Art Book Reviews

Art Book Reviews by Stuart Bush

As an artist, it is common to learn from your own mistakes, however, why not learn real insight from other people’s mistakes. So when I am in that moment of feeling unsure of what to do, when I have nagging feelings of being a fraud and my intuition doesn’t give me an answer. I can reflect on the challenges that others have faced. I can remind myself how someone overcame a fork in the road.  In my art book reviews, I document many of the important lessons I have learnt from others.

Stuart Bush Studio Notes, Playing to the gallery, Grayson Perry

Playing to the Gallery – book review

Playing to the Gallery by Grayson Perry Have you ever stepped into a contemporary art gallery and felt angry and confused?  How do you tell if something is good or bad?   It can be puzzling trying to form an opinion about contemporary art.  Who can answer this question for us?  Grayson Perry, the transvestite pottery and Turner Prize winner, takes on this brave task in his book ‘Playing to the Gallery’.  In it, Perry guides us on a whistle-stop tour of dissecting contemporary art as he sets out the tools to allow us to an understanding of modern societies’ relationship with art.   His book is based on a… Read More »Playing to the Gallery – book review

Stuart Bush Studio Notes, artist Eric Fischl,

‘Bad Boy’ by Eric Fischl – book review

‘Bad Boy’ by artist Eric Fischl – book review I imagine when artist Eric Fischl wrote ‘Bad Boy,’ about his journey as an artist, it must at times been excruciating to write.  Fischl along with his co-author Michael Stone goes deep with stories about the uncertainty of life as an artist.   He includes narratives of middle-class white America, from his messy dysfunctional family to his roller-coaster career.  However, the highlight for me is the journey Eric Fischl took to realise the type of artist he wanted to be.   Eric Fischl talks a lot about his time at art school at CalArts, California Institute of the Arts under the… Read More »‘Bad Boy’ by Eric Fischl – book review

Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday book review, Stuart Bush Studio

Ego is the Enemy – Book Review

We have all come across people who appear cocky and arrogant. People with massive high opinions of themselves.  People who seek the attainment of superiority and ascendancy above making a real difference to others in this world.   When I come across people like this, they always rub me up the wrong way. As an artist, at times I can get overly focused on my work, like most people who enjoy what they do.  However, I don’t want my confidence to turn into arrogance. I am very mindful that I don’t allow my focus to lead me to be self-absorbed and egocentric.   Luckily, I have come across the excellent… Read More »Ego is the Enemy – Book Review

Stuart Bush Studio Notes, Making it in the art world, art world,

Making it in the Art World – book review

Making it in the Art World The once traditional approach of cracking the art market by working the gallery and exhibition circuits, and applying for bigger and bigger opportunities, is no longer the only route to notoriety.    The book, ‘Making it in the art world: New approaches to Galleries, Shows and Raising Money by Brainard Carey’, was written to give artists insight to finding their own way into the art world. Carey incites artists to raise their own money; build up networks; and bypass the gallery system in order to light a fire under their own career.   I had the assumption, before reading the book, that it would… Read More »Making it in the Art World – book review

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Art and Fear book review

Art and Fear, Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Making, by David Bayles and Ted Orland – art book review Have you ever wondered about the best way to approach art-making? In Art and Fear, Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Art Making, by David Bayles and Ted Orland the artists and authors take on the challenge of verbalising the disquiet and unease of making art.   It is somewhat comforting to read an artist talking about typical problems and how to overcome them. One of the memorable anecdotes from the book comes from a ceramics class. The ceramics class is put into two groups and are told they… Read More »Art and Fear book review

the war of art, stuart bush studio notes, book review

War of Art book review

‘The War of Art’ by Steven Pressfield – book review At some point, most creative people realise that something needs to change.  The book  ‘The Art of War’ by Steven Pressfield, can help explain what old behaviours and mindsets are holding you back.  Essentially it is a self-help book for amateur artists and writers battling with inner self-doubt and fear.   There is a diamond of an idea about learning to overcome resistance and ‘turning pro’ as the book asks, “Are you a writer who doesn’t write, a painter who doesn’t paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what “Resistance” is.”   When I tried to read ‘The Art… Read More »War of Art book review

Leonardo Da Vinci Vitruvian Man

Leonardo Da Vinci book review

Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson book review If you have ever wondered about the life and mind of a voracious creative genius, then this is undoubtedly a satisfying read.  Leonardo Da Vinci left 7200 pages of notebooks after his death, filled with anatomical and scientific drawings, detailed designs for new machines and weapons, military strategies, maps, sketches, and observations, as well as 15 paintings.  He was interested in art, engineering, biology, medicine and geology amongst many other subjects.  Walter Isaacson’s book is an interpretation and analysis of those notebooks and paintings.  The six hundreds pages of the book, ‘Leonardo Da Vinci’ by Walter Isaacson it is an immensely impressive undertaking.   Author… Read More »Leonardo Da Vinci book review

Stuart Bush Studio Blog, Michael Craig-Martin Sculpture

Michael Craig-Martin’s book, ‘On being an artist’

‘On being an artist’ by Michael Craig-Martin. Michael Craig-Martin’s book titled ‘On being an artist’ is a collection of thoughts and notes that he has written over his career. The book is written in an informal style, making it easy to read.  They range from chapter titles such as, ‘On advice for the aspiring artist,’ to ‘On British attitudes to contemporary art.’  Michael presents an interesting and insightful account of a young artist finding his way into the contemporary art world. Michael Craig Martin who was born in 1941 studied Fine Art at Yale University for Art and Architecture.  In 1966 Michael crossed the Atlantic and started a new life… Read More »Michael Craig-Martin’s book, ‘On being an artist’

Breakfast with Lucian, book review

If you have ever wondered what an artist’s life would be like if they put art first at the expenses of relationships, friendships and family. If so, then this is the book to read.  For a few years before Lucian Freud’s death, Geordie Greig the editor from the Mail on Sunday was able to share breakfast with Lucian at his favourite restaurant, Clarkes on Kensington Church Street.  Greig’s book about Freud does a worthy job of sketching out the painter’s hedonistic personal life.  ‘Breakfast with Lucian’ is the story of an adulterous, brawler and rogue with no boundaries or restraints. This book is written in the style of an author’s note.… Read More »Breakfast with Lucian, book review