Sunday, May 27, 2007

Currently Reading: Celebrate Your Creative Self by Mary Todd Beam

About four nights ago I wanted to read a book with art techniques before going to bed to unwind with. I selected from my bookshelf, a book I bought in August 2007 and one that I have not read in months, “Celebrate Your Creative Self” by Mary Todd Beam.

This book is about painting techniques and also mixed media. The art style is abstract.

Mary Todd Beam is an artist and a workshop teacher, who now shares some of her teachings in this book.

The book starts out with some basic art principles. The book is an interesting format, kind of a like an art course in a book format, you read the book and you learn what the teacher would be telling you. Then the book is like an art workshop in a book format. Different techniques are taught with well-written instructions that are easy for beginners to understand. Nice color photographs show each step in the process. For each technique there are several examples of finished artwork from different artists.

When I read this book I am left with encouragement to just go and play and make art for fun. We are encouraged to try different things and to really enjoy the process.

Lucky for me I already own so many of the art supplies that are used in this book so I can start right in with trying some of these techniques. Some of the frequently used materials are acrylic gel medium, gesso, acrylic paint (opaque), liquid acrylics (transparent) and some other things like aluminum foil (yes, the kitchen wrap variety).

Just looking at the finished artworks in this book was and is inspirational to me.

I jumped right in to try a technique using wax crayon resist which I hope to share with you soon.

I don’t mean to sound pessimistic but I doubt I’ll be creating works of art like Mary Todd Beam but I know I can use some of the principals and the techniques to make artist trading cards (ATCs) with and also to make backgrounds for collages and ATCs.

I am sure that amateur and professional artists who prefer making large paintings will also find this book very useful as well.

For an idea of what Mary Todd Beam’s artwork looks like you can check out her website.

Presently Amazon does not offer a “look inside this book” feature for the book but the author has some scans of some of the pages of this book on her site, here.

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