type of detailed information, than this book easily could merit a five star review--Michael)  ...more books by Mason Currey

Curtis, David, A Light Touch, Successful Painting in Oils  (David Curtis is an incredible artist and this book depicts his skill admirably. The text is very informative and the illustrations are well reproduced. It is especially illuminating to see the step-by-step demonstrations to see how a master creates his work--Brad Teare)  ...more books by David Curtis

Curtis, David and Capon, Robin, Painting with Impact  (This book is not really a "how-to" book focusing on technique, but rather his thinking process in choosing to paint plein air or in the studio, and whether to choose oil or watercolor. There are examples of both mediums in this book--Kathryn C.)  ...more books by Robin Capon

Devall, Bill, Simple In Means, Rich In Ends  (Guidelines for enriching lives without impoverishing the Earth--Mark Brennan)  ...more books by Bill Devall

Dillard, Annie, The Writing Life  (A beautiful expression of the trials and beauties of being a writer. Applies to a lot of creative fields--Joseph Penn)  ...more books by Annie Dillard

Dispenza, Joseph, The Way of the Traveler: Making Every Trip a Journey of Self-Discovery  (Sacred travel and actual meaningful journeys of the soul--D Y Duke)  (One of the epiphanies in this book for me was how I defined a "journey." After reading "The Way," I have reframed even my gridlocked commute during rush hour into a more relaxing experience. It has reframed my "schlep through the front door" into more of a "homecoming"--R.V.)  ...more books by Joseph Dispenza

Dissanayake, Ellen, Art and Intimacy: How the Arts Began  (Her theory is that we human beings are biologically evolved to appreciate art because it helped early humans adapt to their environment and reproduce themselves successfully over generations--Jenny Arntzen)   ...more books by Ellen Dissanayake

Dobie, Jeanne, Making Color Sing, 25th Anniversary Edition: Practical Lessons in Color and Design  (Hands-down, this is the BEST watercolor book published today! If you are starting-out it's invaluable and if you thought you knew everything there is to know, you'll be amazed at all the tips and mixing solutions in this book!--Corky)

Dodson, Bert, Keys to Drawing  (Dodson is exactly the sort of teacher I've been looking for all these years! There are about fifty exercises on methods and techniques throughout the book and I'm taking my time with them. After three months, I'm about a quarter of way through the book, and my sketch book is looking pretty good. I've learned to restate rather than erase, and I'm getting along just fine with two pencils (HB and 4B) and a Micron pen. I cannot recommend Dodson's methods too highly to anyone who, like me, just wants to learn to draw!--Michael K. Smith)

Doidge, Norman, The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science  (recommended by Cindy Wider)  (The author is both a research psychiatrist and a psychoanalyst who has interviewed many experts in the field. His book is full of well chosen and detailed stories about scientists and their discoveries as well as case reports of triumph over unbelievable adversity. There is also a good discussion of people who have remarkable abilities despite the absence of key regions of the brain--Dr. Richard G. Petty)

Dutton, Denis, The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution  (Connecting Darwin's evolutionary theory to the making and appreciating of art, Dutton says that art had its origins as a display that might lure prospective mates. He views art-making as a skill that only an extraordinary individual could perform--a person who perhaps exhibited a degree of laid-back leisure and who didn't have to expend full resources on the basics--Robert Genn)  ...more books by Denis Dutton

Edens, Cooper, Caretakers of Wonder  ...more books by Cooper Edens

Edwards, Betty, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain  (Inspirational, practical, educational and good review of what in important about the 'art process' as well as the techniques to achieve what you wish in art--Marcia Riquelme)  ...more books by Betty Edwards

Eisner, Elliot, The Arts and the Creation of Mind  (Eisner discusses the many ways to teach art. Among the popular systems he looks at are Discipline-Based Art Education, Art Education as Visual Culture, Creative Problem Solving, Creative Self-Expression and Preparation for the World of Work. The book shows the distinct uniqueness of art education--Robert Genn)   ...more books by Elliot Eisner

Elkins, James, How to Use Your Eyes  (An art historian takes a look at the details of the world around us and proclaims the works of art that are everywhere--G Peter)  ...more books by James Elkins

Elliott, Virgil, Traditional Oil Painting: Advanced Techniques and Concepts from the Renaissance to the Present  (This is not a "how-to" book; it is an excellent reference book to keep within reach when you are working. The older books are so obscure, so difficult to try to understand...and based on speculation about the techniques and materials used by the masters of the past. Mr. Elliott has kept abreast of discoveries by conservators in the major museums using the most up-to-date, sophisticated technology--B. Harrison)

Engle, Nita, How to Make a Watercolor Paint Itself: Experimental Techniques for Achieving Realistic Effects  (If you are serious about watercolor and are ready for some major changes, then realize that this book won't sit on your shelf. You will be immediately rewarded with that artistic excitement that comes with the discovery of a new method or skill in which to energize your work! This is a gem and we speak from our experiences of years of making a living as artists!--T. Filarsky)

Field, Joanna, A Life of One's Own  (What really makes you happy? This question set Marion Milner, writing under the pseudonym Joanna Field, on an inward journey of discovery through the subtle and fleeting processes of perception, thought and emotion over seven years--Rhonda)

Fig, Joe, Inside the Painter's Studio  (This book needs a little explaining: it's partly an art monograph - showing Joe Fig's artwork - and partly interviews with 24 artists, some famous and some obscure. If you are an artist, or just enjoy reading about the process of making art, I highly recommend this book--Anthony Pinto)

Finlay, Victoria, Colour: Travels Through the Paintbox   (...a fascinating artist's odyssey... a passionate and brilliantly curious young woman... rickshaws out to the village of Monghyr, near Patna in Bihar State, India, to try to find out why the ancient cows died young--Robert Genn)  ...more books by Victoria Finlay

Flack, Audrey, Art & Soul  (Truly food for the artist's soul--Anni Adkins)  (Audrey Flack captures the life of an artist beautifully. Her words of wisdom from her experiences are very enlightening and anyone can gain something positive from this book--Shalyn)  ...more books by Audrey Flack

Flam, Jack, ed., Matisse on Art, Revised edition (Documents of Twentieth-Century Art)  (If you want to extend the boundaries of ordinary perception, in order to produce unique, distinctive visions read this book. It is a critical piece of literature written by a masterfully innovative painter. I recommend it as a professional artist for nearly 20 years and as an art professor--Stephanie Rose Bird)  ...more books by Jack Flam

Franck, Frederick, Zen of Seeing: Seeing/Drawing as Meditation  (I don't think of myself as a Zen person or a mystic, but this book really speaks to me. The drawings are beautiful, but go beyond a superficial beauty. Even if one is not interested in drawing, there is lots in this book to recommend it--Joan M Kind)  ...more books by Frederick Franck

Gair, Angela, Artist's Manual: A Complete Guide to Paintings and Drawing Materials and techniques  (This manual is essential and practical, the informative text is very clear, it has hundreds of explanations about techniques, composition, color, artist's materials and tools. And also is superbly ilustrated. If you are a professional artist so improve your knowledge with this book, if you are a beginner, here is everything you need to start your work--Silvana Borges)

Gallagher, Winifred, Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life  ( a physician who specializes in ADHD and was curious to find out what a layperson would publish about paying attention. I found the book readable and a good balance of anecdotes and data from psychological research... a good summary of the spiritual value of a mindful life including hard science support for the author's intuitive points--L. B. Kacir)  (...presents an interesting and provocative thesis, essentially arguing that modern life is plagued by an inability to focus on what matters amidst unnatural and overwhelming amounts of stimuli--A.M.Guest)  ...more books by Winifred Gallagher

Ganim, Barbara, Art and Healing: Using Expressive Art to Heal Your Body, Mind, and Spirit  (At the end of each chapter, Ganim gives the reader exercises to try at home, along with guided visualizations to help relax you into each exercise. Then she provides self-dialoguing questions to help you understand what your images might mean. I found this book the next best thing to taking a workshop on Art and Healing--M. Pierce)  ...more books by Barbara Ganim

Gardner, Howard, Art, Mind, And Brain: A Cognitive Approach To Creativity  (lucid writing style...These artful essays provide an outstanding brief reconnaissance of much of what is developing in the psychology of art--Paul C. Vitz)  ...more books by Howard E. Gardner

Gauguin, Paul, Noa Noa: The Tahitian Journal  (Though you may quarrel with Gauguin tactics or motivations, his art stands alone--brilliant, moving, subtle. It is always intriquing to hear the voice of a master painter and "Noa, Noa," affords that opportunity--Stephanie Rose Bird)  ...more books by Paul Gauguin

Gawain, Shakti, Developing Intuition   (Workbook to increase intuitive ability. Gawain outlines methods of accessing the power, how to act on it, and suggests exercises for discovering passions--Norah Borden)

Galeano, Eduardo, Genesis: Memory of Fire, Volume 1  (A trilogy history as 'told in story vignette form' in lighter fashion with the unique proposal that we take a look at the planet and its history from the 'viewfinders' of those who were the original inhabitors of the 'new world'--Marcia Riquelme)  ...more books by Eduardo Galeano

Gelb, Michael J., How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day  (Will reading this book make you a genius? Probably not. What it will do, however, is open up avenues in your mind that you probably never thought existed--M. Rodriguez)  ...more books by Michael J. Gelb

Genn, Robert, The Twice-Weekly Letters: July 10, 1999 to Sept 25, 2009  (I recommend this book to all those who wish to create, to think, to be open to the minds of others and go paint, write, sculpt, or whatever--Russ Henshall, UK)  (I sometimes laughed, at other times I cried because I was touched so deeply. And then I would head back to my studio, pick up a brush and paint once more--Veronica Funk, Alberta)  ...more books by Robert Genn

Gerber, Michael E., The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It  (It was one of the most helpful books for deciding where I should spend my energy--Pat Spencer)  (Overall, I found the ideas in this book extremely profound and incredibly useful for my own small-business venture--Erika Mitchell)  ...more books by Michael E. Gerber

Gerdts, William H. American Impressionism, 2nd Edition  (This large volume may have the broadest coverage of the American impressionists of any book in print. So, if this topic interests you, I would heartily recommend this book--David Kasman)  ...more books by William H. Gerdts

Gibson, Katherine Unclutter Your Life: Transforming Your Physical, Mental, And Emotional Space  (Katherine offers a chatty, friendly way of advising how you can make transformations not only with the physical clutter, but getting rid of the mental clutter that hogties our emotional space--anon)  ...more books by Katherine Gibson

Gill, Catherine, Powerful Watercolor Landscapes: Tools for Painting with Impact  (Solid compositional advice for painters in any media. I'm not a water colorist but use it all the time--Darrell Anderson, Bainbridge Island, Wa)  (This is a true gift to those of us eager to refine our skills. The text, photos, drawings, and prolific paintings come together like a perfect dance--N. Kreicker)

Gilot, Francoise, Life with Picasso  (I read this book with a certain guilt as if prying into the intimate world of others I had no business looking into. But the fascination with the life of the great artist, and the whole subject of creativity kept me reading on even when I felt a bit disgusted in doing so--Shalom Freedman)  ...more books by Francoise Gilot

Gladwell, Malcolm, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference  ...more books by Malcolm Gladwell

Godwin, Ted, Studio Handbook for Working Artists: A Survival Manual  (The book, a true survival manual, is written by a professional artist who has been practicing his art and teaching for a good number of years. While some of the information is geared towards painters I found the book full of hints and sound advice for anyone pursuing an artistic career path--a must on any artist's reference shelf!--A. Hergert)

Goldstein, Nathan, The Art of Responsive Drawing, Sixth Edition  (I have used this book for years as source material for the college level drawing courses I teach. Its greatest value is the high calibre of master drawing examples by everyone from Michelangelo to Rembrandt and Watteau, as well as appropriate and sensitive student examples--Stephanie N.)  ...more books by Nathan Goldstein

Gordon, Arthur, A Touch of Wonder  (recommended by Lori Faye Bock)  (awesome book! Mysteries are explored in this reflective collection. Intuition, the unsolved, and similar musings. Life is celebrated! We're told "there are two types of human beings: those who think of life as a privilege and those who think of it as a problem"--Dr. W. G. Covington, Jr.)  ...more books by Arthur Gordon

Gottsegen, Mark D., Painter's Handbook: Revised and Expanded  (The best recent general reference guide to studio technique, supports, sizes, grounds, paints, pigments, etc, etc. Exhaustive and fun to read--Dick Wiggins)  (It is not a "how-to" book on painting and there are no pictures or anecdotes, but it is oriented towards serious students and professionals--Debra Yoo)  ...more books by Mark D. Gottsegen

Griffel, Lois, Painting the Impressionist Landscape: Lessons in Interpreting Light and Color  (how to paint impressionist light, well organized, lots of tips--JB)  (Any painter who wishes to see the light through the eyes of the impressionist masters will most certainly want to purchase this outstanding book--Bernice Winston)  ...more books by Lois Griffel

Grout, Pam, E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality  (This book provided me with the necessary guidance I needed to truly know that my thoughts have power through 9 cut and dry exercises. The best part is, Ms. Pam Grout is writes in a language that is accessible, humorous and the very opposite of boring--anonymous)  ...more books by Pam Grout

Gruppe, Emile, Gruppe on Color: Using Expressive Color to Paint Nature  (My kind of subjects and colours--Ron Cawardine)  ("After years of discipline and hard work, Gruppe found spontaneity, freedom, and his own personal response to nature. This book tells you how he did it"--Theseus)  ...more books by Emile Gruppe

Gurney, James, Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter  (This book is easy to grasp, pithy and organized in such a way that you can go right to the area you are interested in without having to scan the entire book. I learned more about how to use color and paint light in the hour I ravenously scanned through it than I did in all those years of college--J. L. Singh)  ...more books by James Gurney

Hale, Robert Beverly, Master Class in Figure Drawing  (The lessons are based on Mr Hales teachings on the techniques and thinking of the great master drawers, and not only are the examples all master works, but innovative use of coloured line overlays makes sometimes difficult concepts abundantly clear--David Lovegrove)  ...more books by Robert Beverly Hale

Hamilton, Jane, The Book of Ruth (Oprah's Book Club)  (This book spoke directly to me and mesmerized me from start to finish...I've recommended this book to every serious reader I know--Amanda C.)  ...more books by Jane Hamilton

Hammond, Lee, Lee Hammond's Big Book of Acrylic Painting: Fast, easy techniques for painting your favorite subjects  (I really like everything I've bought that's by Lee Hammond. She shows the "in the middle" kind of stage of the painting, which can be very helpful...a broad spectrum for beginners to help them find their talent and niche--Heather)  (I like all of Lee Hammond's books. They are laid out very well and do a good job explaining techniques--Jerry Sullivan)  ...more books by Lee Hammond

Handell, Albert, Painting the Landscape in Pastel  (Luminous examples--Recommended by several--RG)  (I don't think any pastelist paints rocks and trees better than this man. The writing style is a little elementary but the information is refreshingly straightforward, informative and easily understood. You won't find vague, ethereal wanderings from this guy! The many photos are clear and beautiful--T. Filarsky)  ...more books by Albert Handell

Harold, Ellie, 7 Habits of Deeply Fulfilled Artists  (...determined to continue reading this book because it's the kind of sustenance that all artists need to persevere in a world that is sometimes precarious, easy to neglect, but worth the effort to maintain and exalt. nance that all artists need to persevere in a world that is sometimes precarious, easy to neglect, but worth the effort to maintain and exalt. Thanks to Ellie Harold for this beautifully written work that is also so important and practical--Jill Badonsky)  ...more books by Ellie Harold

Hart, Laurel, Putting People in Your Paintings  (The author gives good instruction on how to add figures to watercolor, using her own work as examples. The instructions go from basic palettes to value sketches and show demonstrations. Any beginner who wants to try portraits and figures can benefit from this book--Joanna Daneman)

Hawthorne, Mrs. Charles W., Hawthorne on Painting (Dover Art Instruction)  (I read the entire book in one sitting and was amazed at the content. I can only imagine what it would have been like to study with Hawthorne. This book has Hawthorne's narratives as well as his critiques...It's something you can read over and over. I was suprised how much of his advice applies to life in general, not necessarily painting--Michael)

Heinrich, Christoph, Claude Monet, 1840-1926  (This book is an excellent way to learn about Monet (his life and technique) without having to spend too much time researching. The book highlights the evolution of Monet's technique throughout his life and teaches the reader to understand why he painted what he painted--Hoboken)

Henri, Robert, The Art Spirit  (Purely inspirational and a re-read and a keeper on the shelf next to your paints--Marcia Riquelme)

Hensche, Henry, The Art of Seeing and Painting  (dispells many misunderstood and misrepresented facts about painting, the Old Masters, Impressionism and Claude Monet. An excellent source of solid information on a subject which has heretofore never been adaquately taken to such a degree of analysis and criticism--Albert Guidry)

Herrigel, Eugen, Zen in the Art of Archery   (I thought I would never get to the end, even tho' it was a small paperback. Then, at the end, I realized it was necessary to go through all the agony of the author when he tried and tried to hit the target. The point was to finally give up and relax. Then he hit the bulls eye of the target--Jackie Ivey-Weaver)  ...more books by Eugen Herrigel

Hirsch, Robert, Exploring Color Photography   (The best book I have found to date on the subject; practical, thorough--Dick Soon)

Hofmann, Werner, Degas  (I have a bunch of books on Degas. From the scholarly (Boggs my favorite) to the simple Tachen primer. This book really rates at the top. The images are outstanding and large. The essays are very well written. But, for me, its all about the images. This is an outstanding example of what an art book should look like with 21st century printing technology--Rico Lebrun)

Holman, Karlyn, Watercolor Without Boundaries: Exploring Ways to Have Fun With Watercolor  I have all Karlyn Holman's books and this one didn't disappoint. I find her creativity contagious and I am finding her excitement brings out the creativity in me. I recommend any of her books or CD's highly--Donna Reid)  ...more books by Karlyn Holman

Horowitz, Frederick A., More Than You See: A Guide to Art

Houston, Jean, The Possible Human  (Dr. Houston describes how each of us can remove blocks so that we can see more, hear more, remember more, and draw on more of our inner resources. She offers a comprehensive program of exercises through which the reader can test her conclusions and integrate them into his or her own life--JR Dekker)

Howard, Ken, A Personal View Inspired by Light  (Getting light into a variety of subjects, indoors, outdoors. Brilliant British artist--NN)

Howard, Vernon, Psycho-Pictography: The New Way to Use the Miracle Power of Your Mind  (well worth reading--Ruth Cox)  ...more books by Vernon Howard

Hunt, William Morris, Talks About Art  (The format is very similar to Robert Henri's popular book "The Art Spirit", being extracted quotes from advice to his students, but Hunt's book was written several decades earlier-Mark Diederichsen)  ...more books by William Morris Hunt

Hyams, Leigh, How Painting Holds Me on the Earth  (Thank you for this formidable list. An addition might be...I found it clearly written and an inspiration to begin again when stuck--Lynda Cole)

Hyde, Lewis, The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World  (His telling of the real establishment of capitalism--that begin with Martin Luther rather than Adam Smith, and the concomitant destruction of charitable customs in Western nations provide a far more cogent explanation of both the moral bankruptcy and the actual bankruptcy of globalism than I've heard in more than one hundred hours of NPR news stories--Michael Tiemann)  ...more books by Michael Tiemann

Itten, Johannes, Elements of Color  (I have been a professor for 15 years. "The Elements of Color" has been required reading for many of my courses. It is not only enriching as a color theory document, but it helps expand the artist or designers possibility of using, arranging and conceiving color--Stephanie Rose Bird)  ...more books by Johannes Itten

Iyer, Pico, The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere  (It is a pearl that resonates and challenges the reader to consider his/her choices and direction. I find myself often thinking about the glut of information and data we face. In generations past, one did not have to make the choice to do nothing, or be still; that was the state of being for many, much of the time--B. Grant)

Jamison, Kay Redfield, Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament

Janes, Clara, ed., Sorolla (Los Genios De La Pintura Espanola; 10)

Jennings, Simon, Art Class: A Complete Guide to Painting

Johnson, Michael Chesley, Backpacker Painting: Outdoors with Oil and Pastel  (I took it to our plein air group meeting and it was received with happy sounds. It's already loaned to a member ... the group was impressed and pleased with it. And this is not an easy group to impress--Kitty Wallis)  ...more books by Michael Chesley Johnson

Kamhi, Michelle, Who Says That's Art: A Commonsense View of the Visual Arts  (This book is one of the few to dispute the establishment's untruths with a well reasoned and accurate assessment as to why most contemporary art is not art but kitsch--John Nutt)

Kaplan, Aryeh, Sefer Yetzirah, The Book of Creation  (The creative forces available to all of us. Read between the lines for artists. Wow!!--Mary Smart)

Katchen, Carol, Express Yourself with Pastel  (Carole Katchen understands the pastel artist and reflects her understanding in this book that goes from the basics of selecting and using pastels to the emotional needs of the artist. She has useful tips throughout--Sharon B. Tootle)  ...more books by Carol Katchen

Kemp, Linda Simplifying Design & Color for Artists: Positive Results Using Negative Painting Techniques  ((Linda truly makes it worthwhile to step out of your comfort zone. For those who need paced instruction to learn new methods, this book is ideal. For the advanced artist this will make all those brain synapses tingle--Dooley)  ...more books by Linda Kemp

Kessler, Margaret, Painting Better Landscapes: Specific Ways to Improve Your Oils  ...more books by Margaret Kessler

Kimmelman, Michael, The Accidental Masterpiece: On the Art of Life and Vice Versa  (For Kimmelman our world is our canvas and his drive is to bring the reader into that ethereal field of true observation and experience that will enhance our quality of artful living--Grady Harp)  ...more books by Michael Kimmelman

King, Averil, Isaak Levitan: Lyrical Landscape  ...more books by Averil King

King, Ross, Defiant Spirits: The Modernist Revolution of the Group of Seven  (a wonderfully written historic review of Canadian art. Many surprises are waiting too, even for those well read on the Group of 7, placing other famous people and events in the time of these artists. I even found the grandfather of one of my schoolgirl friends. The areas in which they painted are iconic, poignant, blood-stirringly Canadian--Celeste Varley)  ...more books by Ross King

King, Stephen, On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft"   ...more books by Stephen King

Kingston, Karen, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui   (This is a good book for artists who need to clean up their workspace--DD)

Kleon, Austin, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative (A new book I've enjoyed...Everything was created by God in the beginning and we just take it and apply it as our skill grows--Janet J. Carpenter, Atlanta, GA)  (A small inspiring and fun read. Very practical and also profound insightssupported by other famous quotes--Noel Sandino)  ...more books by Austin Kleon

Kohn, Alfie, No Contest: The Case Against Competition

Kosvanek, Jim, Transparent Watercolor Wheel

Kreutz, Gregg, Problem Solving for Oil Painters: Recognizing What's Gone Wrong and How to Make It Right

Kruglov, Vladimir, Russian Impressionist Paintings-1870, 1970

Landauer, Susan, California Impressionists  (A joint effort of The Irvine Museum and the Georgia Museum of Art, it includes widely recognized California artists--Brenda, San Francisco, CA)  ...more books by Susan Landauer

Landes, David S., The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor

Lang, Cay, Taking the Leap: Building a Career as a Visual Artist (The Insider's Guide to Exhibiting and Selling Your Art)

Lauer, David A., Design Basics  (recommended by Gerald Brommer, a well known artist and respected teacher from California--Jill Ehlert)

Lawlor, Anthony, 24 Patterns of Wisdom: Navigating the Challenges and Awakenings of the Human Journey  (What a breath of fresh air! Download this one to your Kindle device asap, and start reading a short book that delivers on its promise of insight and growth. Highly recommended--PRB, California)  ...more books by Anthony Lawlor

Leal, Brigitt, The Ultimate Picasso

Leffel, David A., An Artist Teaches - Reflections on the Art of Painting

Leland, Nita, Confident Color: An Artist's Guide To Harmony, Contrast And Unity

Letsinger-Miller, Lyn, The Artists of Brown County  (A colony of artists who migrated to the scenic hill country of Brown County, Indiana, from urban areas of the Midwest. Color reproductions of the artists' work accompany the biographical sketches--John)

Lipsey, Roger, An Art of our Own: The Spiritual in Twentieth-Century Art  (One of my all-time favourites--Lucille Blainey, Coldwater, ON)  ...more books by Roger Lipsey

Livingston, Jane, The Paintings of Joan Mitchell  (recommended by Bobbe Bergen Dennis)

Livingstone, Margaret, Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing  (Neurobiologist Margaret Livingstone offers proof that artists 'see' differently--Celeste McCall)

London, Peter, No More Secondhand Art

Loomis, Andrew, Figure Drawing for All It's Worth  ...more books by Andrew Loomis

Loori, John Daido, The Zen of Creativity: Cultivating Your Artistic Life   (book about a Zen Mountain Monastery in the Catskill Mountains and a photographer who studied under Minor White--Nancy)...more books by John Daido Loori

Louv, Richard, The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age  (This book is the best overall summary of many different works, and does exceptionally well at revealing the growing body of research around the influence of nature on human health--Elliott Wright)...  more books by Richard Louv

Lovett, Robert, The Art of Designing Watercolors

Lynch, Tom, Tom Lynch's Watercolor Secrets  ...more books by Tom Lynch

MacPherson, Kevin D., Fill Your Oil Paintings with Light & Color  ...more books by Kevin Macpherson

Maisel, Eric, Everyday Calm: 30 Ways to Soothe Your Inner Beast (Little Everyday Deck)  ...more books by Eric Maisel

Marine, Carol, Daily Painting: Paint Small and Often To Become a More Creative, Productive, and Successful Artist  (This book will be released on November 4th, and I can't wait to have it in my hands!--SBri)

Martin, Steve, An Object of Beauty: A Novel  ...more books by Steve Martin

Mason, Jim, An Unnatural Order: Uncovering the Roots of Our Domination of Nature and Each Other  (for those who care about animals--Barbara Steinberg)  ...more books by Jim Mason

Masterfield, Maxine, Painting the Spirit of Nature  (recommended by Maria Guzman)

Matthews, Andrew, Being Happy!  (This book is not necessarily for artists, but for any person who wants to grow happier--it has large print, 130 pages and is fully illustrated by Matthews, a professional portrait artist who studied in NY--Leanne Cadden)

May, Rollo, The Courage To Create

McCallum, Ian, Ecological Intelligence: Rediscovering Ourselves in Nature  (a broad and holistic view of humans as an inextricable part of the natural world, in a powerful and sensitive voice filled with wisdom--Stan Field)

McCann, Michael, Artist Beware, Updated and Revised: The Hazards in Working with All Art and Craft Materials and the Precautions Every Artist and Craftsperson Should Take

McCaw, Dan, A Proven Strategy for Creating Great Art  (The superbly written text is clear, professional and heartfelt; Its obvious he is not your typical 'teaching czar' or 'formula' painter therefore the title can be misleading--David Artemis)

McGuinness, Mark, Resilience: Facing Down Rejection and Criticism on the Road to Success  (Great book that every serious artist must read--Karin Richter)

McKim, Robert, Experiences in Visual Thinking

McKinley Richard, Pastel Pointers: Top 100 Secrets for Beautiful Paintings  (Please add this book to your list--Beverly Simonson)

Metzger, Philip W., Enliven Your Paintings With Light (Elements of Painting Series)

Michalko, Michael, Thinkertoys

Michels, Carroll, How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist: Selling Yourself Without Selling Your Soul

Miller, William A., Your Golden Shadow: Discovering and Fulfilling Your Undeveloped Self

Milner, Marion, On Not Being Able to Paint  (A psychoanalyst and painter whose writings show great insight into the processes and temperaments of artistic practice--Rose Frain)  ...more books by Marion Milner

Moore, Christopher Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art  (recommended by Julie Christopher)  ...more books by Christopher Moore

Mowry, Elizabeth, Paint the Changing Seasons in Pastel

Murray, Peter and Linda, The Penguin Dictionary of Art And Artists: Seventh Edition (Dictionary, Penguin)

Nachmanovitch, Stephen, Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art  (Whoever you are, and whatever you do, this book will help you discover what creativity is, where it comes from, how we block it, and how we can make it sizzle. If you stick with Free Play, you will get to know what's possible when you conquer fear and self-doubt just long enough to do what you love, for its own sake and on your own terms--James Denson)  ...more books by Stephen Nachmanovitch

Naifeh, Steven W., Van Gogh: The Life  (recommended by Bobbe Bergen Dennis)

Napoli, Lisa, Radio Shangri-La: What I Discovered on my Accidental Journey to the Happiest Kingdom on Earth  (recommended by Jan Boydol)

Newport, Cal, So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love  (Great book that every serious artist must read--Karin Richter)

Nicolaides, Kimon, The Natural Way to Draw: A Working Plan for Art Study

O'Connor, Anne-Marie, The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt's Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer  (Suggest a book to add...History of Gustav Klimt's Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, now at Neuw Gallerie in NYC. Much art history of era pre-WW2, treatment of art and Jewish art collectors. I found it most interesting--Margaret Mills)

O'Keeffe, Georgia, Georgia O'Keeffe  (recommended by Bobbe Bergen Dennis)

Page, Hilary, Hilary Page's Guide to Watercolor Paints

Paley, Steven J., The Art of Invention: The Creative Process of Discovery and Design  (a book about industrial design--Michael Rosen)  (Paley writes in an engaging and easy to read style about the creative process and about how to get from needs and raw ideas to finished products. It's chock-full of engaging stories--David E. Sarna)

Payne, Edgar, Composition of Outdoor Painting  ...more books by Edgar Payne

Pech, Arletta, Radiant Oils: Glazing Techniques for Paintings that Glow

Pellew, John C., Oil Painting Outdoors

Peters, Tom, and Austin, Nancy, A Passion for Excellence

Pirsig, Robert M., Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values

Plaskett, Joe, A Speaking Likeness  (an autobiography, has about 24 full color paintings and many beautiful black and white reproductions--Margaret)

Pollock, Griselda, Mary Cassatt, Painter of Modern Women  (Just wonderful paintings by a great role model--RR)

Porter, E.H., Pollyanna  ("Always be satisfied with your life. Even in bad times look at the good side of it."--Denise Enslen)

Potok, Chaim, My Name Is Asher Lev  (Two books that I've gone back to time and time again--since the '70s--are Chaim Potok's "My Name is Asher Lev" and the sequel, "The Gift of Asher Lev"...Phenomenal--Jan Mancey)  ...more books by Chaim Potok

Powell, Richard R., Wabi Sabi Simple: Create beauty. Value imperfection. Live deeply. (The first concept for wabi sabi describes things that are imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. The sub-concept refers to work that is humble, modest and unconventional... one very useful book of many books which help Westerners attempt to understand this complex but very inspiring way of thinking--Barbara Mulligan)

Press, Parkstone, Valentin Serov (Best Of Collection)

Pressfield, Steven, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles  (I have read this over and over and over. I give copies away like Gideon Bibles--Julie Larick, North Carolina)

Price, Maggie, Creative Freedom  (This was great information about art. Enjoyed reading different artist views on painting. One of my friends was featured in this--jimmie)  ...more books by Maggie Price

Purcell, Carl, Your Artist's Brain: Use the right side of your brain to draw and paint what you see - not what you think you see  (Carl, a watercolourist who teaches art at the college level, says, "Push aside your know-it-all intellectual brain to maximize the power of seeing and unveil the secret of creating better art"--Robert Genn)

Quiller, Stephen, Color Choices: Making Color Sense Out of Color Theory  ...more books by Stephen Quiller

Rank, Otto, Art and Artist: Creative Urge and Personality Development  ("He separates the neurotic from the artist  ..." foreword by Anais Nin--Peter)

Rankin, Don, Mastering Glazing Techniques in Watercolor Volume 1: How to Make Your Paintings Glow  ...more books by Don Rankin

Redfield, James, The Celestine Prophecy: An Adventure  (While the writing itself is not advanced or particularly good, the ideas that are presented about the nature of humanity and our potential as spiritual beings is worthy of consideration--Steven Fouse)  (describes how we take energies from our surroundings - that is why some places feel naturally calm or naturally wired. And as for passing energies from person to person, that has got to be true. It is self-evident. This book is an accessible vehicle for ideas--Victoria)   (It really encourages you to look at yourself and how you see your life both its past present and future. It gives you insights on how to take a more positive and active approach to your life. This book can change your life if you let it--Sammy)   ...more books by James Redfield

Reed, Walt, Harvey Dunn: Illustrator and Painter of the Pioneer West  ...more books by Walt Reed

Reese, Charles, Painting techniques

Reid, Charles, Painting by Design: Getting to the Essence of Good Picture-Making (Master Class)  ...more books by Charles Reid

Reid, Jack, Watercolor Basics - Let's Get Started

Reyner, Nancy, Nancy Reyner's Acrylic Revolution: Watercolor & Oil Effects with Acrylic Paint  ...more books by Nany Reyner

Rilke, Rainer Maria, Letters to a Young Poet  (have shared with many people who were struggling with doubt--Deb Droog)  ...more books by Rainer Maria Rilke

Rishel, Joseph J., Katherine Sachs, George T. M. Shackelford, Lauren Soth, Judy Sund, Roland Dorn, George Keyes plus 3 more, Van Gogh, Face to Face: The Portraits  (pages upon pages of portraits. It's his forte. From the earthly unsaturated paintings and monochromatic drawings from his early years to his colorful complementary masterpieces. They also show the influence of Van Gogh's portraiture among other artists--Joe Kim)

Roberts, Ian, Mastering Composition: Techniques and Principles to Dramatically Improve Your Painting  ...more books by Ian Roberts

Robichaux, John W., Hensche on painting: A student's notebook  (great little book that was written by a student of Henry Hensche--Janet Warrick)

Robin, Jennifer, Growing More Beautiful: An Artful Approach to Personal Style  (This hybrid book book about art and style discusses color as self-expression and explains personal color resonance. Filled with the author's pastel landscapes. Truly a unique offering!--Jennifer Freeman)  ...more books by Jennifer Robin

Rogers, Pamela Jane, GREEKSCAPES: Journeys with an Artist  (It is as much about the inner landscape of an artist as about a land. You will relate to Rose's challenges to maintain a traditional lifestyle of marriage and children while drawn by her creative nature to give birth to her Self--Marilyn Harding)

Ross, John, The Complete Printmaker, Techniques, Traditions, Innovations  (the top book by a master printmaker and instructor. Useful printshop companion--W. Wong)

Ross, Julia, The Mood Cure: The 4-Step Program to Take Charge of Your Emotions--Today  ...more books by Julia Ross

Rothko, Mark, The Artist's Reality: Philosophies of Art  (shows Rothko's ideas on the modern art world, art history, myth, beauty, the challenges of being an artist in society and what he felt was the true nature of American art--Robert Genn)

Roukes, Nicholas, Art Synectics  (Some of the exercises in them are good kickoff points especially when I get stuck--Mary Bennett)  ...more books by Nicholas Roukes

Russell, Bertrand, The Conquest of Happiness

Sarton, May, Journal of a Solitude  (May Sarton's story - shared in such a real and heartfelt way - has always stayed with me. Where are the May Sarton's in today's world? She was an extraordinary woman who was able to connect with a broad audience of readers, through the authentic sharing of her thoughts, feelings and experiences--Jo Singel)  ...more books by May Sarton

Schink, Christopher, Mastering Color and Design in Watercolor

Schmid, Richard, Alla Prima  (Beautifully produced insight into the methods of this widely respected artist--Bob Tenniel)

Seldes, Lee, The Legacy Of Mark Rothko

Serrano, Frank, Plein Air Painting in Oil   (The hidden beauty of this amazing little book is that it is only 64 fantastic pages that you could read again, and again without getting bored. Every single line of the text is full of secrets. Serrano uses only eight oil paints and three brushes in order to create those depths and textures in each painting in the book--Jay Siena)

Shahn, Ben, The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures, The Shape of Content  (A good few years old now (mine’s 1963) but as fascinating and useful as ever--Frank Gordon)  (This book is one of the clearest explanations of the creative process of an artist available anywhere. Shahn speaks of painting, of course, but his lucid, interesting text, his ideas and explorations, apply to artists in any field. Highly recommended--Phoebe Wray)  (Shahn is a surprisingly gifted writer. His arguments are clearly reasoned and his tone is that of an art historian or philosopher. At the same time, the book is an intimate look at Shahn the artist. It is illustrated with numerous pen and ink sketches by Shahn--Amanda C.)

Sheppard, Joseph, How to Paint Like the Old Masters  (a good step by step instructional for painting people--Dan Willrett)

Silver, Larry, Pieter Bruegel  (recommended by Bobbe Bergen Dennis)

Sinetar, Marsha, Do what you Love, the Money will Follow  (Helped me decide which livelihood and branch of it was best for me--David Clowes)

Shlain, Leonard, Art & Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light

Sidaway, Ian, Color Mixing Bible: All You'Ll Ever Need to Know About Mixing Pigments in Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Gouache, Soft Pastel, Pencil, and Ink

Smith, Anna Deavere, Letters to a Young Artist: Straight-up Advice on Making a Life in the Arts - For Actors, Performers, Writers, and Artists of Every Kind   (Much of what she has to say is simply common sense, such as reminding us that good ideas are abundant but turning these ideas into reality takes determination and concentrated effort. Smith warns of procrastination, and the down side of fame. She provides hints for boosting confidence, acquiring a presence. Rather than being a plain vanilla how-to book, Smith alternates her advice with stories from her own life, sometimes funny, at other times sad. It's a winning mix that makes for entertaining and enlightening listening--Gail Cooke)  ...more books by Anna Deavere Smith

Smith, Stan, Drawing: The Complete Course

Smuskiewicz, Ted, Oil Painting Step by Step: Step by Step  (A basic but exalted demonstration book by a living master--J Kresba)

Soan, Hazel, The Essence of Watercolour  ...more books by Hazel Soan

Speed, Harold, The Practice and Science of Drawing  (shows how drawing can be done as painting--Dan Willrett)

Spring, Justin, Wolf Kahn  (recommended by Bobbe Bergen Dennis)

Stabin, Mel, Watercolor: Simple, Fast, and Focused  (Stabin is an inspiration making glorious and beautiful watercolors. His painting and some of his ideas are wonderful, especially for this experienced artist new to watercolor--Robert Sussna)  ...more books by Mel Stabin

Stanfield, Alyson B., I'd Rather Be in the Studio!  (Another book to help create a business awareness for artists--Virginia Wieringa)

Stern, Jean, California Light: A Century of Landscapes: Paintings of the California Art Club  (unforgettable paintings of California’s stunning and varied beauty--desert vistas, plunging coastlines, verdant vineyards, charming towns, and snow-topped mountains--Brenda, San Franciso, CA)

Sternine, Grigori, Ilya Repin  (Ilya Repin was a leading Russian painter and sculptor who is most famous for his involvement with the Russian Itinerant movement. Powerful work is all I can say--John)

Steven, Mark, de Kooning: An American Master  (I highly recommend this book. Among the best biographies on an artist I've ever read--Bela Fidel)

Stone, Irving, Lust for Life  (A biography of Vincent Van Gogh. No biography has ever gone deep into the soul of an artist like this book. Perhaps it is because Theo had the insight to save so many of Vincent's letters that we can have the opportunity to have this view of a man, driven to create, who was misunderstood by almost all who knew him. I cherish this book and when I am discouraged by my own artistic achievement, I remember how many paintings Vincent sold during his life  ... and THAT fact did not alter him from his desire to create. His passion continues to inspire me daily--Nancy M. Patterson)

Strisik, Paul, Capturing Light in Oils  (North Light Books - Great treatment of light and shadow--Ron Cawardine)  ...more books by Paul Strisik

Sundeen, Mark, The Man Who Quit Money  (This book is a thoughtful presentation of one man's evolution from what he was, to what he wants to be and how he chooses to live--and how he makes it work. Highly recommended--Margaret Springer)  ...more books by Mark Sundeen

Suzuki, Shunryu Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind  (speaks to the creative soul and encourages spontaniety--Radha)

Tharp, Twyla, The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life   (Though its context is a choreographer's world, its principles are universally applicable and sound...It could change your life--Elizabeth Zimmer, The Village Voice)  (Tharp goes directly to action. She's strictly verbal: no cute sayings, no quotations all over the page. She's as unadorned as the Nike swish and just as straightforward: "Just do it" could be her motto--Dr. Cathy Goodwin)  ...more books by Twyla Tharp

Thom, Ian M., ed., Emily Carr  (a new and compelling portrait of Emily and her world with more than 300 images--Joselyn)

Thomson, Belinda, Gauguin: Maker of Myth  (recommended by Bobbe Bergen Dennis)

Thornton, Sarah, Seven Days in the Art World  (I tell everyone who asks me about the art world, "Well, here's what I know; but, read Sarah Thornton's book"--Robert A. Stanley)  (Also read ?33 Artists in 3 Acts  ?These books are required reading for artists aspiring to the professional life explain the ends and outs of the professional art world and the promotion of high end artists by the "powers that be." It is eye opening, spell binding, and informative--??Roberta Salma)  ...more books by Sarah Thornton

Tolle, Eckhart, Living the Liberated Life and Dealing with the Pain Body  (I think Eckhart's notion of The Pain Body is another way of describing the Inferior Shadow--Verna Korkie)  ...more books by Eckhart Tolle

Trevor-Roper, Patrick, The world through blunted sight: An inquiry into the influence of defective vision on art and character, ([New aspects of art])

Ulbrich, Carla, How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This?: Reclaim Your Health with Humor, Creativity, and Grit

Van Aalst, Kees, Realistic Abstracts: Painting Abstracts Based on What You See  (The book also includes an impressive amount of outstanding work by other artists, ranging from almost abstract to almost realistic work. This greatly helps the reader to get a wide spectrum of possible approaches to compare and choose from--Samir Sobhy)

Van Vliet, Rolina, Painting Abstracts: Ideas, Projects and Techniques  (T

Wade, Robert A., Robert Wade's Watercolor Workshop Handbook  (just brilliant and has already improved my work even after just three weeks reading--Barbara Halsall)  ...more books by Robert Wade

Warner, Sally, Making Room for Making Art: A Thoughtful and Practical Guide to Bringing the Pleasure of Artistic Expression Back into Your Life

Washor, Joyce, Big Art, Small Canvas: Paint Easier, Faster and Better with Small Oils  (...very generous with her information. Her color palette is unusual, and the color schemes she uses are really, really lovely. This is one of the top oil painting books around. I highly recommend it--Sydney Brown)  ...more books by Joyce Washor

Watts, Alan, Zen and the Beat Way  A small book with lots of big ideas that are cleverly presented--Joel L. Gandelman)  ...more books by Alan Watts

Webster, Sandy, Alan, Earthen Pigments: Hand-Gathering & Using Natural Colors in Art  ( A must for artists who are experimental and adventurous as well as for arts educators, whether they be egg tempera painters, pastel and watercolor artists, or practicing book arts--Colleen Sterling)

Weir, Roberta, Leonardo's Ink Bottle: The Artist's Way of Seeing  (Celestial Arts Publishing, book on artists' search and discovery, creativity and aloneness--Margaret)

Westerman, Arne, Paint Watercolors Filled with Life and Energy  (excellent resource for artists or students who enjoy figurative work or street scenes--Margaret)

Wetering, Ernst van de, Rembrandt: The Painter at Work, Revised Edition  (recommended by Bobbe Bergen Dennis) (Rembrandt is shown for the enormous genius he was, both synthesizing the techniques that came before him as well as creating methods of application which to this day remain an enigma and elusive mystery...The details in this book show sections of paintings that would make any abstracts expressionist's head spin--Dr. J. Adam Shaw)  ...more books by Ernst van de Wetering

Whelan, Bride M., Color Harmony 2 with The Palette Picker: A Guide to Creative Color Combinations  (This is a very good color reference book if you're in a hurry for some attractive color combinations and suffering from mental block. It has been very handy in web page creation also--Ralph Wirth)

White, Jack, Magic of Selling Art  For individual artists as well as professional gallery staff. Filled with vignettes of Jack White's selling experiences and written in his clever Texas wit, Magic of Selling Art teaches how to soft sell in hard times. A must read for anyone in the retail business of art--PN)  ...more books by Jack White

Whitney, Edgar A., Complete Guide to Watercolor Painting  Mr. Whitney has the reputation, not only of being a genius but also being a bit of a rascal in his workshops, pulling no punches in his critiques and also reveling in joking with his students. I was born too late to experience his workshops, but I treasure this volume of his words and wisdom--Cat B.)

Whyte, Mary, An Artist's Way Of Seeing  Mary Whyte's paintings are all beautiful expressions of detailed observation, but where she truly excels is when she paints beautiful women in fields of flowers. They are just stunning--Rebecca Johnson)  ...more books by Mary Whyte

Wildenstein, Daniel, Monet Or The Triumph Of Impressionism (25)  (I didn't expect to buy such a comprehensive book, but if you are looking for a book covering ALL of Monet, this is a very excellent book--Anderson)  ...more books by Daniel Wildenstein

Wileman, Peter, Painting Light in Oils  If you are an artist struggling with the problem of making your paintings stand out among the many, this book might be helpful. I will return to this book for ideas and inspiration again and again--Art Pro)

Wilson, Sandra Duran, Alternative Art Surfaces: Mixed-Media Techniques for Painting on More Than 35 Different Surfaces  (This book is phenomenal, amazing, fascinating and very inspiring! The array of alternative surfaces is quite diverse, and the explanation of the techniques is excellent. I have read many books on acrylic painting, and this is one of the very best--Pamela Richardson)

Winterson, Jeanette, Written on the Body  (A book about consuming passion and love--Joey)

Wolf, Rachel, The Acrylic Painter's Book of Styles and Techniques  (A well illustrated compendium of the methodology of seven artists in the medium of acrylic--Joe Blodgett)

Wolfe, Tom, The Painted Word  (A simple expose by a non-painting truth-seeker of the power and sham of critical opinion among New York's cutting edge--R Baker)

Worsley, Peter, Marketing For Professional Artists: In The Second Decade Of The 21st Century  (I know of no other volumn aimed at artists working on marketing their work. Mr.Worsley's background gives him a unique ability to give advice. I have already changed my approach due to this volumn--RSM)

Yardley, John, Watercolour: A Personal View (Atelier)  (John is a highly gifted watercolorist. His quick loose style, and focus on light brings his paintings to life--Ben Warner)

Yarnell, Jerry, Paint Along with Jerry Yarnel Landscapes  (If you are familiar with Jerry Yarnell from his PBS series, you will most likely enjoy this book--Mark S. Smith)  ...more books by Mark S. Smith

York, Alexandra, From the Fountainhead to the Future and Other Essays on Art and Excellence  ((If you are looking for a rational defense of what art can and should be and what kind of culture would make such art possible, From the Fountainhead to the Future is an excellent companion to Ayn Rand's seminal work on the philosophy of art--Jason Lockwood)  ...more books by Alexandra York

Zbukvic, Joseph, Mastering Atmosphere & Mood in Watercolor: The Critical Ingredients That Turn Paintings Into Art  (He takes the mystery out of painting watercolor and breaks it down into a more understandable approach--Dick)  (If you've run into a brick wall with your current method of painting, this might be a great book to give a boost to your technique--Joanna Daneman)

Zhen, Lian Quan, Chinese Painting Techniques for Exquisite Watercolors  (The title is, by all accounts, an understatement! Of the countless dozens of art technique books I've read over the years, this one is by far the most captivating, beautiful and unique--Andrea Acailawen)

Zola, Emile, The Masterpiece (Oxford World's Classics)  (recommended by Marina De Silva)  ...more books by Emile Zola

Zukav, Gary, The Seat of the Soul  ("The Seat of the Soul" is like an owner's manual for life. If you want to find out what external power is, and how the desire for it fuels our addictions then please read this book!--Anderson)

Zweig, Connie, Romancing the Shadow: A Guide to Soul Work for a Vital, Authentic Life  ("This book is a great help to anyone trying to tune in and listen to the voice of the soul. At last, a practical mysticism!--Coleman Barks, Poet-translator of The Essential Rumi)

To see more books on artists’ shelves visit our Art Books page at

To see personally recommended online, disc and download tutorials and other learning opportunities visit our Bob’s Best page.

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TWL Letters

Be witness to Robert Genn's abiding faith in the Brotherhood and Sisterhood of Artists and you will be informed, inspired, and motivated. On first publication of this book November 27, 2009, Robert wrote: "It's my sincere wish that you get real and lasting value from it. It's your book, really, and I'd like to thank everyone in our Painter's Keys Community for the inspiration that makes these Twice-Weekly Letters happen."

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"Thank-you for your friendship." (Robert Genn)

The Robert Genn Twice-Weekly Letters, 960 pages--ten years of over a thousand unabridged letters including an 82 page index. Six by nine inches and more than two inches thick, this beautiful book is hardbound Red Cayenne with a separate dust-jacket, a red ribbon, and shipped in a custom protective book-box.

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Last modified: March 8, 2015