Saturday, February 13, 2016

Art Students League of New York on Painting by James McElhinney

★★★★ ☐ The publisher has provided a copy for review.
If you're wondering why to paint or how to get started, you'll be inspired by this collage of painters and teachers. Each instructor is showcased in several paintings, which gives an impression of each personality and interests (besides techniques).

The subtitle is "Lessons and Meditations on Mediums, Styles, and Methods." The wide variety of paintings and styles makes it an interesting coffee book, as well as adjunct text. As other reviewers have mentioned, there are enough nudes included to make this an adult book rather than one left out for family perusal. That said, serious artists as well as novices are sure to find new ideas and techniques.

I like the three section approach: 1) lessons and demonstrations; 2) advice and philosophy; and 3) interviews with contemporary artists. Each part draws you into the visual conversation that is a painter's craft: seeing the world, interpreting it through the internal lens, and then thoughtfully adding paint or pastel to a surface for others to observe and internalize.

Well worth the time and money, though I didn't love the font used.

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