Posted tagged ‘photography’

Books on Painting Water and Bird Photography

July 21, 2017

I want to do up a small watercolour and coloured pencil drawing of a sandpiper to represent a story from my father’s childhood. Now that he’s dead I’d like to get this done and framed. I was going to use Stonehenge paper because I want to do it on a toned surface with minimal background. Strathmore has a new toned mixed media paper that is heavyweight and can take watercolour better but it doesn’t seem to be in Canada yet, so I might wait a bit to see if it shows up in art supply stores in a few weeks, hopefully it won’t take months and months which is the usual way of distributing supplies here.

So for preliminaries I was looking for good photo references. There are several types of sandpipers here and sanderlings as well. Not knowing the particular species, I found a photo of a Western Sandpiper and a Sanderling in books by Glenn Bartley: Birds of British Columbia: A Photographic Journey, published in 2013, and Birds of Vancouver Island: A Photographic Journey, published in 2010 that will be useful.


I like photographic bird books because you can so easily see the exact birds that might be around you. Even my field guide for birds can be confusing, so I loved these two books and see all kinds of references that might be useful for drawing some of my favourite birds.

The other two books I bought are (surprise!) watercolour and pen and ink books on techniques for drawing and painting water and weather, coastal scenes, rivers, rainy streets, rocks, spray, glittering light on water, all kinds of scenarios.


The first is by Claudia Nice, Down by the Sea with Brush & Pen: Draw and Paint Beautiful Coastal Scenes. I have about five of Claudia’s books and they are excellent, and she uses different media. She really covers everything in this, from rough seas to coastal trees, even dogs and children playing at the beach.

The second is by Ron Hazell called The Artist’s Guide to Painting Water in Watercolor: 30 Techniques, and he too has some comprehensive scenes and much information on the way light behaves on water and how to paint that, how to paint reflections.

I just need to wait for the right paper.







Artsy Cards for Eye Candy and Rumination

November 16, 2014

I keep saying this, but this is definitely the end of the Christmas books as I am over budget. Fortunately, as the new and used books roll in via the post, they will keep on giving throughout next year. I am going to learn and do a lot of new things, which I like.

I have an animal deck with art by Sue Lion, but she has two others, one with mythology and one with nature and some wonderful trees. There are those of us who love trees and like a suitable picture. If you’re interested in a nice present for someone, try Sue’s lovely art and words. She has different gifts and ways to display and use her artwork.

She refers to these as “Affirmation Cards” but I refer to them as “art cards.” Same diff. Both images are © Sue Lion. This is the nature-based EartHeart deck:


And the beautiful Magic & Myth deck:


I stumbled across Beverly King’s interpretation of the Buddhist Lojong slogans. She arranged and photographed some delightful nature-inspired images and has a booklet too. I managed to get a copy but she is down to one copy and hopefully will be re-printing the deck if you are interested. Image © 2014 Beverly King.


Bev also cites some relevant books. Oh no not that, I am nothing without a relevant book. So I bought one by Norman Fischer called Training in Compassion which is a commentary on the Lojong sayings. I felt that was geared more toward Westerners and I have several Pema Chodron books I bought recently so wanted a different commentary than hers.


Good thoughts and images: a good focus, is always a fine thing.



Santa Wrestles with the Allure of Cards

September 12, 2012

I have been waiting for some cards published by the always excellent Dorling Kindersley on snakes. The Boy Scouts of America have a few card decks through DK Publishing with things like first aid, knots, trees, stars, the sort of thing you might use while camping or exploring the back yard.

In June of this year they came out with Boy Scouts of America’s Deck of Snakes. I bought the snake one today. It is wicked of me to spend $9 but how can anyone resist the “Bonus: Snake War Game!” enticement?

The upcoming deck is Spiders & Other Creepy Crawlers. If the snake one is good Santa might want me to have the spidey deck at a later date. Santa likes animals and the natural world. There is apparently a war game attached to this one too. I assume they mean the card game War and not an actual war with commando Orb Weaving Spiders dashing about in yellow coats infiltrating the enemy camp of Fishing Spiders and their minion army of Scutigera coleoptrata.

Santa is also very fond of botanical prints and wall charts. There is a new book out called The Art of Instruction:

NO, Santa doesn’t want the bloody book, Santa wants the set of 100 postcards that Chronicle Books is publishing in October.

Look at these beauties and tell me you wouldn’t want a postcard featuring a vintage educational wall chart about herrings:

Or this one about the Swiss Moss Fern:

You cannot go wrong placing a pre-order for this.

I always do what Santa does; thus am I on the cutting edge of card collection.

Man Ray Comes To My House

July 3, 2009

I first came across some of Man Ray’s sculptures in an art book I own called History of Modern Art : Painting, Sculpture, Architecture by H.H. Arnason. This is a wonderful book, and has several editions. I couldn’t afford the new one so 4 years ago I bought an older edition online, and it’s one of the best books in my collection.

I also came across him in some of the history of photography books that I have been reading as I find them over the last five years. I finally ordered this biography via inter-library loan and received it today. I am so excited, and it kind of ties in with my current read of Ulysses by James Joyce. I still think Edward Steichen was a better photographer of women than Man Ray, but I am so interested in the period of art before and after World War I, so I was delighted to get this book.

Man Ray: American Artist by Neal Baldwin
ISBN 030681014X

Blurb from back cover:

“Man Ray is the quintessential modernist figure – Painter, sculptor, photographer, filmmaker, poet, and philosopher. One of the most fascinating of the Surrealists who transformed the Paris art world during the 1920s, Man Ray was an enigma – a Dadaist who revered the Old Masters, an anarchist pursued by wealthy patrons. Driven to make his mark in as many art forms as possible, he struggled bitterly to win acceptance as a painter even as his skill as a photographer brought him worldwide fame. Man Ray came to know personalities such as Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau, Max Ernst, and Coco Chanel, and he photographed virtually every important figure in the arts on both sides of the Atlantic.”


I also have a book on order from the library called The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women and the Artists They Inspired by Francine Prose
ISBN 0060555254, which covers several interesting people including Lee Miller, who was Man Ray’s lover and apprentice at one time. Or his muse and a talented photographer in her own right who influenced him, depending on what you read.

I shall find out!