The Art Spirit book review

Ebb and Flow

After every exhibition or body of work created I find I need time to take stock of my work, to see how it is developing and see what the next step will be. Since the Homeland exhibition I’ve been in this almost hibernation/research mode, researching ways to push my work forward by understand my process and exploring my medium.

As I have often said reading is an important part of my process, (read my Master story) it helps my creative side through providing understanding and  structure for me to play within. Books inspire me and give me the knowledge to help me manifest my ideas (see My Bibliography for a list of  books that have inspired me).

An inspiring book that I have just finished reading is The Art Spirit by Robert Henri . Although the book is some what dated especially in its language and use of pronoun, the book gives practical advice about painting as well as what it means to be an artist, the artist’s mentality.

‘A work of art is the trace of a magnificent struggle.’ – Robert Henri

It is the book’s somewhat romantic views that I found so inspiring, ‘the art spirit’. Robert Henri believes that everyone is an artist and every expression is art and while not defining these terms, he believes that creativity is apart of us all and tapping into it and expressing ourselves can lead to true happiness.

‘I have no sympathy with the belief that art is the restricted province of those who paint, sculpt, make music and verse. I hope we will come to an understanding that the material used is only incidental, that there is artist in every man; and that to him the possibility of development and of expression and the happiness of creation is as much a right and as much a duty to himself, as to any of those who work in the especially ticketed ways.’ – Robert Henri

The book has given me a lot to think about, what is my ‘art’? how do I express? The technique advice I found useful if a bit scattered throughout the book and I will no doubt take some of it on board but it is for painters, and a printer I feel I am not, which is ok.

See My bibliography for more book I am inspired by and have a look at how my practice has developed in my Works. You can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter to see posts about my recent works, life and art.





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