An attractively packaged and well-written handbook for aspiring artists that encourages readers to find value in mistakes as...



An exuberant guide to nourishing creativity and encouraging artistic experimentation.

In this debut art book, Rothschild encourages readers to have confidence in their creative abilities, develop a tolerance for mistakes, and understand the value of teachers and other authority figures without being constrained by them. The book’s first chapter is a combination of you-can-do-it encouragement and a discussion of the nature of creativity, rules and freedom, using Rothschild’s own experience as both a commercially successful artist and a student intimidated by an instructor’s dogmatic pronouncements as an object lesson. The second chapter is a series of exercises designed to teach basic techniques of painting with brushes, string, tape and other simple tools. Large, clear illustrations make it easy to follow the process from blank canvas to finished product, and the instructions are simple enough for novice artists to follow with confidence. Throughout the exercises, Rothschild encourages readers to lessen the fear of making mistakes both by thinking about potential errors in a new way and by working with cheap materials, and she suggests sources for acquiring inexpensive paint and other tools. High-quality photographs of Rothschild’s picture frames, painted furniture and other creations appear throughout the book, providing the reader with a visual illustration of the discussions of art and creativity in the book’s text, as well as a deeper understanding of the possibilities inherent in the basic techniques explained in the exercises. The philosophical consideration of the role of mistakes in developing creativity is handled effectively, serving as a backdrop to the guide’s overall practical approach and demonstrating one of Rothschild’s central theses—that simple language and an attitude of inclusivity are the most effective ways to encourage both appreciation of art and participation in its creation. The result is an effective, well-designed and engaging book that will appeal to its target audience of creative individuals who have not pursued formal art training or have not found it useful in developing their artistic confidence.

An attractively packaged and well-written handbook for aspiring artists that encourages readers to find value in mistakes as well as successful creations.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2014

ISBN: 978-1440311710

Page Count: 128

Publisher: North Light Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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A zesty, energetic history, not only of a building, but of more than a century of American culture.



A revealing biography of the fabled Manhattan hotel, in which generations of artists and writers found a haven.

Turn-of-the century New York did not lack either hotels or apartment buildings, writes Tippins (February House: The Story of W. H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane and Paul Bowles, Benjamin Britten, and Gypsy Rose Lee, Under One Roof In Wartime America, 2005). But the Chelsea Hotel, from its very inception, was different. Architect Philip Hubert intended the elegantly designed Chelsea Association Building to reflect the utopian ideals of Charles Fourier, offering every amenity conducive to cooperative living: public spaces and gardens, a dining room, artists’ studios, and 80 apartments suitable for an economically diverse population of single workers, young couples, small families and wealthy residents who otherwise might choose to live in a private brownstone. Hubert especially wanted to attract creative types and made sure the building’s walls were extra thick so that each apartment was quiet enough for concentration. William Dean Howells, Edgar Lee Masters and artist John Sloan were early residents. Their friends (Mark Twain, for one) greeted one another in eight-foot-wide hallways intended for conversations. In its early years, the Chelsea quickly became legendary. By the 1930s, though, financial straits resulted in a “down-at-heel, bohemian atmosphere.” Later, with hard-drinking residents like Dylan Thomas and Brendan Behan, the ambience could be raucous. Arthur Miller scorned his free-wheeling, drug-taking, boozy neighbors, admitting, though, that the “great advantage” to living there “was that no one gave a damn what anyone else chose to do sexually.” No one passed judgment on creativity, either. But the art was not what made the Chelsea famous; its residents did. Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Robert Mapplethorpe, Phil Ochs and Sid Vicious are only a few of the figures populating this entertaining book.

A zesty, energetic history, not only of a building, but of more than a century of American culture.

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-618-72634-9

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2013

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A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.



Photographer and author Stanton returns with a companion volume to Humans of New York (2013), this one with similarly affecting photographs of New Yorkers but also with some tales from his subjects’ mouths.

Readers of the first volume—and followers of the related site on Facebook and elsewhere—will feel immediately at home. The author has continued to photograph the human zoo: folks out in the streets and in the parks, in moods ranging from parade-happy to deep despair. He includes one running feature—“Today in Microfashion,” which shows images of little children dressed up in various arresting ways. He also provides some juxtapositions, images and/or stories that are related somehow. These range from surprising to forced to barely tolerable. One shows a man with a cat on his head and a woman with a large flowered headpiece, another a construction worker proud of his body and, on the facing page, a man in a wheelchair. The emotions course along the entire continuum of human passion: love, broken love, elation, depression, playfulness, argumentativeness, madness, arrogance, humility, pride, frustration, and confusion. We see varieties of the human costume, as well, from formalwear to homeless-wear. A few celebrities appear, President Barack Obama among them. The “stories” range from single-sentence comments and quips and complaints to more lengthy tales (none longer than a couple of pages). People talk about abusive parents, exes, struggles to succeed, addiction and recovery, dramatic failures, and lifelong happiness. Some deliver minirants (a neuroscientist is especially curmudgeonly), and the children often provide the most (often unintended) humor. One little boy with a fishing pole talks about a monster fish. Toward the end, the images seem to lead us toward hope. But then…a final photograph turns the light out once again.

A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-05890-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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