Artists's writing

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Artists's writing

From Raymond Wood

Published before 2005


I wonder what this group thinks about the scarcity of artists today who write ably about their art. I'm not referring to "how to" books (I know Virgil is preparing what I assume will be a much needed tome concerning painting procedures) but rather I refer to books or essays concerning art and all its corollary subjects.

I have recently read works by Birge Harrison (Landscape Painting), Kenyon Cox (The Classic Point of View; Concerning Painting), Edwin Blashfield (Mural Painting in America) and Ives Gammell (Dennis Miller Bunker; Twilight of Painting). These men wrote brilliantly concerning their art, concerning the importance of culture, concerning very specific aspects of what makes great art, and other subjects dealing with painting from a professional's practitioner's point of view. I have read Kirk Richards and Stephen Gjertson's book concerning art from a Christian point of view (For Glory and For Beauty: Practical Perspectives on Christianity and the Visual Arts). They delve into many subjects concerning what constitutes great art, not at all limited to Christianity. Apart from that I know of very few living artists who have written philosophically about their art.

Several artists have written books about their own art such as Morgan Weistling, Burt Silverman, Richard Schmid, Anthony Ryder, etc., but even these deal more with "why or how I did this or that," or "what makes me tick" and not with the larger issues concerning "Art."

Do you know of any other books of this kind out there, or am I correct that this practice seems to be a dying "art?" It seems like most books of the kind I mean are written by historians or "experts," not practicing professionals and therefore, not as interesting to me.

RW