I am in my second home in Earlington and it has been idyllic day. I feel my soul filling up after that last few busy weeks. The thoughts are brewing. Meanwhile, just in case you were pining for some tantalizing new suggestions for gorgeous art books to strew over the vacant surfaces of your home, here are the ones cluttering up my room. (And charming me greatly in the process.) I’ve collected these over the past year, each a sort of treasure discovered in a different nook of a bookshop or gotten as a gift. I have them stacked or opened all round my room. I open whichever one I have out to a new page each day and just sort of contemplate the current picture as I go about my business. I feel oh so artsy and inspired!
Great European Art (Barnes and Noble)
Joel got me this for Christmas last year. I had to wait an entire week to actually see it as it was stuck in the car that got buried in a snow drift. But once I did, ah the beauty. This book is full of the old classics; it goes by century with long biographies, essays and big, glossy pages of the pictures themselves. I feel more educated just glancing its way.
The Celtic Quest
Finding this book was like stumbling upon unexpected gold. I was wandering the corridors of the famed Powell’s Bookstore in Portland, OR (with keen book lust I might add) when the title of this book blazed out of the myriad bookshelves. I seized the book without a moments hesitation, found it to be incredibly priced and have made it my treasure ever since. I have never found a book quite this lovely; a satisfyingly thick collection of classic and contemporary Celtic art paired with selections of the most beloved passages of Celtic poetry, legend and literature. My friend Anna and I always curl up with hot chocolate when we get together, and read the tales and poetry out loud. I feast on this book.
The Impressionists (Barnes and Noble)
When we lived in TN several years ago, we visited the Frist Center for the Arts in downtown Nashville to see a rare collection of Impressionist paintings. Since this occurred just before my birthday, my celebration that year rather centered round an art theme, with my family conspiring to load me with Impressionist goodies… including this lovely book. The first bit is history and essay, the middle is a pure book gallery of the best Impressionist art and the end has a few more essays and such. I love it.
Noah’s Ark (Rein Poortvliet)
Though this is not classic art, this contemporary artist is greatly beloved round my house and fully deserving of classic standing. His book Noah’s Ark is the story of the ark and its animals told through his luminous portrayal of creation. It is so beautiful. His paintings are natural, quiet, warm with an earthiness of hue and tone. A combination of landscape and detailed studies of animals, it generally sits open on the hearth in our living room always on a different page as someone has been looking through it. The idea and value of earthly creation takes on a whole new life in his hands.
Anyway. Art is on my mind. This is partly why. Now you can be surrounded too!