Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tricks on Shopping for Art Books, or "Don't Look on Amazon"

Cover depicts one of Hugo's abstract ink drawings

Whistler Painting

I have a lovely collection of art books. However, I  have never read nor looked at all of my books, so I decided a long time ago to stop collecting them obsessively, and to only buy what really touched me.
The last major book purchase I made a few years ago was ODD NERDRUM: Themes, a book that gets 160.00+ on Amazon.  I got it as a remainder on B & N a few years ago for 50.00 (now it's triple that....and I am providing a link to Borders to get it for only slightly more than what I paid for it. ) But 163.95 Amazon? Really?

Today I broke my "no book rule" and searched the Internet for two books that I had to have. One is Shadows of a Hand: The Drawings of Victor Hugo, and the other Like Breath on Glass: Whistler, Inness, and the Art of Painting Softly.  I checked Amazon first and was taken aback on the prices of the books.  I REALLY wanted these books but could not afford those prices.  I decided to check out who published them and see if they were still available/in print.

Like Breath on Glass was the most expensive one, and I found out that it was printed by one of my favorite museums, the Sterling and Clark Museum in northwest Massachusetts.  Their website had the book for a mere 45.00 plus 10.00 in shipping, a far cry from the 125.00-144.00 on Amazon.  The Hugo book (an amazing catalog of his ink etc. drawings) was 90.00 for the hardcover on Amazon. It was published by the Drawing Center in NYC, and voila, I found it for 35.00!

I had barely enough money in my Paypal account to pay for the one, and used my CC for the other, but I have my summer reading AND inspiration...arriving in the mail just in time for me to devour them during my summer break.

Lesson dear friends...don't always go to the big guys expecting the best buy.  You are better backtracking to see who the publisher is, and if a Museum, gallery, etc. you may be able to get the book for far less than what Amazon or Barnes and Noble will offer you.

(PS I don't care if they are reprints / not first editions....and softcover is fine by me. I just want the book, and would even buy them used, but new was cheaper in most cases than used!)

Happy from a day of painting, drawing, and buying books.

Patti O Shopper

Monday, June 27, 2011


After 10 months of frenetically living two lives in one, I have the summer off from Job #1 so that I can spend my summer vacation time working full time at Job #2.

Though I love Job #1,  I REALLY love Job #2,  but  I have to work Job #1 so that I can have a retirement income to support Job #2 , and hopefully be able to live happily ever after on the fruits of both. 

I have to say that I burnt the candle at both ends the past few months. Teaching full time, studying under two artists, and working hard at producing art and working even harder at trying to sell it, left me VERY tired.  And, I have sorely ignored this blog, as writing was beginning to feel like Job #3, and I knew I could not do anything well if I did that...so....since Job #1 is on a hiatus for 2 months, I AM BACK WRITING - back with news and reviews from my travels and adventures around the Hudson Valley, with photos of the beauty of the Catskills, of life, and illustrated with the fruits of my art as well as words of wisdom from a person who has still not learned how to behave in public.

The weekend was crammed with parties, but today is the first official day of vacation.  Morning in the garden, an art friend stopping by to pick up some paper.  Then breakfast at Gabriele's on John Street. Now I am heading out to the studio to prime some panels and prepare for tomorrow's painting class.
Later, list art on Etsy, and end with a stroll somewhere in the Hudson Valley.

Life is good.

Photo taken of Alanna running through the yard at a barbecue. It was an afternoon of swimming, eating, roasting marshmallows, and Randy got to see two owls on his Rail Trail walk.

Patti O

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

THe end of #19

The end of the school year is brutal.

This year I have another student art show to prepare for, and one to take down in a local college gallery.

The entire classroom has to be packed, moved, and unpacked, all while testing is being done in both rooms.

I will be back in my old art room again, though it still has a slight burnt smell from the fire.  But I will buy an ionizer, and hope that it will all work out in the end.

Grades must be done.

But the joy of teaching comes from the love that the students give me, the thoughtful gift from a young teen who said I helped her in so many ways, the boy who wants to borrow a dollar, and then laughs and says "you're gonna miss us" with a wink.  In my class of Asperger's boys, each one lines up to give me a big hug goodbye.  I don't have the heart to tell them that I may not have them for art next year, but I promise them that I will see them in September. Then there are the students whose moms have died, and who decide that I am ok...and joke about me being their school mom.

And with all of that unconditional love,  stress melts away, and I know in the end, I have done a good job and have done it with love.

Art by one of my students...a truly beautiful soul.

Patti O Teacher