Holiday Book Suggestions for artists

  I read 47 books this year. Here are some ideas for the book lover/artist on your gift list. "My books, myself" (c) Rebecca LaChance, 2016, Thurmont, MD.

I read 47 books this year. Here are some ideas for the book lover/artist on your gift list. "My books, myself" (c) Rebecca LaChance, 2016, Thurmont, MD.

Across the gamut, and I don't mean color...

This year's reading list is "all over the place"; from Stoicism to Proust, to Robert Reich, the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, biographies, art and photography, geometry, art history, art fiction, Machu-Picchu, Sebastion Junger, Louise Penny and Rowan Coleman. 

Before I list the books, I want to recommend a DVD series by Myron Barnstone.  Myron passed away in October, but he left a wealth of information about how to use classic principles in art and photography.  I guarantee his DVD about drawing will improve your drawing, painting, and photography.


FROM BASICS TO FINE ART: Black and White Photography - Architecture and Beyond, by Julia Anna Gospodarou and Joel Tjintjelaar.  If creating black and white images inspire you, this is the book for you.  The works produced by these two photographers echo and reinforce Barnstone.  The authors' art is a grand example of how to use light to create volume. This e-book is the perfect complement to Barnstone's teachings. You can purchase the e-book on their website.

Baffled about lighting, on-camera flash, off-camera flash?  Any book or video by Neil van Niekirk is worth your time and money.

Art Fiction

The Last Painting of Sara De Vos by Dominic Smith. I loved this book so much that I can't write a brief description without giving away everything. Let's try it this way: a 17th-century masterpiece by the first woman accepted into a painters' guild, the forger, and the exhibition decades later - curated by that same forger. Sticky wicket, there; can the forger salvage her career and professional standing?

Reading for fun

The Inspector Gamache Series by Louise Penny.  Armand Gamache is my friend, or it feels that way. The Inspector is French Canadian (part of my heritage) and the wisest fictional police officer ever created. Penny uses various points in history as the start of Gamache's adventures. She has built a loving, small town community for the Inspector and his wife that feels familiar and comfortable.


Need a primer about your target client and how to market?  Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port is a good place to start.

The DAM Book:  Digital Asset Management for Photographers by Peter Krogh.  It's all about putting your name on the file and multiple storage options. Even though the book was published a few years ago, the information is still relevant and could save your image files!


Turn Right at Macchu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams. Adams is an editor for an adventure magazine who never had his own adventures! He decided to trace the steps of HIram Bingham who (it's thought) discovered Macchu Picchu.  Since I'm headed that way in 2017, I thought this would be good background information. You might think so, too.


The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu. I found the friendship between these two spiritual leaders to be the most joyful point of the book. Love and respect fuel their happy comradery.

And a new author in my collections

I met Rowan Coleman during my time in Yorkshire. Rowan took part in our photography workshop as research for her soon-to-be-published novel.  I believe it will be her thirteenth book.

As I consumed her words, I found nuggets of recognition; little bits of emotional situations that rang true to life.  I could identify those moments because I had lived them, felt them. (And obviously, if I felt them, they HAD to be true? Right?)  I'm looking forward to her next novel.

The political

I read a plethora of political books during the primary season.  One of the absolute best and most informative was "Hillbilly Elegy" by J.D. Vance.  His words and personal history provide one strut in the framework for understanding our current political climate.

The end this week

Well, there you have it; some gift ideas for the artist/photographer in your life. I hope the list helps you gain some traction with holiday gift giving.

Enjoy, and in the meantime...

Expect the best. Anything else is an adventure


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