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"Artistic creation is the metamorphosis of the external physical aspects of a thing into a self-sustaining spiritual reality." Hans Hofmann

Nita Leland's Art Theory, Criticism, Philosophy & Psychology Book List

Begley, Sharon. Train Your Mind: Change Your Brain. Ballantine Books, 2007. A groundbreaking collaboration between neuroscience and Buddhism.

Brown, Harley. Eternal Truths for Every Artist. International Artist, 2001. An inspirational book for artists with lots of advice on composition and other art principles. Not a technique book, but a valuable reference for many other things.

Dunn, Charles. Conversations in Paint. Workman, 1996. A useful notebook of fundamentals for painters.

Genn, Robert. The Painter's Keys: A Seminar With Robert Genn. Studio Beckett, 1997. Entertaining and informative seminar with a popular Canadian painter.

Onslow-Ford, Gordon. Painting In the Instant. Search ABEbooks Thames & Hudson, 1964. Journal of one artist's creative journey.

Richards, David. How to Discover Your Personal Painting Style. North Light, 1995. Finding what makes your paintings unique.

Schmid, Richard. Alla Prima: Everything I Know About Painting. West Wind, 1998. A wonderful book, Schmid's techniques and philosophy rolled into one.

Sovek, Charles. Oil Painting: Develop Your Natural Ability. North Light, 1991. Excellent book, helpful in all media.

Williams, Hiram. Notes For a Young Painter. Prentice Hall, 1984. A classic handbook for beginning painters, not a technical book.

Other Philosophy
Adler, Mortimer. Aristotle for Everybody. Scribner, 1997. Difficult thought made easy.

Adler, Mortimer. Art, the Arts and the Great Ideas. Touchstone, 1994. Art, culture and philosophy.

Adler, Mortimer. Six Great Ideas. MacMillan, 1997. Ideas that have influenced civilization.

Adler, Mortimer. Ten Philosophical Mistakes. MacMillan, 1997. Interesting views on commonly held ideas.

Arnheim, Rudolph. New Essays on the Psychology of Art. University of California, 1986. Interdisciplinary approach to art by a leading art scholar.

Arnheim, Rudolph. Art & Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye. University of California, 1974. The process that takes place when people create.

Arnheim, Rudolf. To the Rescue of Art: Twenty-Six Essays. California, 1992. A call to arms to save art from destructive forces in contemporary arts.

Barnes, Henry. A Life For The Spirit: Rudolf Steiner in the Crosscurrents of Our Time. Anthroposophic, 1997. Biography of an influential thinker in the arts and education.

Barratt, Krome. Logic and Design in Art, Science and Mathematics. Lyons, 1994. Interdisciplinary approach to arts.

Bayles, David & Ted Orland. Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (And Rewards) of Artmaking. Capra, 1993. Every artist should read this book again and again.

Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. Viking, 1995. Essays on the visual arts.

Blyth, R.H. Zen & Zen Classics: General Introduction from the Upanishads to Huineng. Random House, 1978. Selections from leading interpreters of Zen.

Briggs, John Fractals: The Patterns of Chaos: A New Aesthetic of Art, Science, and Nature. Touchstone, 1992. Seeing art in nature by way of science--a fascinating study.

Carroll, Robert Todd. The Skeptic's Dictionary. John Wiley and Sons, 2003. A collection of strange beliefs, amusing deceptions and dangerous delusions.

Chopra, Deepak. Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. Amber-Allen, 1995. A philosphy based on Eastern wisdom--call it pop-philosophy if you will, but this is one of the most helpful books I've ever read.

Collingwood, R. G. The Principles of Art. Oxford, 1958. Many facets of art; the difference between art and craft.

Confucius, tr. David Hinton. The Analects. Counterpoint, 1998. More than just some fortune cookie jingles. The words of the master.

Dawkins, Richard. Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder. Houghton Mifflin, 2000. The beauty of science opposed to the vagueness of mysticism.

Dewey, John. Art As Experience. Capricorn, 1980. Aspects of art in civilization.

Dunning, William. Advice to Young Artists In a Postmodern Era. Univ. of Syracuse, 1998. Prerequesites for success as an artist.

Elkins, James. The Object Stares Back. Harvest, 1997. On the nature of seeing.

Elkins, James. What Painting Is: How To Think About Oil Painting Using the Language of Alchemy. Routledge, 1999. A very unusual approach to oil painting.

Elliott, William. Tying Rocks to Clouds: Meetings and Conversations With Wise and Spiritual People.. Doubleday, 1996. Conversations wih extraordinary people on the meaning of life.

Feldman, Edmund Burke. Varieties of Visual Experience. Abrams, 1992. Function of styles, structure & meaning in the visual & applied arts.

Franck, Frederick. Messenger of the Heart: The Book of Angelus Silesius. Crossroads, 1982. Spiritual bridge between East & West.

Gassner, John. The Nature of Art.Search ABEbooks Crown, 1964. A collection of essays by artists on many facets of art.

Goldwater, Robert, ed. Artists on Art: From the XIVth to the XXth Century. Pantheon, 1989. Selected writings from artists through the ages.

Gombrich, E.H.. Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation. Princeton, 1984. History and psychology of representational art.

Haefner, Carol. Sisters of the Circle. Stories for Life, 2003. One woman's journey to wholeness through poetry. A very touching book.

Hartley, Ann, ed. Bridging Time & Space: Essays on the Art of Layering. Markowitz SLMM, 1998. A book on the spiritual aspect of painting with illustrations by contemporary artists.

Hastie, Reid and Christian Schmidt. Encounter With Art. McGraw Hill, 1969. My favorite aesthetics text--covers nearly all media in fine art and craft.

Hawthorne, Charles. Hawthorne on Painting. Dover, 1965. Collected notes from Hawthorne's painting classes.

Henri, Robert. The Art Spirit. Lippincott, 1960. Notes, articles, fragments of letters & talks to students, bearing on the concept & technique of picture making, the study of art generally & on appreciation. A big favorite, very quotable.

Hinton, David, tr. The Analects of Confucius.Counterpoint, 1998. A lovely little book, easy to read, but takes some thought.

Hofmann, Hans. Search for the Real & Other Essays. MIT, 1967. A must read for visual artists.

Hunt, William Morris. On Painting and Drawing. Dover, 1976. Notes from Hunt's class lectures.

Jung, C.G. Memories, Dreams & Reflections. Vintage, 1989. Jung's personal memoirs.

Kandinsky, Wassily. Concerning the Spiritual in Art. Dover, 1977. Every artist should red this pioneer work on abstraction.

Klee, Paul. On Modern Art. Faber & Faber, 1985. A collection of Klee's lectures.

Koestler, Arthur. The Ghost in the Machine. Arkana, 1990. Koestler is very readable and worth reading.

Koren, Leonard. Wabi Sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers. Stonebridge, 1994. Finding beauty in the imperfect. Perfectionists and over-achievers should read this.

Langer, Ellen. Mindfulness. NY:Addison Wesley, 1990. Becoming whole through paying attention.

Langer, Suzanne. Problems of Art. Scribner, 1957. Art criticism.

LeGuin, Ursula. Dancing at the Edge of the World. Harper & Row, 1997. Thoughts on words, women and places.

Martin, Graham. Shadows in the Cave: Mapping the Conscious Universe. Penguin, 1990. Reason, mystical experience and more--an interesting book.

Masceti, Manuela. Haiku: The Poetry of Zen. Hyperion, 1996. This poetic book is a little treasure and bears reading over and over again. Lovely illustrations, too.

Mitchell, Stephen, tr. Tao Te Ching. HarperCollins, 1992. The wisdom of the Way in an accessible translation.

Neumann, Erich. Art & the Creative Unconscious. Princeton, 1974. Essays on the relation of the artist to his culture.

Prager, Dennis. Happiness is a Serious Problem. Harper Collins, 1998. A human nature repair manual--highly recommended.

Read, Herbert. Education Through Art. Praeger, 1972. The importance of the arts in child development and education.

Read, Herbert. The Meaning of Art. Pantheon, 1974. Introduction to the understanding of art.

Riley, Charles. Color Codes: Modern Theories of Color in Philosophy, Painting and Architecture, Literature, Music, and Psychology. University Press of New England, 1996. Very interesting studies in aesthetics of color.

Santayana, George. The Sense of Beauty: Being the Outline of Aesthetic Theory. Dover, 1985. Art, Nature and the materials of beauty.

Shahn, Ben. The Shape of Content. Harvard, 1980. A forceful statement on art from Shahn's lecture series.

Shlain, Leonard. Art & Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time & Light. William Morrow, 1991. How artists have foreshadowed discoveries of science.

Sloan, John. The Gist of Art. Dover, 1977. Principles and practice expounded in the classroom and studio.

Whistler, James A.M. The Gentle Art of Making Enemies. Dover, 1967. Great little book; Whistler's wit has a razor-edge.

Wolfe, Tom. The Painted Word. Bantam, 1978. Minces no words about conceptual and minimal art.

Zen Paths to Change. Charles E. Tuttle, 2000. Poetic quotations and exquisite black-and-white photographs.

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