Do you ever feel creatively blocked, a feeling like all the color and life is lost from your artwork or craft? The Artists Way, by Julia Cameron, is a guidebook designed as a course in creative artistic recovery. Each section of the book describes practices, mindsets, and techniques for creative people, all of which build upon each other, to guide the reader into a more authentic artistic expression. The course is 12 weeks long. The aims include overcoming creative blocks and self-destructive beliefs, while building creative relationships, gaining confidence, and re-connecting to what she believes are the spiritual underpinnings of the creative drive.
In my opinion, this book is a valuable read, even if one does not pursue the entire 12 week course. The various practices described within it encourage one to be more mindful and creative on a consistent basis. For example, the practice of writing a full page of thoughts every morning, described in one chapter early on, can have the effect of bringing one face to face with what is going on the their life, paving the way for action. I recommend this book to anyone with an open mind who feels the need to re-connect to their creative self, whether you want to dive into a full-on course, or could use a few well placed pointers.
The Artists Way is available in the Greenfield Library open stacks at BF408 .C175 1992.
— Mike Romano, Music Library Circulation Assistant
Artist and curator Cristiana de Marchi will speak Wednesday, July 11, at 7pm in Hamilton Hall, CBS Auditorium. Originally from Italy, de Marchi lives and works in Dubai and Beirut. She has published internationally about contemporary art as well as exhibited her own work in the UAE, Mexico, Spain, and Italy. Her profile and links to some articles she’s written are available through ArtTribune, an arts and culture website and magazine. You can watch one of her video artworks, Fish Market, a meditative performance in the Sharjah Fish Market.
Photographer and professor Lonnie Graham will speak Thursday, July 12, at 7pm in Terra Hall, Connelly Lecture Hall. Graham‘s work is sociological in nature, documenting the lives and culture of the people he interviews and photographs. Learn more about Graham by reading:
“Culture, Context Add to Appreciation of Photographs of a New Guinea Tribe” by Victoria Donohoe in The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 21, 1999: pg MC04. This is available full-text through UArts Libraries’ subscription to LexisNexis. You will need to log in with your UArts username and password if you are off-campus.
Media artist Nelly Massera will speak Thursday, July 5, at 7pm in Terra Hall, Connelly Lecture Hall. Massera lives and works in France. She has exhibited internationally, participating in numerous residencies and solo exhibitions. Below are details about two of her films. Check out her website for more.
“The Shout is a split screen video, a sound and visual diptych. Territories appear and follow one another, empty on one side, each occupied by a person on the other. Doubled images, long panoramic pictures, echoing narration. They are waiting, looking at us. Interior/day, prison scene: suddenly, a shout starts, carrying all the others along, the one of the children in the ruined building, the one of the woman in the bunker… The territory, the person and the shout are mutually embodied, occupying the entire screen and sound space. This split screen video has been realized in Latvia on the territory of Karosta, during an artist residency. This territory, at the same time fascinating and oppressive made to emerge this project, these presences, these shouts. I asked to people to choose a place, as a territory to shout.”
“A totally dark space of projection.The gaze has to get used to the twilight. The shot is taken at night, a space of basic architecture, covered by a faint light, barely unveils. The all-present sound of a cyclic flowing water fills the space. The sky thunders, the rain falls and mixes with the fountain’s sound. A violent, pale, almost unreal light flashes the scene and reveals it furtively to the viewer; then comes the sound of the lightning that splits the scene. The frequency of the lightnings increases, the rain becomes stronger, the sound gets denser, the howling of the wolves joins in the scene.”
Through the publishing house Octavo, the Rare Book Room currently has over 400 digitized books available to read online. Many of the books are beautiful examples of the histories of print design, typography, and illustration.
You can search by subject such as literature (where you will find Shakespeare’s work), graphic arts (including a work by Bodoni), music (mostly Beethoven and Mozart), or photography (the Pennsylvania Railroad Photographs from the 1870s are here).
Many of the libraries that hold the original materials are right here in Philadelphia! In the drop-down menu for Find by Library, check out The American Antiquarian Society, The American Philosophical Society, the Ewell Sale Stewart Library of the Academy of Natural Sciences, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, The Library Company of Philadelphia, the Rosenbach Museum & Library, and the University of Pennsylvania Library.
Please note that you will have to allow pop-ups on your web browser to use the site.
The Getty Research Institute‘s mission “is dedicated to furthering knowledge and advancing understanding of the visual arts.” To meet this goal, the Institute has many digital collections, including images of art, architecture, photography, and primary sources such as artists’ letters.
The Institute also has a Photo Study Collection of about a million of its photographs available online. The Collection acts as a reference tool for studying antiquities and Western art.
At the end of this month, GRI will launch the Getty Research Portal, “a free online search platform providing global access to digitized art history texts in the public domain.” These digitized art books will provide easy access to critical scholarship. Stay tuned to learn more!
The New York Times has started a Tumblr to showcase its extensive photo archive. Each week, The Lively Morgue will publish several photographs from the newspaper’s collection. Each photo has the date taken, explanatory caption, and photographer’s name.
Additionally, The Times is posting images of the back-side of the photographs. David Dunlap, journalist for the newspaper, explains that this is where the life of the photograph is recorded. “In many cases,” he writes, “you’ll get to see how often the photo was used, in what context and at what size; the information provided by the photographer; and the information that made it into the published caption.”
Many of the photographs will also be posted on The Lens, The Times’ photography and videography blog. Essays accompany the series of photographs, providing more insight into the people and places depicted in the images.
If you have your own Tumblr account, you’ll be able to repost and like photos posted on The Lively Morgue, creating your own collection of cultural, political, and social history.
Want to explore a history of life from way back when? Retronaut will take you there. British ex-museum curator Chris Wild has been culling images, videos, music, and more from public and private archives.
The website is organized by decade but you can also search by categories (like art, fashion, and music) or clusters (such as steampunk or Through the Lens of…photography). You can also add your own content and leave comments, enhancing the visual collection and adding memories.
Want to learn more about the past? UArts Libraries has a great subject guide for 2oth Century Research by Decade. This will help you find books and articles on just about any event in the 20th century!
Ocean Flowers: Anna Atkins’s Cyanotypes of British Algae, from the New York Public Library Digital Gallery, is truly a one-of-a-kind digital collection. In 1841, William Harvey published Manual of British Algae, but it did not contain any images. Atkins sought to illustrate Harvey’s Manual by experimenting with William Henry Fox Talbot‘s “photogenic drawing” technique. By placing an object against light-sensitized paper and then exposing it to sunlight, the paper darkens around the object, creating a silhouette of the object. We know this process today as blueprint, or cyanotype.
The final product of Atkins’ work is Photographs of British Algae. What makes algae so interesting? In this case, Photographs is “a landmark in the histories both of photography and of publishing: the first photographic work by a woman, and the first book produced entirely by photographic means.”
Please note: If you are off-campus, you will need to log in using your UArts e-mail log-in.
AP (Associated Press) Images is an incredible resource for those in the visual arts and anyone interested in current events. The AP is the oldest and biggest news organization in the world and has won numerous Pulitzer Prizes for outstanding journalism. In AP Images, there are over 4.6 million photographs, as well as audio and text material, from all these years of international reporting. Each image is high resolution, available for download for educational use only, and has an informative caption describing the photograph.
AP Images is the perfect source for quality images of politicians and celebrities, action shots, and fashion. You can also find images by concepts, such as happy, boredom, wet, and even by color! These search options make the database an excellent electronic picture file for visual inspiration.
Finally, a horrible tragedy that, thankfully, encouraged better working conditions for all Americans. March 25, 2011 is the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University has a wonderful website dedicated to educating the public about the fire, which occurred March 25, 1911 at the Triangle Waist Factory, a textile factory in New York City. Within minutes of the fire starting, 146 people, mostly women and many of them young immigrants, had perished. Because of this horrific event, labor laws and building codes all over the country were updated and enforced.