Favorite Design and Composition books?

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Muppin wrote
on 8 Sep 2010 9:36 AM

I am not a "trained" artist in that I have never taken a formal art class.  Sometimes I think it would benefit me to learn the basics of design and composition, but wondered if anyone out there can recommend any books on the subject?


Cheryl / Muppin

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Peggy Szasz wrote
on 9 Sep 2010 8:08 AM

Good morning Cheryl,  I was talking to a schooled artist at a reception a few weeks ago.  This artist is a landscape painter....beautiful paintings.  She was asking me if I had gone to formal art classes...I said no.  She replied that sometimes people who are not schooled in art make better art since they are lacking in the "rules" of art.  She went onto say that sometimes the "rules" get in the way with being creative.....I thought this was pretty interesting coming from a "real" artist.  Having said that, I would love to know about any books on the subject too.  Always learning.....have a great day.  Peggy

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on 9 Sep 2010 8:33 AM

Well I'd hesitate too about whether you should learn the "rules".  You could argue that once you know the rules, you know how to break them... but equally sometimes knowing how things "should" be done, stops you from being free.  And like if you've been making anything for a while, you do know what's what, even if you don't realise and have a name for it.

Perhaps the question should be a more personal one, ie what about composition/design do I struggle with, and then find out the answer to that.  I know this is para-phrase, but something I've heard applied and very true  "interrogate your art until it confesses itself"  which I've always done, in my head.  Asking the questions,  or tipping the work upsidedown, or looking at it through a camera lengs.  There's a chapter in "Finding Your Own Visual Language" by Dunnewold, Benn & Morgan, re writing about your work/ideas.  This was such a relief to me, because usually everything is about drawing, or mark making, and you can see (by the volume) that words come more easily to me, so writing about work, questioning it, going back over the words, so much easier when in front of you, made so much more sense to me.

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