On Friday, May 9th, I’ll be announcing the winner of a very special book giveaway. If you’re interested in entering the random drawing, read through to the end of this post. The book is Painted Pages: Fueling Creativity with Sketchbooks & Mixed Media, by Sarah Ahearn Bellemare.
Sarah’s book is perfect for any level of mixed media artist, from beginner to veteran. She shows readers how to use an artist’s sketchbook as a tool for keeping track of your ideas, as well as adding in your ephemera, doodles, photos and much more—and then encourages you to translate these sketches into mixed media paintings. This is not a typical how-to book, but instead a book that gets you started with some creative play ideas. The last page of the book, in fact, provides you with 16 two-minute prompt cards you can photocopy onto card stock and cup apart. When the Muse is out, close your eyes, reach into a bowl, and pull out a card to get your creative juices going. Some of the prompts include:
- Use only a pencil. Scribble, and draw shapes. Try different leads.
- Use rubber stamps to write one word. Use a thin layer of paint as your “ink.” Stamp the first word that comes into your head and use it as a theme for your painting.
- Paint only with white paint.
Much like a workshop where you’re told in advance what tools and materials to bring, Sarah describes, in the starting chapter, what types of pens, pencils, pastels, painting surfaces, brushes, and other tools you should gather before you begin working.
Sarah also suggest some fun “extras” you may wish to add to your creative playground, such as letter-and-number rubber stamps, rub-on letter sheets, stencils, and glassine envelopes.
If you’re a raw beginner, when it comes to mixed media art, Sarah provides you with a color primer, along with a few suggestions that will help you feel this is something you can tackle:
- Don’t over-think your use of color.
- Find colors that speak to you and put them next to each other.
- Experiment. Have fun. Explore.
The book is filled with fun suggestions for how to play with different techniques, such as composition. Sarah suggests you scan or take a photo of one of your paintings, then zoom in on the image using your preferred graphic editing software. Crop part of the painting that speaks to you, and save it, using it as a background for collage work.
Another idea that Sarah suggests is to play with text and image. Use your own handwriting, text from books, rubber stamps, typed text from a vintage typewriter (or a facsimile of it using a typewriter-like typeface), rubber stamps, scratch letters, stickers or stencils. “Often a line or word in an old book will spark an idea for a painting,” says Sarah.
Probably the best part of Painted Pages is that this book can help you figure out what your inner artistic voice might be. Additionally, you’ll find profiles of well-known artists and bloggers who share with you the inside of some of their sketchbooks and journals. If you’re interested in entering the random drawing, tell me in the comments below why you think you need this book. Assuming there are at least 5 entries, I will announce a winner of Painted Pages next week Friday, May 9th.
© 2014 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.