Fiction an Artist Should Read.

When I want a bit of down time I read. I'm always drawn to books about artists, and even more so about female painters and the lives they lead. Of course they're fiction and don't usually portray the nitty gritty of life, like hanging out the washing at the point where you want to leave a painting and come back with fresh eyes, or having your head so full of a picture you can't concentrate on cooking the next meal, let alone listen to someone else's ideas on food.
Mary Kemp - Hanging Out the Washing.
Watercolour 25 x 36cms.
But I have a few favourite books:
Notes From An Exhibition by Patrick Gale, about the suicide of a woman artist, a book peppered with small endearing detail like the drawing of a tube of oil paint as part of her limbering up process before painting for the day.
The Horses Mouth by Joyce Carey, a book I read when I was 18, portraying the life of an artist as so unglamorous, but full of feeling like Gully's joy at the shape of a foot.
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier, the making and everything else, of a tapstry in medieval times in Brussells. The Girl With the Pearl Earring is good too.


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