Title: Living Craft—A Painter’s Process
Author: Tad Spurgeon
Edition: Fourth, 2014
Living Craft is the result of over twenty years of teaching, and over twelve years of active research into the foundations of older practice by working painter Tad Spurgeon. It is about developing a personal craft through the creative use of traditional materials, and is based on the recent findings of technical art history, rather than the systems of the twentieth century textbooks. This ground-breaking approach explores oil painting in the context of both sound technique and the creative process.
• 101 formulas, 384 pages, 7x10 inch hardback, over 250,000 words.
• Integrated approach to the renascence of the craft.
• Unique creative methods with proven materials.
• The most detailed explanation of color and its implementation ever written.
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The book is specifically about oil painting, not a condensed overview of many different media. Written in the trenches, not the ivory tower. Featuring genuine prose, not technical boilerplate. Designed to create a smooth transition from the limited approach promoted in the twentieth century to an unlimited one based on older practice. Painting is addressed by a painter: as an experiential whole, not as a frog on the dissecting table.
Unique formulas based on the unusual rheological potential of oil refined in the older manner. Many historical researchers came to the conclusion that some form of resin varnish was the secret of the Old Masters. What if the actual secret is an oil that behaves like a resin? Quick drying but non-toxic oil with this unique rheology is easy to make, but is unavailable commercially.
An extensive variety of materials based on older practice are detailed, including 77 unique formulas proven in use. All formulas have been tested for years in the studio. The techniques stress reliable options to explore, not rules to obey. Living Craft is not a restatement of the material available on the website. In terms of research, it is several steps beyond it. No book like this about oil painting practice has ever been written.