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Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking Paperback – Apr 1 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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  • Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
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  • Picture This: How Pictures Work
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 122 pages
  • Publisher: Image Continuum Press; 1 edition (April 1 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0961454733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0961454739
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

David Bayles is an accomplished photographer, author, workshop leader, and conservationist. He has studied with Ansel Adams and Brett Weston, among others, and has taught and written extensively in the arts for over thirty years.

Ted Orland, the author of The View from the Studio Door, currently pursues parallel careers in teaching, writing, and photography.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I picked up this book when I was moving into a greater acceptance of the artistic part of my nature. I was considering sharing my art with the world, and the reviews seemed to suggest that this was a good book to help explore the ambiguous feeling involved in such a venture.
I was amazed. This book packs valuable, practical wisdom into every single page. I can't remember a book with more information density than this. Perhaps I was just ready for the knowledge here, but it seems to be the distilled essence of a thoughtful, deep analysis of a great deal of experience.
While it is primarily about making art and the issues inherent in that pursuit, it is also very much about life itself. In fact, one could consider one's life to be a work of art, and it makes that analogy an easy reach. The things one will learn here about life in general are pertinent and as valid as the best pop psychology or self help book around, while considerably more readable than most of those.
For example, it deals with topics like fear, uncertainty, acceptance, vision, imagination, talent, perfection, expectations, understanding, approval, competition, habits, creativity, and much more. All of these are issues we face every day of our lives, regardless of our field of endeavor. This books speaks to those who would have an understanding of such things.
I have given this book as a gift to people I care about, and encourage everyone to read it. It is uplifting without being unrealistic, and honest without being cynical. A very good read.
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Format: Paperback
I do not describe myself as a practicing artist. I have practiced Emergency Medicine in large urban teaching hospitals for 25 years. Until a year ago, I hadn't played a 'cello or bass viol for 35 years, and hadn't written a poem in almost as many. I started writing letters to a friend making a difficult passage 8 months ago, to suport the process, and began to recall the letters and poetry I used to write. I wrote 50 letters in 6 months, then "hit a wall." After reading this book, I began rediscovering my "art," outside of my professional and personal life. Art may not be my life, but my Life is more Artful after reading this book. It will not get the "disappointed and afraids" a good job after art school, but it may help anyone began to reconnect to that Fearlessness that permeates early childhood, and from that, a richer expression of themselves. I will not write the great american novel, and probably nothing publishable, but the authors have made a genuine contribution to the quality of my life today. Try it.
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Format: Paperback
I read ART & FEAR in one sitting; I could not resist the gentle wisdom contained on almost every page. (My trusty highlighter was nearly emptied as I found much text that I wanted to reread and remember.)
To any artist "stuck" in creative quicksand (whether it be fear, self-doubt, perfectionism -- whatever), the writers reach out a long and sturdy tree limb for you to grasp to pull yourself free and back onto solid ground. They don't just leave you standing there either, but provide you with the tools you'll need to find your own way home.
One of the many quotes from ART & FEAR that I like is: "To make art is to sing with the human voice. To do this you must first learn that the only voice you need is the voice you already have."
Other things I will say about ART & FEAR is that it is VERY thought provoking, thorough, insightful, and challenging with a few flourishes of humor. The information presented will apply to artists of all persuasions.
I will very likely read ART & FEAR again and again and will probably find new gems with each read (either previously overlooked or not yet understood).
Once read, you will want to lend ART & FEAR to your artist friends. I suggest you keep your copy and either recommend that they get their own, or, order one for them as a gift they will appreciate many times over.
Finally, because I feel that I have received much from reading ART & FEAR, I send a heartfelt "thank you" to the authors, David Bayles & Ted Orland.
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Format: Paperback
I agree that this is a very clearly, respectfully, and unpretentiously written book that can serve as a companion to any artist. Making art can otherwise be a lonely,daunting undertaking. My concern for readers of this book, as with readers of The Artist's Way, is that it can be a pacifier. If it gets you to your work sooner and with greater courage and confidence, all the better. But if it substitutes for the process itself--makes you feel better but does not get you "working"--then it's something to pick up but let go of. There's a growing genre of books like this out there, some (such as this one) better than others. The sage advice gets recycled, as do the homilies from famous people. And again, that's fine, as long as they get us to a place where we are working with more energy and joy, but perhaps not so fine if the internal process becomes more interesting than the art-making. Did you paint today? No. But I reread passages of Art & Fear...
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