Saturday, August 19, 2017

Expressive Flower Painting

Published 8 Aug. 2017 by artist author Lynn Whipple and Quarto Publishing, this 128 page book is lavishly photographed and vibrant and just plain exuberant.  The first introductory chapter is titled "permission to play".  I just love that.

The author's style isn't condescending at all.  Many art how-to books in my experience include instructions that start with 'draw a circle' and then, skipping about 42 years of practice, go directly to 'firm up your outline drawing and wind up with this' (step2):

step 1

step 2

I'm not daVinci.  Aaaaanyhow, to make another glaring contrast, this book is different from most all of the other art instruction books in my personal experience.

The author's style is playful and fun. She knows we can succeed once we quit trying to be daVinci and start being ourselves and letting our creativity lead us to our own creations (not someone else's).  That was quite profound for me.  Plus she quotes probably my favorite living author, Neil Gaiman:
“And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.” —Neil Gaiman
Beautiful sentiment beautifully expressed. If you have a chance, please go read/watch his moving and profound commencement address from whence came the quote above

Back to the book. It spends a fair amount of effort preparing the aspiring artist to embrace their creativity and tapping into it and letting it out.  She also mentions how freeing and exciting and fun it is getting in touch with our creativity. There is an introduction and discussion of tools and supplies, studio solutions including lighting and ergonomic working spaces and the use of humor as an exercise in opening up our creativity.

There are creativity exercises including concrete advice listed in bullet points for starting and succeeding, choosing music that inspires you (and sometimes dancing is necessary)

The exercises progress from opening yourself up to expression through to finding your voice as an artist and finally learning sharing and finding a community. 

I really enjoyed this brightly written book with lovely humorous photographs full of blazing color.  Exuberant really is the correct word from cover to cover.

Four stars - there is valuable content here. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.

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