BAYarts 'library guru' finds inspiration in art books

Katy Wilson, BAYarts volunteer

As a BAYarts volunteer, Katy Wilson has focused on managing the Eric Dillemuth Library in the Alice McGinty Painting Studio. Books in this collection are organized and curated for quality, as well as arranged in a method that makes it easy for faculty and students to borrow the books.

While working in the library, Wilson has managed to grow fond of several different book inclusions. One of these is “The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” by Betty Edwards.

“This book talks about the different sides of the brain – how the left is verbal while the language of the right brain is visual," Wilson said. "If I say 'this is a circle' that’s my left brain working, and if I draw you a circle without saying anything, that’s my right brain.”

While it might seem easy as concept, it leaves a world of possibilities to be explored. “This book talks about how to shift to your right brain, and for anyone who wants access to that part of the brain, it’s fascinating. Edwards also has a book on how to mix colors. Both of these books are really valuable for any artist.”

Another book pick from Wilson is “Masterworks: Degas” by Patrick Bade. She explains, “Most people love Degas. His work is wonderful to look at. My big thing about looking at different artists is that it may not be what you’re interested in doing, but it feeds your brain. If you keep feeding that right side with image and image and image, you never know how it’s going to crop up for you later in another form. It’s like your visual refrigerator that you can pull from.”

Wilson, affectionately called the “Library Guru,” is also an artist, and has taken classes at BAYarts. “I was an art major, but hadn't actually done any art for a long while. I wanted to see what I could do still after those classes.” They key seems to be what Wilson refers to as “priming the pump.” She notes that all artists face fears, especially when starting up on something new. “If you've been away from art for a while you can bypass fear rather than deny it by feeding your right side of the brain with images and inspiration.”

Wilson refers to the BAYarts library collection as a place where a person might glean unexpected inspiration. “Impressionism and Post Impressionism” by Marina Bessonova is another book selection that Wilson suggests that can provide a large amount of varied inspiration all in one book.

In fact, in terms of inspiration, Wilson cites it as the most important element for an active artist to have. “You get up and you do it … that’s kind of what art is about. It’s a process, not an end result.”

The library is open to all BAYarts students. To see a current schedule of classes, visit

Jessica Stockdale

BAYarts Marketing Assistant.

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Volume 6, Issue 21, Posted 10:03 AM, 10.14.2014