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The Organic Artist book
The Organic Artist book
All copies purchased directly from the author are personally autographed with the author's wild-crafted pens and inks.
Do you want to breathe some new life into your creative process? If you're interested in art, but find that it's becoming an increasingly expensive hobby, orthat your creativity has become stagnant, The Organic Artist is just the book for you! It encourages us all to return to those days when art was made with all-natural materials, such as wood, stone, feather and bone. Immersing you in the natural world, The Organic Artist seeks to inspire creativity by connecting you to your wild roots. In addition to offering a wide variety of suggestions for using nature as supplies for art, this book also introduces the concepts of awareness and perception that are foundational to the creative process. Readers will refine drawing skills, as well as increase their appreciation for the visual arts and the natural landscape. Some of the projects and skills covered include the following: making paper and wild ink, working with clay and wood, printmaking and stenciling, natural pigments and paints, crayons and charcoal, pens and paintbrushes and bookbinding sketchbooks.
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Endorsements & Reviews
Sometimes the most meaningful parts of photo shoots are the people you meet – and this project with environmental steward and outdoorsman Nick Neddo was one of those instances. Based in Montpelier, VT, Nick teaches primitive skills, from Stone Age technology and wilderness survival to basketry and hide tanning, to adults and children at the Roots School in Vermont. When he’s not teaching, Nick creates and sells beautiful drawings and paintings of rugged vistas, portraits and landscapes using art tools he fashions from natural materials, such as branches and stones.
When I received the call to document his artistic process for Quarry Books, I had no idea how fascinating and memorable the experience would be. For 10 days, I shadowed Nick as he fired pottery on hot coals, turned crushed stones into gorgeous paint pigments and whittled wood pens from branches he collected in the woods. The rich paint colors, amidst the barren winter setting, were simply stunning.
We began our shoots by choosing complimentary organic backdrops, such as burlap, old boards and hide skins, for the process shots. I was regularly on manicure patrol, making sure his hard working hands were clean of ink, dirt and paint. This duty was a new experience for me as I usually shoot architecture!
Beyond his industrious spirit and talent, Nick is an incredibly kind and humble person. He’s also one of the most unique and interesting people I’ve ever met. Watching him craft art materials from the land was like traveling back in time to days when people made tools only from the environment that surrounded them. The practiced craftsmanship and ingenuity of his work shines through in the detail shots.
- Susan Teare
"Ah, so inspiring! Doesn’t this make you want to live off the land… or at least try making your own art supplies!? Vermont based author, artist, educator Nick Neddo has written this book, “The Organic Artist” to teach all of us how to do exactly that. Paints, paper, paint brushes, oh, and charcoal pencils made with branches… I want to make all of it!"
- The Jealous Curator
"Clear, concise, easy to follow and beautiful describes every aspect of Neddo’s book. Not only is he an accomplished artist, but he presents the creating and utilizing of the artist’s tools in an engaging and beautiful way.
Neddo’s craftsmanship harkens back to the days when the quality of a person’s work was their only advertisement and this book is impressive! He presents techniques in an approachable way with plenty for both the novice and seasoned artist.
I highly recommend this book! Clear and concise, it has a place in every art studio, every home, every school, and every summer camp. Clear, concise and easy to follow makes this book a pleasure to both use as a how-to book and read through for pleasure."
- Michael Pewtherer, Author and Wilderness Skills Instructor
Anyone interested in plants, nature and/or art, check out this beautiful new book. Congratulations, Nick Neddo!
- Larken Bunce, Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism
"In his new book "The Organic Artist", Nick masterfully leads the reader on his own magical journey into nature as he collects and crafts organic materials for creating art. The book is not only filled with beautiful images, but easy to understand step-by-step instructions for the reader to follow, ensuring their success. I highly recommend "The Organic Artist" for anyone who wants to discover the joy of creating with nature."
- Matt Tommey, Sculptural Basketry Artist
As a passionate student and teacher of earth living skills for the past 25 years, I have often given young students the advice to follow their passion and to write, and to add to our ‘field’ of skills and study. Often, I am met with puzzled looks, and a hesitancy, followed by resistance to my ideas.
‘It’s been done’, they say. ‘There are already so many good field guides, and skills books, and nature guides and plant books.’
‘No,’ I tell them. ‘There’s plenty of room for you, too. Just do it, and see what happens. I promise, good things will happen.’
Most of them head off to do their own good things, but few have taken me up on my suggestion.
While I didn’t have the privilege of sharing that advice with him, Nick Neddo, didn’t turn away from the challenge and we are all the richer for it.
His landmark contribution, The Organic Artist, is your Rosetta Stone, if you will, and will unlock your creativity, whether you are an artist or an earth living skills student or instructor.
Seriously. This is it. Your Golden Ticket, to a whole new world and relationship to the wild around you. It opens the doors to a level of exploration that most people haven’t even tried to pass through, because they ‘didn’t know how’ to make their own paints, inks, paper, or pigments. Until now, that’s been a valid point.
It’s a how-to book, through and through, but it’s more than that. It’s a showcase of Nick’s art, made from oak ink, or grapevine charcoal, or beeswax crayons and hand made paper.
Every flip of the page of this fine volume had me saying out loud “Oh, no, he didn’t!” with a huge smile on my face. My glee turned to awe as I realized the depth of his artistic abilities, and the true nature of knowledge he is giving us all.
Each section is thoroughly detailed to provide a working knowledge, although there are probably some readers who might have a steeper learning curve than others depending on their familiarity with the different mediums he shares.
However, if your desire is strong and your inspiration is deep, I know you will find a way to be successful in the making of your own, wild art supplies, and at the same time, find a powerful connection to our beautiful, amazing planet.
Kudos to you, Nick Neddo, on opening the door to a new world for thousands of people. Thank you for this gift and labor of love. We are in your debt!
Hawk Circle Wilderness Education Executive Director
A beautiful and inspirational book on the art of creating the tools of artists from the natural landscape! Both the obvious skill and passion of the artist and the detailed instructions and illustrations lend to the outstanding quality of this book. A great book for those interested in exploring new avenues of art and equally as wonderful as a coffee table book for it's beautiful illustrations and unique approach to art. A brilliant addition to any bookshelf that everyone should have.
By Emma Tait on January 14, 2015
The Organic Artist book is THE resource for artists and crafters who want to explore the great outdoors to find and make art supplies and tools. With clear and detailed instructions the book explores the world of making inks and dyes, pens and brushes, and paper and books. But I think my favorite chapter is the one featuring the inkwell and paint dish making projects. I collect handcrafted dishes and bowls but I never thought of using them to contain my art supplies.
This book is filled with all sorts of innovative ideas to use natural items I find on my walks regularly and incorporate them not only in my art but to make my art supplies with. Additionally, the photographs in this book are well placed and the layout of the entire book is excellent and the projects/tutorials range from super easy to challenging. The Organic Artist book has a really good mix of projects to offer the reader.
Since my daughter wants to participate in the "Living History Theater", this book offers her resource for her journey in art. I like the idea that the information in the book will expand her knowledge and teacher her how to use the things in nature to create art, make tools and think outside of the box. The author even takes the time to educate the reader on safety so that the process can truly be enjoyed.
I love Calligraphy books and the many beautiful inks in the market. I was ticked to find that there are several projects for creating my own organic inks. This book has expanded my knowledge of artisan crafts, as well as given me more ideas on upcycling some of the cool things from nature that I have found on my walks and hikes.
By Maria D. on January 13, 2015
My first comment is this is a beautiful book. If you simply enjoy owning books that you enjoy looking at and savoring the beautiful photos and art I bet you will like this as much as I do. Second the tutorials for making art supplies are detailed and easy to understand. They completely inspire you to go outside, enjoy the experience of finding the materials and the process of making organic art supplies. Then comes the really fun part-making art with the supplies you've created yourself.
By Stefanie G. on January 13, 2015
OMG I love this book, the concept of taking elements found in nature, making tools from it, or getting the color out intrigues me. Easy to read and so inspirational, a must have on every artist's bookshelf.
By Riley on January 8, 2015
I first heard about this book through an email link and being artist and jack of all trades I decided to pick it up on a pre-order. I have purchased books on making various things from nature in the past and some of them are either too simplistic, to boring, or are nothing but pictures. Of course some of the books are great and I have to say this falls into that category. It has enough information on the basics to grab your interest without being boring and it allows you to be creative with your variations. It also has enough pictures to get the information across correctly and show what you can do with the techniques, without being a coffee table book.
I do have a couple of small things I can see as being problems for others.
First, this book isn't really for city dwellers, urbanites, third story apartment renters, or those unacquainted with dirt. Not saying that people who live in cities won't gain anything from this book, but many of the processes are smelly, or require the ability to light fires without going to jail. Also since the book suggests, as do I, that the reader acquire materials from nature, in a humane and eco-minded manner, living in a city would make this difficult and ordering too many materials in sort of defeats the point.
Second, I found some of the topics covered to be rudimentary, although I believe that is more from my preexisting knowledge on the subject rather than an issue wit the book. It is only for a couple of things, however, and even though I dabble in this sort of art (for example I make my own charcoal all the time) I still found a great number of useful things.
If you are an artist or know an artist who has access to the outdoor wonders of nature, then I recommend this book for you, or for you to purchase for them. Also anyone who likes the book "Back to Basics" by Abigail R. Gehring will love this book as well. If you like to take hikes and long nature walks you will be amazed by all of the materials you can find in just a couple of minutes of looking. I can see this book getting ragged edges and a worn cover, not because of the quality of the bookbinding, but because I will look at it so often. BUY THIS BOOK.
By Bronson Abbott
I received this book for free via Edelweiss. While I never promised a review, one of my bookish resolutions for 2015 was to do more book reviews. This just so happens to be the last book I read in 2014 and I am extremely happy with this title. The Organic Artist by Nick Neddo is due to be released January 15th, 2015. I highly recommend this for artists, tree huggers, and those that wish to go green in 2015. I happen to be all three, so it is the perfect book for me. Seriously though, from the cover to the very end I was in awe of the easy to follow step-by-step instructions for constructing your own art supplies, tools and materials. Neddo explains how to make things from charcoal and pigments to pens, ink and even paper. What I fell in love with were the pictures – each one was so beautiful, clean, and simple. If you love Instagram as much as I do, pick up this book! It’s a perfect Instagrammers magazine.
The Organic Artist encourages artists to return to the days of using all-natural materials. It focuses on experimentation and playfulness. The “recipes” as the author refers to them, range from beginner to intermediate. All of the illustrations in the book are created by the author using materials he made himself. He is quite talented and inspiring.
By Gwedolyn Lee Burke January on 15, 2015
I love the art and inspiration that are on every page of this book. Nick takes you through collecting materials from nature, processing and refining them to make your own art supplies and includes many examples of the items in use, both in photograph and illustration. The recipes run from simple to complex and could be a great introduction to the outdoors, for example, gathering firewood and finding a place to have a fire, then later using the cold coals to draw. I don't know of anything like this book out there, it is one of a kind, and worth it for the art alone.
By Sarah Alexandra on January 15, 2015
Fantastic book! Filled with the authors own artwork and complete instruction on making all your tools, paper, inks etc. Even if you won't try these processes just knowing them opens up your mind to art and art history. Buy this book!
By Kirby on January 15, 2015
Beautiful photographs and clear instructions make this a valuable resource for any artist who likes to make their own tools and supplies. Also great for DIY and nature enthusiasts to make art supplies as gifts for friends and family.
I've poured through the book can't wait to start creating some of the supplies for myself.
By G Leslie on January 15, 2015
this book is wonderful, i've been doing more primative style artwork, and this just add more dimension for me!!
By Marie Jayne Richmond on January 15, 2015
Great book that delivers on it's promise. Easy to read, easy to follow the directions with great illustrations.
ByAmazon customer on January 15, 2015
This is a totally wonderful book. First off, it's beautiful--the illustrations, the cover, the paper--a joy to hold and look at. He covers the topics clearly and it is obvious that he speaks from long experience. It is not an advanced book if you are already using natural materials for drawing, but it is a fine beginner and intermediate book. It's very inspiring to see his drawings, paper and books, paint brushes, etc. I've dabbled in all of it, and this book gave me the inspiration to do it seriously. I'm inspired!
ByAmazon customer on January 14, 2015
I pre-ordered this bool the moment I heard about it and excitedly waited its arrival. From the front cover to the back, this is an absolutely beautiful book both in appearance and content. I have always believed that everyone has something beautiful in them that can be expressed through art and this book gives you the inspiration and the skills to do it. I have never enjoyed going to arts and crafts stores - the expense, the waste, the overwhelming amount of stuff that can accumulate - and think leaves and stones and moss are among the most beautiful things in the world, more beautiful than anything one could make. The idea that you can borrow bits of nature, transform them a bit, and have something lovely to look at is such a wonderful concept. My husband and I educate our children ourselves and we bought this book to serve as a part of our "curriculum." Before purchasing this book, our ideas were somewhat limited to wetting a "paint rock" to make face paint and gluing leaves and acorns in various ways. The idea of making ink from black walnuts never occurred to me. Now, we look at everything on our homestead - nuts, feathers, etc. - in a whole new way, beyond just their inherent beauty. I cannot imagine anyone being disappointed in this book. Also, check our Nick's Etsy site for more of his work. Just beautiful.
By ncfarmchico on January 14, 2015
This book is wonderful! I run an art education non-profit with an envrionmental focus. We have used the "receipes" and techniques with our students. I highly recommend the Organic Artist.
By Elizabeth Molnar on January 14, 2015
I pre-ordered this book (after seeing a blurb about it on Ben Hewitt's blog) and anxiously awaited its arrival. I am beyond happy with it - the photos are gorgeous, the projects are interesting and varied and include some inspiring ideas I hadn't seen before. You can tell the author poured his heart and soul into this book. Highly recommended for crafty/creative types or those who wish they were.
By Jan on January 14, 2015
This book is fantastic and unique. As an artist and naturalist I am always looking for ways to avoid the harsh chemicals included in most art supplies. Creating your supplies from your hands from the earth is extremely satisfying and this book gives us the know hows to begin. The book goes above and beyond in it's lessons with thorough how to descriptions, beautiful photography and examples. For any artist looking to take their work to the next level and make their own supplies in a sustainable, Earth friendly and creative way this book is a must have. Kuddos to the author. I have and will continue to recommend this book to others.
By Dayna on February 3, 2015
My partner gifted me this beautiful book, and we can't wait to try these wild and natural crafts! The photographs are gorgeous, and the layout is pleasing and easy to follow. We're going to have so much fun making our own art materials using the natural gifts that are all around us in Vermont. These are the perfect recipes for getting crafty while being sustainable, self-reliant, and earth-friendly. Thank you, Nick, for an inspiring book!
By J. Jackson on January 27, 2015
This book has inspired my family to learn the ways of the natural artist. Beautiful pictures and illustrations accompanied by easy to understand instructions, fill this book. If you are inspired by art and nature this is the book for you!
By Jenny on January 26, 2015
As an artist and lover of nature and stone age art and technology, and someone familiar with the enthusiasm and discipline of Nick Neddo, I was thrilled when I saw this book come out. My copy has arrived, and I am not disappointed. There are easy to follow, beautifully illustrated chapters on making different types of charcoal, pens, inks, inkwells and paint dishes (including instructions on making a primitive kiln for clay vessels), paintbrushes, pigments and paints, crayons, paper, prints, and sketchbooks and journals. I'm happy to report that almost all of the projects are things I'll actually be able to try- the materials will be easy to get my hands on, the instructions are clear, and although I suspect a few of these projects will take some trial to perfect, others are simple enough that I can get good results right away. This book is stuffed full of information and beautiful illustrations. It's a joy to work from and a joy just to sit and look through, although I've been getting it a little too dirty to use a coffee table book.
By Robin on January 25, 2015
Fascinating and inspiring!
By beverly shiller-mckillip on January 23, 2015
A superb resource for anyone wishing to go deeper with the artistic process. A throwback to the days when artists actually had to create their own paints and pigments, and a powerful tool for getting closer to the Earth. As a high school teacher of natural history utilizing primitive skills to forge these deeper connections, experiencing first hand the ecological/economic pathways that these gifts take in order to serve our creative dialog with the Earth, this book is a true gift. I would love to see a follow up volume on technique utilizing these tools to keep a nature journal! That's another one I'd readily pre-order!
By Kieth Badger on January 22, 2015
This book is excellent. I am an avid forager, rewilder, artist, and unschooling dad. Not only does The Organic Artist cover the intersection of art and Nature connection with style, detail, clarity, passion, and an almost zen like simplicity, but it does this in a way that will inspire people of any level of knowledge. The photos are beautiful, the tutorials are intuitive, and the overall vision is compelling.
By Nathan Carlos Rupley on January 22, 2015
This book is so exciting to me! I can't imagine how much time the author spent learning all these things himself and then for him to share them with step-by-clear-step how-to instructions blows me away. I have traditionally worked in oil paints and have been increasingly unsatisfied with where they are sourced from and their ingredients. I am eager to make art that is truly an extension of Earth. The beauty and harmony of such creations is becoming more valuable to me than any traditional paint or gallery-wrap canvas. Thank you so much!
By Lisa M. Porter on January 19, 2015
We ordered this amazing book to use during our homeschool lessons. Our middle son loves art and nature, this book is the perfect blending of both. The book is well made and contains many photos as well as artwork, the writing conveys how much the author loves what he does. The instructions for making supplies are easy to understand, which is something I was worried about since we got this to use with the boys.
By Jennifer N. on January 17, 2015
I teach camp and like to do hands-on experiential projects with the kids. Nick's book is filled with wonderful ideas to connect with nature and fully play a part in the creation of beautiful art. I'm looking forward to trying many of the projects alone and with the campers. The book includes beautiful pictures with clear text instructions and descriptions. Highly Recommend!
By Green Frog on January 16, 2015