The Mindful Art Studio Book List 2020
Dear Wonderful, Creative You:
Each fall I compile a list of books that have inspired me throughout the year. I love sharing the books that have inspired my work and enriched my life. While I’m usually share books mostly about art and artists, I’ve realized nature has such a close connection with my art process, it makes sense to including those as well.
This book is such a marriage of so many things that speak to me – a love of words, a quest to preserve nature, and gorgeous illustrations of plants and animals. You’ll get lost in Lost Words in the best way possible.
I’ve had this book for years, but it’s one I return to often for inspiration when I want to enliven my journaling practice.
I took the online block printing course a number of years ago with Jen Hewitt and her work continues to inspire me. Her presentation of the block printing methods is straightforward and easy to follow, and she appears in many photos with her little doggie – what could be more inspiring than that? I’m not much of a seamstress, I just sometimes pretend I sew when I need to make curtains or a tablecloth, but seeing all these beautiful projects inspires me.
Kimmerer writes eloquently and tells engaging stories about “indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and the teachings of plants.” The more I learned, the more I realized I wanted to know more. I learned so many things in this book, but a lot of what it gave me was validation for my love of nature and the ways I want to weave it more intimately into my art. Kimmerer also helped me think more deeply about ways I could approach the natural world more mindfully, with respect rather than entitlement.
The way that Bailey tunes into a snail in the most quiet, slow way drew me in immediately. The space she made for attention to nature – that’s what inspires me. It created in me a feeling of spaciousness. This is a similar spaciousness as I feel when I practice slow drawing, and quiet exploration in the woods or on the shore. This little book has a lot to say about the gifts of slowing down and tuning in. For me it applies to my time in nature, but of course also in art.
This is a lovely little read about the daily practices of artists, scientists, and philosophers. For me it reinforced the importance of respecting your own rhythm in your creative life, and then sticking to it.
This gorgeous little book is full of the color, pattern and detail of dozens of different types of seaweed. Iselin has gathered and scanned them with incredible care, such that they seem to float in white space. It was beautiful to study the patterns and color shifts, but also to learn more about seaweed and how they survive and thrive.
This little book gave a fascinating peek into my favorite painter, her habits, and her life in New Mexico.
What books art and nature books are inspiring you right now? I’d love to hear about it!