Book: Inside the Painter's Studio

I'm so loving this 2009 book, Inside the Painter's Studio, by Joe Fig. The interview format works great and it's fascinating to learn about process, sense of space, and career trajectories of artists I'm really familiar with and others not so much. April Gornik has shared my favorite insights so far:

"I think we are kind of on the brink of visual illiteracy even though we have so much visual information culturally. You know, the activity of making a painting, the almost architectural building of a painting where you work into it and into it, those critical 1/8-inch decisions that go on as you're painting, and all the time you put into it, all that still lives in the work after it's done. In a good painting, all that reads back to the viewer. So you're looking at something that's stocked with this huge amount of time passed--but held. You know a good painting holds all that. And all the great old paintings are like that."

 And on size and scale: "For a long time people would ask me why I make my paintings the size that they are. It really has a lot to do with wanting to feel that they are like the size of my body. You can sort of walk into them--a very experiential kind of experience.... this is the size of my mind. This is like my head. This is how big my head is. I inhabit this."

The author also does these amazing miniatures of the studios he's visited, little micro-worlds that capture the expansive conversations he has documented. This book is a must-read if you're as fascinated as I am about what happens between head and canvas in the studio setting.

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