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Art for Art's Sake

Reading / Viewing list



"Painting in Progress" — a film by Gary Mercer   

"Interview with Larry" — a film by David Papas

Homage to late choreographer Pina Bausch (1940–2009), a leading influence in the development of the Tanztheater style of dance.

RUSSIAN ARK — a film by Alexander Sokurov
This film broke boundaries with it's dreamlike vision of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

THE CLOCK — a film by Christian Marclay
A looped 24-hour video of scenes from films and television that feature clocks or timepieces, synchronized with the real time.



The Cave Painter
Author: Gregory Curtis
Publisher: Anchor Books

David Park: A Painter's Life
Author: Nancy Boas
Publisher: University of California Press, 2012

Vanishing Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa
Author: R.A. Scotti
Publisher: Vintage

Color A natural History of the Palette
Author: Victoria Finlay
Publisher: Random House

A Giacometti Portrait
Author: James Lord
Publisher: Noonday

Leonardo, Portrait of a Master
Author: Bruno Nardini
Publisher: Giunti

Mark Rothko: toward the light in the chapel  
Author: Annie Cohen-Solal
Publisher: Yale University Press 2015

Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists
Author: Kay Larson
Publisher: Penguin Press, 2012

Breakfast with Lucian
Author:Geordie Greig
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013

I Was Vermeer
Author: Frank Wynne
Publisher: Bloomsbury

The Lost Painting
Author: Jonathan Harr
Publisher: Random House

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
Author: Ross King
Publisher: Walker


Non Reading/Viewing List

books or videos not recommended but should be read or viewed


Seven Days in the Art World
Author: Sarah Thornton
Publisher: Norton

Exit Through The Gift Shop  (Film)
Director: Banksy

Hall ofBulls,Lascaux Dordogne France 15k yrs.JPG

Quote / Poem 

Johannes Itten:
" I came to realise that an inner-directed thinking (meditation) and spiritual energy must counterbalance our outward, technologically oriented point of view" - from Bauhaus by Elaine Hochman

Eugen Herrige, Zen philosopher on making art: 
"The hand that guides the brush has already caught and executed what floated before the mind at the same moment the mind began to form it, and, in the end, the pupil no longer knows which of the two, mind or hand, was responsible for the work"

Philip Guston: 1966, describing his creative process:
"There are 20 crucial minutes in the evolution of each of my paintings. The closer I get to that time — those 20 minutes — the more intensely subjective I become." 

Max Beckmann:
"There is something that repeats itself in all good art, that is artistic sensuousness, combined with artistic objectivity toward the things represented. If that is abandoned, one arrives involuntarily in the realm of handicraft."


The Painting Curve


Diagram for Making a Stretcher Bar


A Painting Technigue                                                                                  

  1. Gray Transparent Wash : thinned with 90% water or paint thinner
    Tip — use a very light gray, work with a rag, create an atmospheric effect.
  2. Rough Compositional Sketch: vine charcoal only - no detail.
    Tip — fill whole composition with large overlapping shapes.
  3.  Wash in Color Areas: thin with 60%,50%,40%,30% water or paint thinner (progressively).
    Tip — use thin overlapping washes, allow color to run into each other. Tip - each progressive wash should be more colorful yet still transparent.
  4. Redraw composition: vine charcoal only, no detail.

    (repeat steps 3 and 4 as many times as needed until underpainting is complete.)
  5. Heavier Paint: more intense color, use only 10% water or paint thinner
    Tip — be selective with areas, allow some of the under painting to remain untouched.
  6. Thicker Paint: "Dry Brush Technique" use o% water or paint thinner.
    Tip — allow the underpainting to show through each brush stroke by dragging the brush like a feather.
  7. Fine Tune: darken all the darks, lighten all the lights, strengthen contrast.
    Tip — add details, shadows and light source.