The Mindful Art Studio Book List 2022

Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

Each year I compile a list of books that have been important to me and my creative life during the year. I hope you find a few that speak to you here, and that you comment at the bottom to add to the list.

Art + Drawing Books:

Life is Better When You Draw It, Koosje Koene

One of the things I find most important as a teacher is offering invitations, not directives. I want students to feel enticed, delighted, and in love with the process of making – this is exactly what I feel as I read Koene’s book on drawing. In fact, I’m having a hard time making it through, because every few pages I just have to put it down and draw. For anyone looking to develop a drawing habit, this is a must have.

Draw Yourself Calm: Draw Slow to Stress Less, Amy Maricle

It may be a bit cheeky of me to include my own book in this year’s list of my favorites, but I made this book for you, and I want you to have it. I think you’ll love all the step by step nature-inspired patterns and the many, many invitations to make this practice your own. I hope to entice you to draw more, and look for your own patterns in nature everywhere you go.

The Unwinding, And Other Dreamings, Jackie Morris

If you want to be swept away, to be inspired, to be transported into a world a of dreams and possibility, and creative joy, then pick up this book. Jackie Morris’ attention to the details and wonder of the natural world will transport you.

Things to Look Forward To, Sophie Blackall

This is a beautifully illustrated book, which, like mine, was born out of the difficulty of the pandemic. When she felt hopeless and dark in the midst of difficulty, she decided to start listing and drawing simple things she looked forward to each day. I find Blackall’s illustrations and words gorgeous in their celebration of the joy of simple things and experiences.

Painting the Feminine, Connie Solera

Painting the Feminine is a wonderfully inviting art journal full of gorgeous imagery, and you are invited to paint ALL OVER IT. It’s an art journal full of starting places and themes centering around embracing the power of the feminine in all of us. Unfortunately for the moment it looks like pre-ordering is closed, but my guess is if you sign up for her list, you’ll know when the next round might be available.


The Motherhood of Art, Marissa Huber + Heather Kirtland

This is a beautiful, inspiring book made for mothers who are artists, mothers who think perhaps they could dare to make art, and mothers who haven’t dared to create, but wish they could. Real women speak to the difficulties and joys of balancing making and mothering. You’ll be inspired by their spaces and their work, and validated by their words.

Finding One’s Way with Clay, Paulus Berensohn

While I never had the opportunity to meet Paulus, I’ve been touched deeply by his work, and find so many connections between our approaches and beliefs about the creative process. While this book is about working with clay, it’s also very much a work about how to embrace the creative process, and how to create in a mindful, enriching way.

Show Your Work, Austin Kleon

Be validated. Be inspired. If you’ve read Kleon’s other books, you know his bite sized, graphically pleasing presentation will help you move your creative process forward.

The Reset Workbook, Justin Shiels

I’m excited to use this workbook as part of my end of year review. There’s great questions like what makes you feel energized, and what your body needs right now, and assistance on focusing on goals.

Creating with Natural Materials:

Outside of making a few inks and dying some papers, I have not made a lot of my own art making materials just yet. These books are great resources for the artist who would like to make more art and use less plastic.

The Organic Artist: Make Your Own Paint, Paper, Pigments, Prints, and More from Nature, Nick Neddo

Earthen Pigments: Hand-Gathering + Using Natural Colors in Art, Sandy Webster

Wild Textiles: Grown, Foraged, Found, Alice Fox.

I find everything Alice Fox does to be incredibly inspiring. This is a wish list item for me.

Nature Books:

Entangled Life, Merlin Sheldrake

Be prepared to have your mind blown about fungi intelligence and their absolute necessity in our world.

What books are your favorites from this year? What’s on your wish list? Tell us all about it in the comments.

Creatively Yours,



  1. Eva

    Whaaaa, I am blown away to find Paulus Berensohn on the list. I adore his way of art, his handbound books, there was a film about his work at Penland school I saw 2 years ago, I think, and I found myself constantly smiling whilst watching. I never was in the US, but spending time at penland school and traveling in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a dream of mine. Perhaps. One day. Hmmm. And Merlin Sheldrake! About him I read in books of the admired Robert MacFarlane. This is a really great studio book list. I have to look what I can buy in Germany (without the taxes, buying in US is no joke for my wallet…) Thank you for these wonderful inspiration dear Amy! Greetings over the ocean. Eva

    • Amy Maricle

      HI Eva! It’s possible it was me who shared the Soul’s Kitchen video with you – I’m obsessed with it too. It’s how I learned about Paulus. I love your dream too! I hope you can get whichever books you like from the list. I know Amazon and some other booksellers in Germany carry Draw Yourself Calm – but I believe that a German version is coming out in January. Cheers to you Eva!

  2. Giselle

    Don’t forget MAKE INK by Jason Logan!

    I’m surprised at how many of these I have and how many more I have to get!

    • Amy Maricle

      Oh, and Make Ink is on last year’s list. 🙂 I LOVE that book.

    • Jane Schrøder

      I love Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

  3. Candace Barnes

    Painting the Feminine just says pre-order is closed, but doesn’t say when or if more copies will be available. It isn’t on Amazon and there’s no info on her website about any further release.

    • Amy Maricle

      HI Candace – Yes, I think your best bet is to sign up for Connie’s list or just check back periodically. She is keeping it all very personalized and small experience. It’s a very lovely package she sends! Cheers

  4. Ruth Bahri

    Found Sketch by Sketch: a simple, daily drawing practice for recovery, purpose and empowerment, by Sheila Darcey when another member of the online improv quilting community Brave Patch led a group of us in one of the exercises. Definitely empowering and well written with lots of encouraging stories of the transformative power of art. The book has blank pages throughout so you can sketch right in the book and/or in your own sketchbook

    • Amy Maricle

      Hi Ruth: That sounds like a wonderful book, I’m excited to check it out! Cheers!

    • Sheila Darcey

      Hi Ruth, thank you so much for sharing. I happened to see this post and wanted to gift you something as a thank you. Can you please send me an email at and reference this post. And Amy if you haven’t already, I would be happy to send you a copy of my book. Pls do reach out. You can also find me on Instagram @sketchpoetic

  5. Margi Smith

    Amy another book I found last week that is so beautiful and inspiring.: “Botantical Inspiration:Nature in Art & Illustration “
    I love your book. It is great line inspiration.

    • Amy Maricle

      It looks beautiful, Margi – thanks for the tip! And I’m so happy that Draw Yourself Calm is speaking to you as well.



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