The Art of Mistakes: Unexpected Painting Techniques and the Practice of Creative Thinking Paperback – Illustrated, November 12, 2014
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About the Author
- Item Weight : 1 pounds
- ISBN-10 : 1440311714
- ISBN-13 : 978-1440311710
- Paperback : 128 pages
- Publisher : North Light Books; Illustrated Edition (November 12, 2014)
- Product Dimensions : 8.02 x 0.39 x 9.98 inches
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #322,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I have to admit I hadn't even heard of Melanie Rothschild until I saw this book pop up under the "You Might Also Like..." when purchasing another book about acrylic painting. I did a search on her and was really impressed and excited by what I saw. When I received the book I was even more excited- it's full of colorful, vibrant art, as well as information about some of the techniques and approaches that she uses to create the art.
The best part, though, this the topic of the book "The Art of Mistakes". I love how Rothschild's philosophy is that you don't have to be a technically precise artist (ie can draw anything at the drop of a hate) to be a a great artist, which is kind of what we are told in school and in media. Instead, all it takes is a willing to explore and experiment and find out what drives *you*, personally.
What a unique, inspiring, refreshing book. I keep this on my worktable and refer to it all the time. And I also actually USE the techniques instead of saying "oh, so cool... I should try that..." but never actually doing it, like I'm guilty of doing with some other books.
The author suggests some of her own techniques, which I would not use. The thought of mixing one's own saliva with paint, slathering it onto a piece, and then selling it to someone, is off-putting. Sorry, it just grosses me out.
Perhaps the title could be How Does the Creative Process Work? or Self-Taught Art vs. Formal Training or (ewwww) Painting with Saliva.
If you want to learn how to deal with an art "mistake," well buying this book would be a mistake.
Top reviews from other countries
In fact, you could say it's not even about painted art. I paint pictures of people, places or objects; the author paints the very objects themselves. I paint a picture of a table and (sometimes) I put it in a frame, she paints the table itself and likewise the (empty) frame. By my criteria, at least, that's interior decoration, a craft, in other words.
She took a degree in tribal art, apparently, and it would be quite plain from her work that this was her inspiration, even if she hadn't said so. Tribal art is pretty much about decoration, too (and not infrequently has rules...). Of course, where craft ends and art begins is always going to be a matter of taste and opinion, and some of the work she illustrates - work which is possible only in acrylic, incidentally - would certainly fit into the genre passing for "modernism" today, being suspended, solidified dribbles of solid colour in space. And they are indeed quite decorative and in my experience unique.
Her beef, and seemingly the whole stimulus for the book, is that art classes are too restrictive in laying down rules on how you should go about the creative process. Given what she says she always wanted to do with her art, though, you might take the view that she was pretty daft to go to a conventional art class in the first instance anyway - especially since she was apparently already earning good money from her unusual work; or, more kindly, you could perhaps say that she was unlucky in the classes she chose. When I started art classes in my fifties, I was advised beforehand to investigate the tutors to find out if their styles matched my aspirations. Obviously she didn't benefit from such advice.
All that said, there is much that bears thinking about in what she writes (and writes engagingly, too). By and large, I like to play by the rules - they work for me. Nevertheless, although the representational art they all tried to teach us was indeed our aim, I found that none of the classes I attended addressed matters from the point of view of the mature student. All the tutors were art-educated, and they tried to teach us as if we were the kind of 18-year-old art college students they had once been - whereas with few exceptions, the mature beginner's aims, priorities and aspirations are not the same as those of a teenage art student, and require a wholly different mind-set.
So I find myself on a similar although not identical plane to Mrs Rothschild, and I therefore applaud her crusade and admire her work, and whether it's an art or a craft, well, if you like it, who cares ? If you, too, feel that your creativity is being hampered by the rules and conventions, whatever kind they may be, you will find comfort and support in her words, and much to stimulate and encourage bold thinking and, indeed, bold action, even if your artistic aspirations are of a wholly different kind. But unless you're into decorating furniture, boxes and whatnot, you may not find the practical chapters quite so helpful.