Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Book Reviews

I really can't avoid talking about this past weekend. Every Christmas we always receive a family gift and it had come to the point were we just didn't need anything. So we decided to visit The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. This past weekend we set off on a mini vacation back in time!

It sure did stink royally that we couldn't take pictures inside but, never will I forget how much fun I had discovering famous masterwork paintings, tapestries and murals. I really do believe I turn into a mini tasmanian devil when I see a masterwork.

So I took a few quick snapshots of the exterior as my brother, sister and I were heading to the front door to take the magical tour.

Once inside, since I knew I couldn't take pictures, I took my sketchbook to capture just a few things as I explored these castle walls.

So here is my beloved sketchbook I lugged around with me that I thought we could take a review from.

Just off the breakfast room in the Biltmore Estate was a sitting room looking off into this beautiful landscape. I just loved taking a minute to sketch quickly and not thinking of the the end result. I really wanted to just capture the Ooooos and Aaawwwws when first seeing the landscape. 

There was this awesome painting by John Singer Sargent of Edith Vanderbilt painted in this sweeping zig zag shape that I mapped out in the top left hand corner. That was what striked the most about this painting as well as the costume. I had way to much fun sketching this.

The artist name down in the bottom right hand corner was an Italian artist I learned about who painted a mural for the ceiling in the library of the estate. It is well worth googling! 

So for two other book reviews that I highly recommend are the ones pictured below.

"Abstract Art Painting" - Expressions in Mixed Media by Debora Stewart


"Mastering Composition" by Ian Roberts.

"Abstract Art Painting" - Expressions in Mixed Media by Debora Stewart has been a complete eye opener for me on how to approach the art of abstract art. This book has explained how to see abstractly and how to loosen up. I read it as well as my composition book just before I go to bed and after I read just a little I'm so ready to paint the next day. I highly recommend this book if you want a good and inspiring read to better your understanding of abstraction.

Now this book has become a life changer, "Mastering Composition" by Ian Roberts. I remember studying concepts of composition in college but not with get depth and detail. This book has been helpful to better understand how to guide the eye in and throughout a painting. It has thaught me simple tips and techniques to better simplify the painting to where the viewer doesn't get confused and or lost in the painting. 

I've got seven gessoed paintings sitting in my studio so ready to practice what I have learned with both of these books and even in my sketchbook. If you are looking for some academic help to better your paintings then these are the books to go to!

I also highly recommend going to see the Biltmore Estate. To me it's the Disney World in North Carolina as you really do feel like your in a magical place. 

Hope that these books have sparked your interest! I promise that you will learn and benefit from the painting books. Then from my sketchbook, I hope that you have seen just a glimpse of the beauty at Biltmore.

Hope you guys have a blessed week!
May God Bless You and May You Bless God!

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