After reading some of the essays in the book “Exploring new information cultures”(link to the book on amazon, no I get no commission) I am not sure whether this is an entirely off topic post. Reading is not only reading text it is also reading pictures: reading becomes looking. The new media+internet seem to blur the distinction between reading and looking and also writing.
The book is published under CC3.0 license and there is an online version at www.IreadwereIam.com
I prefer the printed version because it is easier to read. The typography in the online version is not very suitable for online reading. The printed version is much more friendly for the human eye and easy and quick to read. The printed version has a table of content,glossary, a keyword index and a table of content showing the first 140 characters of each essay.
The 82 essays are short, 2-3 minute texts, which propose very inspiring and unique views on reading in theory and practise. Some of the essays of course touch the well-known subject of deep reading loss and keyword skimming trained by reading online versus the traditional reading of books, but that is only a side line. The book opens a can of inspiring worms. It is worthwhile to digest not only the texts but also to connect via internet, to search authors and their institutions and their websites for deeper reading and discovery.
The local bookstore has proven indispensable one more time. I found one copy of “Oak,one tree,three years,50 paintings” by the British painter Stephen Taylor lying on top of a pile of art books as if it was left there with purpose to be found by the right buyer. A quick look made clear that I had to have the book in any case. At home I slowly realised that I had made a really lucky discovery.
Painting is dead since Duchamp . If painting is dead, plein air and/or landscape painting is deader than dead. But it is something painters cannot let go it seems. I can spare you explanations about the artist Stephen Taylor and his motivations (Stephen Taylor writings) because the artist has documented his work on his website. After seven years of studies in the same open Essex landscape Stephen Tayler has turned his attention to painting water. His almost scientific interest in the perception of colour and light becomes more clear after watching the short videos on painting water.
It is the first time that I see a painter making use of digital photography and plein air field studies with convincing results. The big paintings are photorealistic in an irritating way as they contain a breeze of Rousseau at the same time which makes the image toggle between photography and painting. The book has a some interesting detail reproductions which illustrate indeed the intention of the painter to display the perception of nature with his observation-based painting. The “pictures of a tree” seem the inevitable by-product of that process.
For someone who has done observation-based sketching in the woods for a couple of years Stephen Taylor and his work are a great confirmation. After the forest diary I feel that I need to take the next step with drawing,sketching or painting trees without making “pictures”. That was the mantra I had in mind over the last 12 months when I set out to the next sketch : make notes of what you see, sketch without making a picture. Reading this book might be the required catalyst.
Today I want to point out to artist Mara Korkola and her small winter landscapes. The format is modest, but somehow the views she paints seem bigger. The presentation in triptych might give to that effect, but does not explain it in full. I like the clarity and stillness in these images which I have seen so often in nature. I look forward to the cold season with its very own beauty.
At the end of October and beginning of November the colors of autumn seem to peak in our forest and gardens here. I was on the way into the woods but decided to stay on a meadow with some fruit trees and an old garden shack near the forest edge.
I am experimenting with primed paper in one of my sketchbooks. This gouache sketch was “hard work” as I had painted the paper first with some abstract acrylic colour pattern which then was covered with a layer of white wall paint. The wall paint is hydrophobic to some extent. Some spots on the sketch need hours to dry. I had to apply a bit of gouache color, that floated a lot on the surface of the paper. The next time I will sand the wall paint layer to see whether gouache colors will connect easier then.
I was amused by a recent blogpost about the ING Art Collection. Somehow I did not get no further clue what the connection between banks and artists is other than what I knew already but wasn’t said in the post : The artists want the money and the banks want public relation.
What I understood was that the blogpost functions as public relation for the bank and that for some reason the parallels between banking and art or art market were not touched at all: for example highly speculative profits, non transparent price and profit manipulation.
Today I found another piece of evidence why artists should not stay away from banks and their lucrative sphere of influence. Perhaps I should burn a drawing of Deutsche Bank and auction it on Ebay? I certainly could ship that domestic!
The re-print of the entire forest diary sketchbook is now available as color paperback in the Blurb bookstore. The book preview shows the all 158 pages. The size of the book is 6X9 inches, it has more than 100 images,the book weight is 275 grams. 61 gouache sketches, done on site between January 2009 and October 2011 in the forests of Maulbronn,Germany, are re-printed on double pages. As the original sketchbook covers on front and back are re-printed too to book contains a mini version of the original sketchbook.
Apart from the images there is an introduction and notes on sketching gear. Seven image series that show sketches in intermediate state illustrate the sketching process. The book is for people who are interested in sketching and painting outdoors and nature diaries. Collectors of sketchbook art might be interested in the re-print of this sketchbook project dedicated to the forests.
At the seam, in the middle of the double pages, the layout was adjusted to compensate the loss that occurs by printing/binding in the middle of the book. This is visible in the online book preview,but will not show in the printed book.
I made some adjustments based on the proof print I had received recently from Blurb. The colour print in paperback is a new option for Blurb customers. The colored pages are printed “semi matte” on white coated paper, which is quite similar to the appearance of the original sketchbook paper. The image quality is remarkable, a real 4-colour picture print. From my point of view coloured paperback books are a great addition to Blurb books and worthwhile to check out.