Sunday, February 21st, 2016

An idiosyncratic reading list for textile art and fine art.

These recommendations on blogs and books on art are far from complete or comprehensive. They are however ones I feel I can back up.


Mr X Stitch
I list this first because the contemporary embroidery of Mr X Stitch was what slowly convinced me I could be an artist. I was convinced my drawing would never cut it. I had far more confidence in my textile skills. The primary focus is on embroidery but a number of other textile arts are included.

Empty Easel
Empty easel has a significant body of information on fine art and the art business. Referring back to last week, posts on specific artists are posted on a Tuesday.

Making a Mark
Katherine Tyrrell writes on exhibitions, her own work, landscapes and botanical art. I don’t always agree with her opinions. Make up your own mind, Making a Mark has a large selection of resources linked to the blog sorted by media.
If Mr X Stitch is aimed at the average reader with a geeky bent, is aimed at other textile artist. It’s mostly about textile artist’s individual practices, there’s also art business information.

James Gurney
James Gurney is a an amazing writer. His blog covers realism and what he has called “Imaginary Realism”.


Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orlandes.
Easily my favourite art book. This book considers the psychology of the artist. What gets us started, what makes us struggle and what makes us stop.

The Found Object in Textile Art by Cas Holmes
After reading this Cas Holmes will have you seeing found objects everywhere. Not a bad thing but every artist has limits for storage.

Freeform Knitting and Crochet by Jenny Dowde
I read this when I was still knitting which I haven’t done since 2009. It is an excellent guide to working more intuitively even if you don’t knit or crochet.

Creating sketchbooks for Embroiders and Textile Arts by Kay Greenlees
This is my favourite book on sketchbooks. It starts with why keep a sketchbook and samples and goes from there.


Color and Light by James Gurney is a realist look at colour theory and how light interacts with it. I haven’t finished it because as good as the writing is, the book is physically unwieldy. I find the book too wide and too thick to read it unless it is on a table.

Stitch Stories by Cas Holmes
I’m taking my time with this one because I enjoy Cas Holmes. Where the same processes are mentioned as in “The Found Object in Textile Art” the processes have been refined.


Imaginary Realism by James Gurney
I possibly should have started this before “color and light” because the topic is more my thing.

The Surface Designer’s Handbook by Holly Brackman
I keep this as a reference. I don’t do much dye or other surface design. This is something of a recipe book. It shows what dyes to use with what fabrics in what proportions.

All content © Copyright 2016 by Anita Morris.
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