I've been looking at a couple of books on Quilting Arts, pictured above. Quilting Art by Spike Gillespie features the works and ideas of 20 contemporary quilters. Although all the artists are contemporary, the range of work shown in this book is quite extensive. In addition to the many quilts shown, there are 3D sculptures, as well as my favorite (by Mary Beth Bellah), a quilt that lays on ground, then curves upward to be vertical(!) called "Rising Water", featured at Quilt National in 2007.
When you read this book, you feel like you're visiting each artist; you hear how they got started, how they think, see how they work.... Each artist's section includes a feature entitled "Advice From
The Quilting Arts Book, edited by Pokey Boulton contains sections on many different techniques, each discussed by a different fabric artist. The first few chapters are by Linda & Laura Kemshall and talk about where they get their ideas (their most frequently asked question.) The following chapters include information on reverse applique', fusing, eco-friendly quilting, foiling, beading, wax pastels, paintstiks, discharge dying, and many other techniques. Although there are other books that include this type of information with a similar format, I really like the fact that a different artist discusses each method and suggests ways to try it out. It makes the technique seem more personal, like getting advice from the artist herself.
I love what Lyric Kinard says about being artistic. She questions why so many people think artists are simply born creative; instead of considering creativity something we can all learn and develop, step by step, similar to the way a young child learns to read simple books, and develops her ability, so she can go on to enjoy something as advanced as Shakespeare. (She says it much better, but I hesitate to quote the book, since it is copyrighted...)
I found these books both a joy to read...