If you have some artistic friends or relatives on your holiday gift list, there are many art-related books that would make fun and fascinating presents.
Most new and used book stores have art sections, making it easy to find the perfect book.
Here's just a sampling of art-inspired books available at places such as Bloomsbury Books in downtown Ashland:
"Pring's Photographer's Miscellany: Stories, Techniques, Tips and Trivia," $12.99. This delightful little book has a dark cover with an image of a (now-vintage) 1980s-era camera, plus a green ribbon to mark the reader's place.
It promises to deliver fascinating tips and stories, such as how to eradicate a scratch off a negative using your nose, or tales of how ravenous soldiers jeopardized a pigeon-cam program in World War I.
Projects include drawing a daisy and a bunch of crab apples, or dismantling a flower to create a lovely scientific drawing of its parts.
"Global Model Village: The International Street Art of Slinkachu," $17.95. London-based Slinkachu, who goes by one name, stages and photographs intriguing scenes with teeny tiny human figurines and other props. The thought-provoking images are shot all around the world and usually offer subtle commentary on cultures, conflicts and urban life.
In the photo "Antique Land," a miniature bedouin with a camel makes a campfire out of matchsticks on a pile of sand. Skyscrapers under construction loom in the background.
Some of the images are just fun, like "Damn Kids," which depicts a tiny man bemoaning the destruction of his convertible, which was crushed by a falling lollipop.
"Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative," by Austin Kleon, $10.95. Kleon gives immensely practical advice for creative types in this breezy book.
He writes that no one is born with a signature style, so it's fine to copy and learn from your favorite artists while you search for your own path.
Kleon also advises creatives to be boring. Keep your day job, don't fall into debt and take care of yourself, since it's best to assume that you'll be alive for a while, he says.
"That whole romantic image of the creative genius doing drugs and running around and sleeping with everyone is played out," Kleon writes, noting that it's best to save your energy for your creative endeavors.
Reach reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-479-8199 or firstname.lastname@example.org.