My Art Book Wish List 2019

Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

Each fall I compile a list of my favorite art books. My hope is to inspire you to keep your world brimming with creative inspiration and encouragement, as I find this is an essential part of feeding my own art practice. This year, I’ve included a few books I’ve read in 2019, but it’s mostly my art book wish list for 2019. I hope you put some of these on your wish list, and I’d love to hear which art books you loved in 2019 in the comments.

A Big Important Artist: A Womanual – Danielle Krysa

After I read A Big Important Art Book, Now with Women, of course I’ve been waiting eagerly for the follow up, full of creative projects and inspiration. She had me at sarcastic feminist art book.

Find Your Creative Voice: The Essential Guide to Working Your Creative Magic – Lisa Congdon

I pretty much love everything this woman puts out into the world in terms of books. She is all about creative empowerment and having fun with art.

The Joy of Swimming: A Celebration of Our Love for Getting in the Water – Lisa Congdon

Ahem – yes, another Lisa Congdon book, and we are still in the titles that I am wishing for, and this one made the list another year too, I think, so – hello – husband? Do you ever read this blog? No? That’s okay.

The Sketchbook Project World Tour – Steven Peterman

You probably know I LOVE The Sketchbook Project, and have 1 journal in the collection, and am working on a second. (Slowly, slowly.) I’ve been wanting this book full of sketchbook inspiration from all over the world for a while. When I sat in the Sketchbook Library where the majority of the sketchbooks are housed and paged through several, it was a moving experience. You can read more about my Sketchbook Project journal here.

Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance – Julia Cameron

This September I had the honor of teaching at The Gathering of the Creatives with Julia Cameron. During her keynote, she talked about a number of the exercises from this book – which is all about overcoming creative droughts. I can’t wait to sink into it.

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    Andrew Wyeth: Memory & Magic – Anne Knutson

    This is a book I got out of my local library and had the pleasure of studying at night in bed. I’ve been enamored with pattern and detail in my art for a few years, and this man was the master of it. Just page through his work and stare in wonder.

    Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear – Elizabeth Gilbert

    I put this on the list last year too, but I’ve referenced it so much with students and mentoring clients this year that I want to include it again. Liz – she lets me call her that, you know, when I comment on her Instagram post along with 15K other people- anyway, Liz has a way of putting things like no one else. Like, your inner critic can come along for the ride when you create things, but she can’t drive. It’s such a clear image.

    What books are making your creative life twinkle?

    Creatively Yours,



    1. Anja Meurer

      Hi Amy,

      i just love book recommendations, so thank you for the inspiration! Moreover i was looking for a book about ‘freeing my voice’ and Lisa Congdon’s book should be a great read!

      I just happen to be reading a book in which Andrew Wyeth plays a part. It’s a novel called ‘A Piece of the World’ by Christina Baker Kline in which she calmly tells the story of Christina Olsen. Christina spent her whole life on a farm in Maine. In 1948 she was painted by Andrew Wyeth and the painting is called ‘Christina’ World’.

      All the best,

      • Amy Maricle

        Hey Anja! Thanks so much for being here, as always and I’m thrilled the Lisa Congdon book sparks something in you too. I’ve heard about that novel – in the book I mention – or at least about their relationship. Very interesting. I’ll have to look into it. Thanks! xo

      • Gerry

        My book club read that book, too, and loved it even though I’m the only one in the group who is an artist. It was a great read.

        • Amy Maricle

          That’s awesome. So glad you are here, Gerry!

    2. Margi

      When will we be seeing a book by YOU on this list! You have so much to share and I love following your posts, art chats and workshops. You are an inspiration yourself!😘

      • Amy Maricle

        Margi – The Queen Cheerleader Extraordinaire! You are the sweetest. And the answer is, I’m working on it! xo

    3. Maureen Provost Ryan

      My favorite find is: Brave Intuitive Painting by Flora Bowley. The illustrations are excellent and inspiring but the text and pull-quotes are rich and helpful and encouraging. I think you’d really enjoy it. I love your list.

      • Amy Maricle

        Oh that’s a great one, I’ve heard, Maureen. I don’t doubt it coming from Flora. Here’s the affiliate link for that one too in case anyone is interested: Brave Intuitive Painting. xo

    4. Susan Guillory

      Thankyouverymuch! I just added all of these to my (very long) reading queue!

      • Amy Maricle

        Hey Susan! Thanks so much for being here – how fun! I’m so happy you liked the list. XO

    5. Ilse

      thanks a lot Amy. And so funny your little note to your husband. Love it.
      Would you also like to share your favorite booklist of the artbooks you already have? So not a wishlist but a already-have-list

    6. Claudia

      I’m making my way through Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel. This book is long, over 700 pages but it gives such insight into five female abstract expressionist artists, world history, and women’s rights that it is worth the time. I’ve learned so much and can now begin to look at abstract art with fresh eyes and a micron of understanding. It’s a book I want on my bookshelf. I’ve taken it out of my public library. It is also great background for the current third floor women’s exhibits at the MFA and a Hans Hoffman exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum.

      • Amy Maricle

        OH Claudia – that sounds so intriguing! Thanks so much for the wonderful read! xo

    7. Gerry

      I love Mary Oliver’s poems! She paints vivid word pictures. Also I have listened to The Artist’s Way several times on cassette tape – well that dates me! It was very inspirational. I have a couple of her other books, too. She is so encouraging!.

      • Amy Maricle

        YES – vivid word pictures is a great way to put it. She inspires me so much! xo

    8. Linda Jackson

      I love books and have bookcases full. Most recently I got “Big Magic” from our local library. Elizabeth Gilbert never disappoints. A good read for us creative folks who need motivation at times.


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