Creative business

41st Birthweek Bonanza Day 5: 10 Books About Artists, Making Art or Selling Art

Welcome to Day 5 of my 41st Birthweek Bonanza (7 days, 7 lists, 41 good things)!

I got some much needed rest and am back to continue the celebration with three more days of good stuff.

Today I share 10 books that are on my bookshelf (physical or virtual) that I've read recently, am reading now, or have flipped through and plan to sink into soon.

Whether you're interested in making art, studying it or trying to sell it, there's something here for you.


  1. Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered, by Austin Kleon
  2. Open Your Studio: Nine Steps to A Successful Art Event, by Melinda Cootsona
  3. I'd Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion, by Alyson B. Stanfield
  4. Children and Painting, by Cathy Weisman Topal
  5. Art In Action 2: Introducing Children to the World of Art With 24 Creative Projects Inspired by 12 Masterpieces, by Maja Pitamic (The book I link to has a slightly different title than the one I have - a Canada/US thing, perhaps?)
  6. Photo Craft: Creative Mixed Media and Digital Approaches to Transforming Your Photographs, by Susan Tuttle and Christy Hydeck
  7. The Artist's Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom, by Christine Valters Paintner
  8. Drawing and Painting People: A Fresh Approach, by Emily Ball
  9. Marc Chagall, 1887-1985: Painting As Poetry, by Ingo F. Walther and Rainer Metzger (link is to an earlier edition)
  10. Matisse, The Sensuality of Color, by Xavier Girard


Happy reading! Stay tuned for Day 6...


41st Birthweek Bonanza so far:

Day 1: 4 Art Classes of Workshops That Were Pivotal In My Artistic Journey

Day 2: 7 Websites For Lifelong Learners and Creative Types

Day 3: 6 New Recipes We Tried That Made It Into the “Keeper” File

Day 4: 5 Animated Films Worth Watching If You Like Art, Music, and Stories of Hope & Heart

41st Birthweek Bonanza Day 2: 7 Websites for Lifelong Learners and Creative Types


I LOVE to learn about new things and I LOVE to create, so what better than a list of websites that cater to lifelong learners and creative types?

There are many, many online spaces out there just waiting to be discovered and savoured, I know. For now, I offer you seven that I am currently enjoying.


1. Open Culture

Open Culture “brings together high-quality cultural & educational media for the worldwide lifelong learning community.” There is soooo much out there for those of us who love learning. This site offers links to 250 free art books from the Getty Museum, 875 free online courses, 635 free movies including documentaries, classics, silent films, and more.

With a rich and FREE resource like that available at your fingertips, what are you waiting for? Go git some learnin' in ya!

2. Brain Pickings

I don't even know how to start describing this site chock-full of thought-provoking, engaging information so I'll just copy & paste a blurb from their About page:

“Brain Pickings is a human-powered discovery engine for interestingness, a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why, bringing you things you didn’t know you were interested in — until you are.”

Interested in hearing a 20-year-old Hunter S. Thompson's advice on finding your life's purpose? Or maybe you prefer Einstein's take on the secret to learning anything, or John Steinbeck's words of wisdom to his teenage son when he confessed to his father of falling in love (they made me cry). If you dig this kind of stuff, Brain Pickings is the place for you.

3. Scoutie Girl

I'm biased because I've been a contributor to Scoutie Girl for nearly two years now (shameless plug: you can see my articles here), but it's a great site offering articles that touch on many aspects of a creative – or simply a well lived – life. With how-to's, book reviews, inspiration, essays and more, there's plenty of good stuff here for you to explore. But don't take my word for it, please, check it out for yourself!

4. Abbey of the Arts

Abbey of the Arts is a relatively new online space for me and I've yet to explore it fully. Its focus on “integrating contemplative practice, creative expression and compassionate service” appeals to me. I'm intrigued by the mystical and contemplative aspects of making art and this seems like a good place for me to start exploring them.

Selfishly, I include this site here as much for me as I do for you. May we discover it together.

5. Apartment Therapy

I believe that the spaces in which we live can support the person we want to be or become. Whether you're creating a tabletop vignette, choosing colours for your walls or simply deciding where to put what, setting up a home is a creative act.

The home profiles and articles I see on Apartment Therapy make me want to hang up my art, buy fresh flowers and surround myself with things that bring me joy on a daily basis. Full of inspiration and colour, this site has become a favourite source of ideas and eye candy.

6. Artsy

This new-to-me site fell on my metaphorical lap as I was writing this post and wow, what a site. From their About page:

“Artsy’s mission is to make all the world’s art accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. We are an online platform for discovering, learning about, and collecting art. ... Artsy hopes to foster new generations of art lovers, museum-goers, collectors, and patrons.”

I'm a little overstimulated right now having just been introduced to this treasure of a resource, so I will simply leave you with links to a) their Education site (HELLO lifelong learner!), b) their Art Genome Project (an “ongoing study of the characteristics that distinguish and connect works of art” that appeals to that part of my brain that thrives on making connections), and c) their main site, offering a portal into their entire collection.

I may need a moment to myself to recover from this one.



7. Art Biz Blog

As you can tell by its name, this website is geared towards those exploring art as a business. If you're trying to shift your art practice from being a hobby to being a business, Art Biz Blog is a valuable resource. Whether it's inspiration you're looking for, practical, no-nonsense advice or thought-provoking questions about art and the business of art, Alyson B. Stanfield, Art Biz Coach, offers it. I enjoy her “no-excuse” approach and if that's your thing too, you'll probably get a lot out of her offerings.

As a side note, Alyson's book, I'd rather be in the studio!, is also a good resource and companion to what's on her website.


That's it for today! I hope you enjoy exploring these sites as much as I do. More good things to come on Day 3...

ps - Miss Day 1? Here it is.