What’s on your wish list this year? Right now I wouldn’t mind getting a pile of yummy books, in fact I have a long list of books I’m asking Santa for. Or anyone kind and generous enough to send me books. I feel like I could need some inspiration right now, I think it’s because of feeling so tired lately. I need a happiness boost, and books always does that for me. How about you?
I thought I’d share just a few of the titles that’s on my want-to-read-book-wish-list today, so let’s get started.
Christmas Book Wish List
I follow Julie Seabrook Ream on instagram and love that she posted a lot of the images made for this book there, because they’re all bright, happy and inspiring to me. This book is high on my wish list, but alas, not sure I need to own it? I just want to borrow it and browse through it… Maybe I should also order the Encyclopedia Rainbow Diary or the Notecards, so that I can hang them up on my inspiration wall and see them all the time. If you’re into flat-lays of rainbows, this is absolutely a book you should own/read/check out at the library. Here’s what the back-blurb says:
“This playful collection of rainbows is a bright and beautiful appreciation of all the color that surrounds us. Artist Julie Seabrook Ream invites us to see the extraordinary beauty of ordinary objects: she gathers colorful iterations of a single type of thing, from feathers to fishing gear, matchbooks to macarons, and neatly arranges them in rainbow order. A fascinating index details all the objects in each rainbow, bringing the magnetic appeal of meticulous organization to this burst of color in book form. A striking package with a rainbow-colored spine makes this celebratory book a treasure for those who love art, design, and a fresh perspective.
A new book by artist and writer Lisa Congdon, who I also follow on instagram (and of course read her blog when she updates it) is always interesting, right? This one just, called†A Glorious Freedom, came out this fall, and it’s about “older women” (ahum, over 40) leading extraordinary lives. Doesn’t it sound like a good read? Of course it’s also illustrated by Lisa herself, and it’s full of stories of cool women (classic ladies like Wera Wang, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Julia Child is in there) doing what they want exemplified via interviews, and essays. It’s about:
“The glory of growing older is the freedom to be more truly ourselvesówith age we gain the liberty to pursue bold new endeavors and worry less about what other people think.”
I can also recommend Lisa Congdon’s book for wanna-become-artists,†Art, Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist, it’s a inspiring read.
Another favorite artist and blogger (obviously since back in 2011, because that’s when I first found her) is Jane Davies, who has written one of my first books bought on collage, called Collage Journeys†(I now have a small collection of collage books and I do love all of them). She has self-published a new book this year, one that I’ve already ordered, because yeah, I need it. It’s called Abstract Painting: The Elements of Visual Language. It is about how you as an artist can:
…articulates a vocabulary of visual elements from which you build images, abstract or otherwise. As you examine line, shape, pattern, texture, depth, and color in detail, you become more aware of the elements that make up a painting, and better able to observe your own work without judgment and self-criticism.†
Oh oh oh, also have to share the fact that she has now published a paper book for collage artist’s called Collage Papers (over seventy full-size decorative papers!) – I bet I’d enjoy playing with those, and you too right?
So you can doodle, does that mean you can also paint? That’s a great question that you don’t need to ask yourself any more I guess, because artist Diane Culhane has written a book stating that If You Can Doodle, You Can Paint: Transforming Simple Drawings into Works of Art! I really want this book because Diane Culhane does beautiful art and has a great style, as I’ve seen her at Carla Sonheim’s blog, where she’s taught an online workshop about doodling and painting. I think this book might be for me because:
This book looks at our doodles as resources; treasures from which we can create full-sized paintings.
The jellos curator has made a couple of books and this is not the latest one, but it’s on my wish list even though Danielle Krysa and I have very different collage styles. I love how generous and awesome she is in her podcast, and would love to read her book Collage: Contemporary Artists Hunt and Gather, Cut and Paste, Mash Up and Transform. Here’s the book description:
Collage has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity during the twenty-first century, resulting in an explosion of creativity. This showcase of cutting-edge contemporary art from across the globe features galleries of collage by 30 practitioners, from the surreal landscapes of Beth Hoeckel to Fabien Souche’s humorous appropriations of pop culture.† This collection is visual inspiration for art lovers and an appreciation of the transformation of old into new.
Book Wish List: More Colors
Always in the mood for colour, I came across this title, In the Mood for Colour: Perfect palettes for creative interiors,† and clicked to check it out (even though it has a rather dark cover) because the author name sounded Swedish. I love reading about color, so it’s now on my wish list. I so agree with this:
“Color is powerful Ė it can change our moods or raise our spirits. It can be positively life-enhancing, yet so many of us struggle with choosing the right shades for our home, instead falling back on a safe but unadventurous palette of bland neutrals.†Color can soothe, enchant or excite. And as Hans demonstrates, it has the ability to render rooms cool and calming, dynamic and stimulating or moody and intriguing.
The Secret lives of Color by by Kassia St Clair also sounds like a yummy read, doesn’t it? Have any of you read it yet? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it, or any of the books on my wish list! Here’s the book blurb:
“The unforgettable, unknown history of colors and the vivid stories behind them in a beautiful multi-colored volume.
The Secret Lives of Color tells the unusual stories of seventy-five fascinating shades, dyes and hues. From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso’s blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green, and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history.
In this book, Kassia St. Clair has turned her lifelong obsession with colors and where they come from (whether Van Gogh’s chrome yellow sunflowers or punk’s fluorescent pink) into a unique study of human civilization. Across fashion and politics, art and war, the secret lives of color tell the vivid story of our culture.
The next item on my book wish list is not about color, but it’s a book recommended bythe same artist who recommended the above book…
Since I started reading the newsletter of Crystal Moody who has an online book club (and whose book I can not wait to get my hands on although it’s not finished yet, heh), I’ve added even more books to my wish list. They’re mostly not available here in Sweden, and ordering online is so expensive,† so I dream of owning them aaalll (and having enough time to read them before the year ends) . I guess that’s one reason I make wish lists instead of buying I guess. Anyways.
Last month her book of the month was Finish: Give yourself the gift of done, by Jon Acuff, and books like that are magic to me. I love love love self-development, but more reading about it than doing and working on it… I think I can just read this one and then finish lots of things at once.† According to studies, 92 percent of New Yearís resolutions fail. Youíve practically got a better shot at getting into Juilliard to become a ballerina than you do at finishing your goals, or at least until you use Acuff’s method of course…
But it sounds so good, doesn’t it:
If youíre tired of being a chronic starter and want to become a consistent finisher, you have two options: You can continue to beat yourself up and try harder, since this time that will work. Or you can give yourself the gift of done.
On my list also: Urban Jungle
Beyond simply creating art I’ve got many other interest, one that is growing is my interest in house plants. That’s why I have added the German book (now also available in English – yay!) Urban Jungle: Living and Styling with Plants, to my wish list on Amazon. Over and over again I come across their crazy popular photos on Instagram of peoples “home jungles” – windows, shelves and entire homes fill with green plants. It always looks so warm and cozy that I double click and feel inspired.
I’ve even got a Pinterest board called Greenery and plants – go check it out, and if you’ve got (or have seen) this book on urban jungles let me know in the comments, if it’s as awesome as their instagram account?
Bonus Books for You
Bonus books you might consider for your book wish list…
Not on my wish list, but it maybe it should be on yours, is this one, from popular blogger SouleMama who takes beautiful everyday photos of her home-making and family and shares them on her blog. If you’ve got kids, this might be for your: Timeless advice on the importance of imaginative and creative play updated for a new generation of parents.
Embrace family life with creativity at its heart. The Creative Family Manifesto is a guide to using the simple tools around youóyour imagination, basic art supplies, household objects, and natural materialsóto relax, play, and grow together as a family. When you learn to awaken your familyís creativity, wonderful things will happen: youíll make meaningful connections with your children, your childrenís imaginations will flourish, and youíll learn to express love and gratitude for each other. This book is just what you need to get started. It†carries on Amanda Souleís thoughtful perspectives on parenting.
My love for watercolors never dries up... This is a book on that subject, called Paint Yourself Calm: Colourful, Creative Mindfulness Through Watercolour, by Jean Haines, from last year. Doesn’t it sound blissful?
“Meditative, peaceful and calming, watercolour painting offers a sense of control and self-worth to everyone, with no judgement or goal beyond the joy of painting itself. This book shows you how to calm and enhance your outlook through the movement of brush on paper.
Master artist Jean Haines leads you on a journey through paint, showing you how to wipe away your worries with the soothing, gentle strokes of watercolour paint.
Release Your Creativity: Discover Your Inner Artist with 15 Simple Painting Projects Paperback, by Rebecca Schweiger, is for the beginner artist who wants to feel more free:
“In Release Your Creativity, Rebecca teaches everyone how to create meaningful works of art with 15 step-by-step painting and mixed-media projects designed to get their creative juices flowingóno previous art experience required. These hands-on projects, coupled with inspiration and encouragement, help beginners explore and develop their individuality. The goal is to foster each artistís singular point of view, so that each finished project is a unique expression of the person who made it. With her warm approach and nurturing sensibility, Rebecca Schweiger will show you the thrill of putting paint on canvas and the freedom of releasing your distinctive vision.
If you need a journal spark in your life, I suggest you check this book out, called Journal Sparks.
Using words, drawing, collage, and observation-based list-making, award-winning author Emily K. Neuburger highlights the many paths into journaling. Her 60 interactive writing prompts and art how-tos help you to expand your imagination and stimulate your creativity. Every spread invites a new approach to filling a page, from making a visual map of a day-in-my-life to turning random splotches into quirky characters for a playful story. Itís the perfect companion to all those blank books and an ideal launchpad to explore creative self-expression and develop an imaginative voice ó for anyone ages 10 to 100!
Phew, glad Santa won’t be able to bring me all of these, it would totally give him lumbago…† And me angst because I could never pick which one to start with! I’ll just have to treat myself to one or two when I can, and let Santa drink his eggnog. Suggestions welcome on which one I should pick!
Also, I wrote a wish list for artists a while back, and very humbly named it the Ultimate Gift Guide for Artists and just a few months ago I started the book series with another great book wish list, in case you want to check it out it’s a Creativity Book Wish List.
Let me know below if any of these sparked an interest and if you check them out, let me know if they’re worth investing in.
Cheers, and happy BookMas!