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Creator of "Dinotopia"! This daily weblog by James Gurney is for illustrators, comic artists, plein-air painters, sketchers, animators, art students, and writers.
1. Art Books

I remember when I used to comb through new and used art bookstores looking for anything I could find on 19th century painters or Golden Age illustrators.

Here's a sketch from about 1985 of my wife Jeanette reading to me from a book on John William Waterhouse.

Before computers and the internet, finding a good art book was like uncovering a vein of gold. In those days, you couldn't find much on Bouguereau, Meissonier, Gerome, or Waterhouse. Sargent was just beginning to come into the light. It seemed worth spending $50 for a book, even if it had only two or three good color reproductions. I would stick yellow tags on the best pages, with the name of the artist written in small letters so I could find them again.

The casual availability of images now is both a blessing and a curse. It makes me treasure each image a little less, perhaps because I haven't spent so much effort on the hunt. Still, I'm grateful to be able to find so many digital images in cyberspace. But I have faith that there's much more to be discovered. The internet may be a million miles wide, but it's only an inch deep when it comes to some artists who have yet to arrive from obscurity.

15 Comments on Art Books, last added: 3/26/2012
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