“Regardless of which tools we find at hand, whenever new painting begins, we are standing in a cave, scratching marks on the wall with a burnt stick.” – James L. Mcelhinney
The Art Students League of New York on Painting by James L. McElhinney and the Instructors of The Art Students League of New York was not what I was expecting. It doesn’t contain art lessons like anything that I have ever had.
Lessons are not step by step. There isn’t a paint by numbers section or a part that says, “Ok, use a line here and more shading here. Voila! It’s a horse.”
There are several nudes, which is fine. However, it did make me think twice about giving this to my mom for Christmas. Can you imagine your mom opening the present and saying “Merry Christmas Mom. It’s a book with many, many nude portraits!” We’d have a good laugh about it I guess. Maybe it would go over if I included some paint brushes, canvas and an attractive model?
Joking aside, we really do take our art seriously around here.
This book has articles that are more about how to see things differently and expressing it on canvas with a variety of mediums.
The books does include a brief art history lesson, as well as a history of the Art Students League of New York. The stories by the instructors are interesting. I’m always interested in how people succeed in their field.
There are also examples of works by instructors and students. It’s worth buying just for the art alone.
I enjoyed the art by Dan Thompson and Naomi Campbell – not the supermodel.
One of the students featured Stephanie Mead had a work that I also love called “The Ascent.”