Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Among the books I recently ordered was this one Ian Jackman edited. The Artist's Mentor is interesting and thought provoking. Jackman admits at the beginning he is not a visual artist but a writer. However that is one reason I decided to purchase this book. I felt it was to my advantage to understand a non-visual artist's take on visual art.

The book is set up in two parts. The first part is more about defining art, making a living at art and working in the field. The second part is about creating art and what it means to be an artist. Most of the book looks at quotes from famous artists and puts them in relationship to the various topics covered and reminds us to consider them in context of time and place.

Do I like this book...well, it is not a book which you sit down to read cover to cover and it isn't one you go to for suggestions, but it is a book I find myself picking up to poke me along sometimes. One of the things which I found interesting was how so many artists used to have tremendous self-doubt. Oh, believe me, I have my moments, but many artists used to completely obsess about it. Most likely we have them to thank for clearing that up for us all as well as having the technology to connect with each other instantly. Then there is the part that gets me riled up when there are the quotes indicating only men can paint (then I keep remembering I am supposed to be taking these quotes in reference to time and place, but it still gets me going). I know I will pick this book up from time to time as a reference and it is small so I an carry it around, too. I usually need more pokes to get going when I am away from home.

Now, I do have lots of people I consider mentors (you are most likely one of them), but these are artists of the past. Those we have studied and read about over the years and that makes a difference. I think having this small book with these bits of information spread out in a quick to read, quick to find fashion is helpful on a daily basis.
I also think this is probably a good book to give as a gift, if you have that need. :)

So sometimes when you are working in the middle of the night, the person you wish to talk to about something is on the other side of the world, you just don't want to talk or if you just need to add a bit to the cart for that free shipping...this book might be a nice one to have on your shelf. Now, if you don't often have these needs, by all means don't spend your money on this particular book.

Another book I am patiently waiting for is Creative Authenticity however it is on back order and I am now waiting another month for it. Oh well...I have plenty to read these days.

So do you find it helpful to talk about your art concerns with other people? Do you like to know what some of your favorite artists had to say on a particular subject of art? Who or what is your mentor? Do you know if you are a mentor for anyone? What are you reading?

I hope you are filled with inspiration and pleasure today.


Paula In Pinetop said...

My dear, you are the closest thing I have to a mentor. I also have a friend in Santa Fe who is a champion for me.

I love to visit with other artists but don't get much opportunity except here online.

Right now I'm not reading much. Too much attention to the garden and my painting. I do love to read though and really appreciate your reviews and also your interviews.....

Andrea and Kim said...

Really, Paula?!?!? I don't think I have ever been called a mentor before...quite sure about that :) I am glad, though, if I can be of help to you...that honestly makes my day. Helping people is something rewarding to me, so you have really given a HUGE GIFT today. Thank you.

I also get most of my art fix here online. I think for me it is about introversion and time. You know? I should do more...I honestly should.

Oh Yes! Painting...Hon, I hope you do another eggplant one! I keep watching your blog for another treat!

Interviews...well, there will be another one next week! Yup! And it proves to be very exciting, too!

Thanks so much, Paula! You are a great joy and inspiration.

San said...

Kim, I always enjoy reading what you have to say about books. And I love Paula's comment! We have to mentor each other I believe, and I always learn something when I read your posts.

What am I reading right now? Not an art book but a very artfully written work of fiction--"You Shall Know Our Velocity!" by Dave Eggers.

Andrea and Kim said...

Thank you, San! I have some of the greatest readers in the world! The world may soon yell, "uncle" to traditional mentors...and we may be seeing that happen now!

"You Shall Know Our Velocity!" sounds lovely. I will have to have a look/see. Thank you for the recommendation.

San, as always I am so appreciative of your comments on this blog. Thank you so much!

Unknown said...

Hi Kim! Oh yes I find it useful to talk about arthings with other people, as long as there is sharing involved. I have had some very important mentors, linked to certain periods in my life. Sometimes, when I'm working on a painting, or textile art piece, or drawing, I hear their voices telling me things they taught me:) Very critial sometimes. It always helps to go a step forward.
One can say that right now, my blogfriends are my mentor, always present and generous and positive and questioning:), driving spirits:)

Andrea and Kim said...

You are right, Andrea...the SHARING is the important issue.

Yes, I can hear some of those old mentors, too, depending on what I am doing. So I understand what you mean about them speaking to you as you work, still.

Blog friends are also my current mentors...without a doubt. I too love the generous, positiveness and the excellent questioning of these kind people. I think kindness is probably one of the most important things in those I find are good mentors for me.

Thanks Andrea!