The Mindful Art Studio Book List 2021

Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

Every fall, I compile a list of books that have made an impact on me that year. I include a broad scope of topics because our art practice is made up of bits and pieces from every part of our lives. I think about books as an important ingredient in our creative soup. I hope you enjoy the list, that you add some of your own favorites in the comments. May these books spice up your creative soup in the months to come.


Art and Creativity

From the golden hour photos of the shoreline, to the up-close glimpses of her book making tools, Rachel Hazell will inspire you to make your own hand-made books. Her clear, easy-to-follow instructions make this guide a must-have for anyone interested in book making.

Last fall and winter I had such fun learning to make my own inks with materials I respectfully foraged in the woods. The images and words are lovingly tended, and if you respond to my teaching style and connection to nature, this guide will feel both familiar and exciting.

This is an older book, but one I’d wanted for ages. I asked for it last Christmas. I studied the gorgeous handmade books and art journals all last winter. I know you’ll draw a lot of inspiration from it.

I feel a real affinity with Helen’s work – both in process and content. It showcases her love of nature, layers, and expressive freedom. I’ve heard from several students already how much this book ignited their art journaling practice, and I can’t wait to check it out myself.


Join my free class: The Guide to Creative Self-Care


    Nature

    Nature is clearly a huge part of my life and art practice. It’s a source of inspiration and grounding. Because so much of my art is based on patterns in nature, learning more about the organisms they come from deepens my connection to nature and the work.

    If you want to challenge your conception about whether or not trees and fungi are intelligent life forms, this book’s for you. Even though I came to the book knowing something about fungal networks and tree communication, I was astounded at their ability to communicate, orchestrate, and care.

    Pick up this book and take a fascinating trip into the small forests within the forest. You’ll be fascinated by the section on water bears.


    Social Justice + Equity

    My first career was as a human rights activist. Like a lot of folks, in the summer of 2020, I realized my own personal equity and justice work had fallen away a bit. I’m happy to share some resources I’m enjoying this year.

    There are a few books in your life that will make a life-long impression, that will accompany you forever. Caste is one of those for me. It clicked into place so many things that hurt my heart and did not make sense to me about race in the US. I feel equipped to do better as a white person because of Caste.

    This is a book I’m about to read, but that I have learned a good bit about by listening to interviews with the author, Alok Menon. Alok, despite all the bullying they face online and in person, continues to teach about gender with acute intelligence and unimaginable compassion, even for the people who harass and threaten them. Alok challenges me, educates me, and inspires me.

    I hope this list brings you some wonderful inspiration. Happy reading ya’ll.

    Creatively Yours,

    Amy

    16 Comments

    1. Leslie

      Great book suggestions, Amy! I love Helen Wells as well and the book binding one looks awesome! THank you!

      Reply
      • Amy Maricle

        Yay – I think you’ll love Bound, Leslie. XO

        Reply
        • Kathy

          The Hidden Life of Trees is a treasure!! I wish I would have read it back when I was teaching biology. You’ll never look at a forest the same!

          Reply
          • Amy Maricle

            Hi Kathy: It’s great that so many are writing about tree and fungal intelligence now. You may have already seen the Fungi documentary on Netflix. Mind blowing.

            Reply
      • Karyl Howard

        Amy! It is amazing to see that I have almost all of these books! I love them, too! Thank you for sharing this list!

        Reply
        • Amy Maricle

          Oh wow, I guess there’s no question why you like my blog! HA! Happy creating Karyl. XO

          Reply
    2. Patricia

      Super recommendations! I love the Helen Wells book – she is very inspiring.

      Reply
      • Amy Maricle

        Yes, Helen is super super inspiring. xo

        Reply
    3. Ruthe Ann

      After my son passed from brain cancer 3 years ago, I don’t know how to deal with my grief. I started doing automatic writing with him and later got a message for my muse angels that I should write a book. So, I did and it is out now, Loving Messages from my Son and the Angels. I hope it is ok to say that I really want to get it out there for all that can use the comfort and reassurance. Thank you

      Reply
      • Amy Maricle

        Ruthe Ann: I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child. I’m sorry for your loss. Thank you for your writing and gifts. xo.

        Reply
    4. Wei-Li Huang

      Wonderful recommendations, Amy! I have Helen Well’s book and she is very inspiring, as you are as well! I’ve read PeterWohlleben’s book “The Secret Wisdom of Nature” and it was great.

      Reply
      • Amy Maricle

        HI Wei Li: Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the list and I can’t wait to check out Peter Wohleben’s other book. xo

        Reply
    5. Judy Rosenbaum

      To add to the social justice list: just heard Brene Brown interview (Unlocking Us podcast on Spotify) with author Dr. Clint Smith who wrote a book called “How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America. I’ve ordered but not received it yet, but the interview is wonderful. And I expect the book to be as well.

      Reply
      • Amy Maricle

        Ooh, Judy, I know enough to know that when you recommend a book, it’s going to be an important read. Thank you.

        Reply
      • Amy Maricle

        I’m so happy it resonates with you Marissa. xo

        Reply

    Leave a Reply to Kathy Cancel reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Connect

    Quick Links