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Top 3 Abstract Painting Books

My Top 3 Books for …

Mixed media abstract Painting

Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot see physically with his eyes….Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an exploration into unknown areas.”


Arshile Gorky

As a mixed media artist, I find myself drawn to other artists that share my creative spirit to explore and experiment with different processes and techniques. As a result, my library of books has grown astronomically over the past few years, so it was hard to choose my top three mixed media abstract painting books as I have so many favourites in my collection. So for this selection, I shared with you the latest three artists’ books that have inspired and captured my attention.

The first of these is “Abstract Painting – The Elements of Visual Language” by Jane Davies. I had been following her Youtube channel for a few years since 2016 and fell in love with her experimental play approach to developing elements, applying paint, creating pattern and combining collage elements to work. Her book brings together her knowledgeable insights with lots of examples for those who want to delve deeper into working completely abstractly.

My second choice is “Pastel Innovations” by Dawn Emerson, who takes a very contemporary and innovative approach to work abstractly with pastels by incorporating interesting backgrounds using a variety of printmaking techniques to paint animals, landscapes and figurative works.

Another abstract pastel artist on Youtube that inspired my artistic journey was Debora Stewart with her explorations into mixed media abstract landscape and flower paintings which prompted adding her book “Abstract Art Painting – Expressions in Mixed Media” to my collection. I found it inspiring how she guides the reader through looking for inspiration, how to add emotion, meaning and techniques for loosening up and being more expressive.

All three artists share their inspiration, techniques and discuss the various elements and approaches to abstract painting using modern-day mixed media materials in nice compact reads. I hope, like me, you will find inspiration from their work too.

For those just starting out with abstract painting or wanting to focus more on acrylic abstract painting, I have also added three additional recommended reads. “Abstract Painting – concepts and techniques” by Vicky Perry provides a comprehensive insight into materials and techniques used for abstract painting, with plenty of examples from other artists. Both “Incredible Acrylics” and “The New Acrylics” are also both great reads for those wanting to learn everything you need to know about acrylic paints and acrylic mediums and how to incorporate them into abstract painting. All three books are quite hefty reads however, if you really want to understand your materials and techniques with plenty of examples then I would highly recommend investing time reading at least one of these books.


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