Thursday, 5 April 2012

The Best NEW Art Books in March 2012

After a month off last month (due to the Pinterest debacle) I'm back to highlighting new art books.  In putting my revised listing for March together (see end) I came to a couple of conclusions, namely:
  • The good thing about 2012 will be that it will go down as the year when self-publishing really took off.
  • The bad thing about 2012 will be that it will go down as the year when self-publishing really took off.
In other words, anyone can now publish a book - and anyone is.

As a result, there's a lot of new art books out there:
  • There's some art books which we can now read which previously would never have been published
  • however an Amazon listing is no longer any sort of indicator that the book is any good.  The filter which the publishers used to exercise has now effectively been removed.
  • Amazon also doesn't appear to think it necessary to exclude books of an "adult" nature from its listings - and I don't mean "artistic nudes" - I mean graphic top shelf content.
CP Treasures - edited by Ann Kullberg
published 9th March 2012
All told, it's beginning to feel more and more as if I'm wading through treacle due to the amount of dross which is being produced.  However in amongst the dross are some gems!

Some of the books being produced independently look set to do well
  • The Art of Urban Sketchers which was published on 1st February sold out straight away and went straight to reprint. It looks set to stay at the top of the charts for quite a while.
  • Ann Kullberg has written and published a new book CP Treasures: Colored Pencil Masterworks from Around the Globe (Volume 1).  To my mind this reinvents the "Best of Coloured Pencil" books which have been so very popular in the past with coloured pencil artists and yet no publisher would continue the series.
  • There are books which look like they might be little gems on niche topics - like one on silverpoint drawing.  Now there's a topic which would never have got a book deal with a major publisher and it's great that the advent of digital books enable us to learn more about niche interests and techniques.
Obviously since I'm highlighting new books, I've not seen them all.  Consequently I do recommend you look very carefully at the reviews rather than taking star ratings at face value.  Do also bear in mind that there's an awful lot of people with not much experience handing out five star ratings to books which are not very good.

I'm also NOT highlighting books which

  • I don't rate.  For example, I've never seen a drawing book by Barrington Barber which I would ever consider buying.  
  • Or can't rate - there's a lot of new books which don't have an "inside view" and the author has no track record

So here is a link to The Best NEW Art Books in March 2012

Let me know what you think about this month's list.

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