Dennis Lick, who has been teaching fine arts at Middlesex County College for almost 50 years, has written “Art Start: Fundamentals of the Studio,” a textbook for beginning artists. It is a very practical guide to becoming an artist, and includes sections on all forms of art.
“I wrote this book for several reasons,” Professor Lick said. “ First, art textbooks tend to be very expensive. Since art students also have to buy art supplies, that seems burdensome. This has minimal illustrations and they are in black and white, which helped keep the price at $40.”
He also kept the book free of academic jargon, and as to the point as possible. “Many art texts are redundant and they drone on and on,” he said. “This is more conversational. I wrote in first person, as if I’m writing a letter to the students. I wanted it to be accessible and readable.”
“Art Start” is a book aimed at entry-level artists and gives them a basic idea of creating art including painting, sculpture, collage and mixed media, 3D art, as well as creating presentations and portfolios. It also contains a section of suggested art projects for the budding artist to try.
“I tried to cover all the bases,” he said. Professor Lick says non-artists may benefit from reading it as well.
“Passages throughout the book demonstrate that a robust art education enriches everything else in life and that becoming visually literate is a worthy goal for everyone, not just the artist,” he writes. While Professor Lick has been teaching at MCC for decades, this is his first book, which took him 10 years to create.
“It’s my first book,” he says. “And my last.”