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.
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.
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.