Book Review of Art Students League of New York on Painting


Penguin Random House’s Art Students League of New York on Painting page has this to say about the book:

….”This unique book brings you into the studio classrooms of some of the League’s most celebrated painters—including William Scharf, Mary Beth McKenzie, Henry Finkelstein, and Knox Martin—for lessons on a variety of fundamental topics, idiosyncratic approaches, and quirky philosophies. Scanning the table of contents is like flipping through a course catalog: do you want to take Naomi Campbell’s “Working Large in Watercolor,” James McElhinney’s “Journal Painting and Composition,” Sharon Sprung’s “Figure Painting from Life in Oil,” or Ellen Eagle’s “Poetic Realism in Pastel”? Now you can—from the comfort of your own home studio (or living room). ”



The Art Students League of New York On Painting was written by James L. Mcelhinney and the instructors of the Art Students League of New York. With amazingly detailed illustrations, artist biographies and autobiographies, and mini-lessons on art, this book is full of inspiration and new knowledge for its audience.

Character Believability:

This book is based completely on real artists and those artists gave interviews and lessons for us to read, so this should be a no brainer. However, a few of the interviews and auto-biographies felt padded and ‘jazzed’ as though they meant to make themselves come out super-cool, but they only managed to make themselves seem slightly less believable.

Flow and Pace:

A few places were a bit sluggish for me, but the majority of the book had a good pace and flow. The pictures and interviews moved well together.

Reader Engagement:

I was very intrigued by the art pieces and mini-lessons in this book. I didn’t enjoy the interviews as much, but I’m also not the typical ‘art person’ this book was aiming at. The set up of this hard-bound edition is very nice, with gorgeous art and thick pages that pack a vibrant punch and keep the reader flipping pages.

Reader Enrichment: 

I feel like I learned a lot about art and different types of painting in this book. Not only were the mini-lessons very educational, but the other segments were well written and provided a lot of random art facts for even the least artistic of souls.

Character Believability: 4/5
Flow and Pace: 4.5/5

Reader Engagement:4.5/5

Reader Enrichment: 5/5
Reader Enjoyment: 4/5
Overall Rate: 4.4/5


Buy The Art Students League of New York on Painting 

*I was sent this book by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and ratings herein are my own.*

What Are You Reading Wednesday

Happy Mid-week all! Each week I like to use this cross section of time to discuss our current reads. The only problem is that, this week at least, I am wading in to the text books and paperwork that I have to organize into lesson plans for next semester. Oklahoma History, Types and Forms of Writing, Interesting ways to make Book Reviews seem Fun, and all of those pesky skills the state decreed that my students have to know. I won’t bore you with the details…it’s a lot! Those of you who teach or have taught know what I’m talking about here…craziness.

I am getting a lot finished up and ready for the classroom, which you may have inferred from my extreme lack of time spent on here. I even had the time (or took the time) to paint an old dining chair yesterday; it has now become the Inspiration Station! I plan on a few more chairs with various painted pithiness (such as a ‘chill chair’ painted to look like stacks of ice where kids go to sit if they are mad or frustrated so that they can cool off).

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The ‘before’ shot

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AFTER! (The top part that you can barely see says ‘Inspiration Station’)





So there’s my non-reading Wednesday. Hopefully the rest of you are caught up on your work reads and able to fully enjoy a recreational read, or two.

What are those recreational reads? Are they good so far? If you finished last week’s read, how do you feel about it now? Did the ending disappoint or justify?