Saturday, November 05, 2011

Makingamark's Top Ten Art Books in October 2011

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If you're beginning to draw up your Christmas present list or identifying gifts for other artists, these are a jolly good place to start!

Top ten art books in October 2011

Art Books which have not changed their status in October:
  • Drawing - Top Rated:  The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards (will it ever be beaten?)  It's one of my two top recommendations for books for people wanting to learn how to draw and those wanting to improve their drawing skills.  Don't forget there's a new edition coming out next year.
  • Painting - Top Rated:  Colour and Light   James Gurney's book has emphatically earned the status of being a new standard in books about painting.  It's now coming up to a year with a constant presence in the top 100 books about Art & Photography,  Given the present-giving season in the offing I can only imagine that this will continue into the New Year with a lot of people getting this book as a Christmas present.  I'd certainly have a smile on my face if somebody gave me this for Christmas - but for the fact I have a copy already! :)
  • Art History - Best Selling:  The Hare with Amber Eyes - this book just goes on and on..........
  • Art Business - Top RatedI'd Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion by: Alyson B. Stanfield

What's changed this month?

New art books of note this month:

Interestingly artists from the past provide the highlights for October 2011.
  • Drawing - Best Selling:  The reality is that The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain could top either category - but is only allowed to top one.  It's been given a run for its money this month by the reprint of the classic book by Andrew Loomis - Figure Drawing for All it's Worth.  This is the first of Loomis's book to be reprinted and is actually a reappearance given it got the top rated crown in August - pre-publication.  For news of the second book by Loomis see belowsee below.
  • Painting - Best Selling:  Van Gogh - The Life has had a heavy international marketing drive by Random House behind it and is currently sitting at #3 in the top 100 Art Books on Amazon.  Forget the hype about an alternative explanation of his death and focus on the fact this book is about the painter rather than painting per se - but it does have numerous illustrations and does provide the in-depth reesearch to provide the context for the paintings he created.  
  • Art History - Top rated The Group of Seven and Tom Thomson.  When published as a hardback, this was an award-winning hardbbook which got numerous accolades.  Now available in paperback it's sure of an equally warm reception.  It's on my "buy" list and I'm really looking forward to getting it.  (I've already bought the Dulwich Picture Gallery iPad app re "Painting Canada" the new Group of Seven exhibition which recently opened there)
  • Art Business - Best Selling: 2012 Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market pre-orders for this book which is published each year - just walks out the door each year as soon as it's announced!

NEW Art books published in October 2011

See The Best NEW Art Books for publications of merit in October.

Major new books in October competing for the top rated and best selling slots include the four books highlighted above.
    Other points of note:
    • there were a LOT of new books about different aspects of drawing published in October 
    • new books this month look backwards to artists and authors from the past: eg Van Gogh, Tom Thomson, Group of Seven, De Kooning.  Only one is about an artist alive today - David Hockney.
    • new books this month were also first written in the past by authors such as Andrew Loomis and Harold Speed
    I see this as a sign the publishing market is leaning towards safer options and, in some cases, is reprinting books which have been popular in the past to save costs and minimise risks.

    Soon I won't have to buy second hand books to find decent art books!

    New Art Books Published in 2011

    It took until well past half way through the year for it to dawn on me that I should be recording the best NEW books published each month.

    So last month I started the job of going back and filling in the gaps of books previously identified but no longer recorded on my website The Best NEW Art Books

    In future this site will display the best new art books for the previous month - and is updated every month.

    Other specific sites - for drawing, painting, mixed media and artists - will record the best new books published in specific months.  Not every book will be highlighted - some are too dross to contemplate!

    Those published to date - and now enjoying some success in terms of traffic - are:
    I'm also developing sites for the NEW books due to be published in 2012 - see 2012: NEW books about Drawing.

    It's worth noting that there are some very significant new publications coming up - like the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: The Definitive, 4th Edition due to be published in April 2012.

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