I asked for the new book by Dan Gerhartz for Christmas in addition to the exhaustive monograph on Bouguereau. I still haven’t received the books on Bouguereau (back ordered) but I did get the book by Dan. It did not disappoint. I wish it had more text, but the photos of his work are great and they have many large close ups.

While in Portland, Oregon I went to my favorite bookstore: Powell’s. I must admit it was a bit of a new experience. In times past I could spend hours, and on occasion days, combing through the stacks of art books…learning. But, I know what I know now. I’ve been to most of the great art museums, and I know the artists that I like. The ones that I like the most don’t have many books written on them and the only way to find them isn’t in a used book store, it is online. Sure I still love the bravura painters like Sargent, Sorrolla, Zorn, Paxton, Mancini, Fechin, and many of the Russian impressionists. And, without a doubt there are artists that are so under appreciated in museums around the world that have become some of my personal faves like Pierre Subleyras, but my focus and my energy are now elsewhere.

I really like the work that I am doing now, much more so than any work by other artist. Is it cocky then to say that my favorite artist is myself? Perhaps it is, but no one is doing the work that I find myself doing, and for my reasons. Plus, I get to watch my own development, struggles, and successes rather than read of other’s in book. I am my own artistic success story.

…but I still liked the Gerhartz book…