My birthday just passed and I was very happy to have received a few books that I have been wanting for a while.

In no particular order they are: Childe Hassam American Impressionist, John Constable Oil Sketches and a book about my favorite artist- Luigi Loir.

Each of these books are beautiful and really informative.  In particular the Hassam book has got so much to read.  Aside from the more standard stuff about his work there are sections on his travels, how he self promoted and even how he framed his own work.  There is so much to learn I hope I can process it all and that is even before I try to dissect the paintings!

The Constable book is really interesting since it focuses on his sketches and plein air work as opposed to his more finished paintings.  I have other Constable books so seeing more into his process and his “less finished” work is really eye opening.  There is a looseness to his studies that I almost like more than his finished studio work.  I was surprise at just how many preparatory painting he did before he did the finish.  Talk about perfectionist!  I should also mention that the book also contains some watercolors and drawings that show even more of Constable’s ability.

The Loir book is a real gem.  I saw the following Loir painting, “The Point-du-Jour at Auteuil: Dusk”, this past summer at the Montreal Museum of Fine ArtI was so moved by it that I wanted to steal it and run away with it to study forever.  Too bad it was a lot bigger than I am.  I actually went back to the museum the next day to stare at it for a second time.  I couldn’t believe that I was so inspired by a work and an artist that I had never heard of before that day.  When I got home I was intent on finding out as much about Loir as I could.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find much about him except for short internet sites with repetitive information.  My wife is the hero who found this book.  I know it was expensive but she got it for me and it is amazing.  The only downside is that it is written in both english and french and it appears that not everything in french has been translated.  So aside from learning about a man who I consider my artistic role model I get to learn a bit of french too.  Not a bad deal to see the work of this man.  Honestly, there is no artists work I admire more.

I hope to use everything in these books to inform my own painting and to be inspired for a long time.