I'm currently reading a great book called Sketches of America Past by author/illustrator Eric Sloane. It's a fascinating book about life in the early 1800s in America. I picked it up a while ago, but only recently started reading it. This book is a collection of other stories by Eric Sloane. I've learned a huge amount and recommend it to anyone interested in history with great illustrations to accompany the text.
I just got a new rare book that I'm very happy to add to my library. This is a 1934 1st edition of Painting A Portrait by Philip de László (1869 - 1937). It's part of a series of books called "How to Do It", which included 6 books in total in various media, such as watercolor, etching, sculpture, etc. For anyone who doesn't know, de László was a brilliant portrait painter who took over a lot of commissions once Sargent announced "No more paughtraits" in 1907.
I first read this as a PDF file that was generously sent to me by Mr. Juan Jr. Ramirez. That PDF was different from this edition and had some different photos and information. The photos in this book are nicely pasted in and almost have an old, glossy photographic finish to them. It's really a beautiful book. As a painter, art historian and collector of rare books, I'm proud to add this to my collection.
I just bought a new book that I'm eagerly awaiting. I saw it in book collection at the Florence Academy and immediately picked it up. It's a book that I hadn't heard of before, which is always exciting.
The book is split into chapters on different artists and methods and there's a chapter on Sargent which I read during my lunch break on Friday. The chapter on Sargent was really good and even contained some new information which I didn't know. I purchased a copy for myself so I can read it as much as I want.
I'll do a proper review once I get it and read through it. You can purchase the book through the Getty Museum store HERE.
I'm currently working on a different type of commission. It's a 10" X 14" oil painting and the scene is of vintage Winnie-the-Pooh. Although my personal work is based largely on en plein air work, landscapes, still lifes and figurative work, I also like doing these commissions which expand my creative range. I think it's good for artists to play around with different styles and subject matter. It's a fun break from what I normally do, but I feel like it's still me.
This type of illustration requires a lot of creativity because I didn't copy this scene from another source. I created my own composition and placed the characters where I wanted them. I still tried to make the scene look like one from an old Pooh story. Something different in my technique is that I washed on the oil paint in sort of a watercolor-style application; usually I like working with thick paint.
The scene I had in mind is of Christopher Robin coming to the 100 Acre Wood for a party with all the characters. There's a lot of fun little details in the painting which make it like an eye-spy game. My friends and family know that I'm a big Pooh fan myself and have read all the stories. And a fun extra fact is: this isn't my first illustration project, I illustrated some children's books once upon a time... but that feels like a lifetime ago.