Books and Publications

The Creative Eye IBSN 879716190X – 270 pgs
Order the manual, book or the Kindle version on Amazon

The Creative Eye:
drawing, vision and the brain
full color, illustrated edition 2012

The Creaitive Eye 2020: new black-and-white edition as a How-To-Draw Manual

"The painter's vision is not a lens,
It trembles to caress the light."

– Robert Lowell

Now reissued as an affordable manual - for individual students and for instructors. Drawing instructor, poet and working artist Heather Spears asks - and answers - fundamental questions about how, and why, art is made. Here are a series of experimental exercises, with explanations from the new research on the visual brain. Thoughtful, provocative and filled with hands-on information.

“I can count on the fingers of one hand the people, books, and events that have been a pivotal influence on my life. That have changed, not just the way I do things, but the way I think about things, particularly within art. Heather Spears’ the creative eye is one such book that has radically altered my understanding, perception and practice of drawing.
“I am a teacher and artist. I have been teaching art classes for nearly 20 years. I am involved in the ‘actual, physical act’ of drawing as Heather puts it. My courses focus on finding ways of supporting students to learn to draw and overcome the difficulties they experience.
“I discovered Heather’s book in my local library…. Brought it home and eagerly started reading…. I’m one of those people who like to underline important passages, make annotations in the margins – it helps me remember those facts or ideas I might want to come back to, to ponder, reflect upon, and think about more deeply….“I read the first chapter and found that I had underlined virtually every line. This was ridiculous! I quickly realized underlining was a complete waste of time – this book was so full of insights, new facts and useful suggestions that if I carried on I would end up underlining the whole book.

“the creative eye takes the teaching of drawing tradition of the previous 70 years or so and hauls it into the 21st century. It should be seen as the next teaching text that should underpin the teaching of drawing and life drawing for the next generation.”
Brian Raymond, artist and instructor, Ancoats Creative Art Courses, Manchester

"Desperately needed in the field of art and art education. Not since the (posthumous publication of) Nicolaides' seminal book The Natural Way to Draw has there been a really good text for drawing – The Creative Eye is that book, and will fill a deep void....I can say unequivocally that Heather Spears is the best drawing teacher that I have [ever] met during 45 years of working in the field. With her exceptional writing skills and powers of expression, in conjunction with her long proven visual and graphic skills, I feel that this book will become a classic....It is seldom that one finds a combination of writer/artist of such skill and visualization.”
Robin Hopper, founder and director of Metchosin SS of the Arts, instructor and ceramic artist, Canada

“Heather Spears’ central and persuasive argument in this book is that there are real, accessible ways to test (the boundaries of perception), to stretch and perhaps even circumvent them. And that is the essence of creativity.”
Jack Cohen, novelist, mathematician, biologist and astrobiologist, UK

"An inventive and intelligent, yet accessible, approach to drawing; recommended for everyone from amateurs to professionals."
Kirkus Reviews

Is there at last an understandable, neurological explanation for “bad” drawing? In the light of new research about the visual brain, The Creative Eye explains the preconceptions, creative blocking and habitual dysfunction artists struggle with, and offers real, practical solutions to overcoming (and even exploiting) them. Fully illustrated.




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