Written by an artist FOR artists, every detail has been considered, starting with such practicalities as a book with a rigid, wipeable cover and interior ring binding.
This book will stay open whether laid flat or propped up on your workstation, so that you can follow along – with the page in question open right in front of you (how many of us are driven absolutely wild with frustration when trying to follow a particular technique we haven’t tried before – only for the book to flop closed – usually right at the crucial moment!).
Each chapter leads you into a new technique which is clearly explained in language I can understand, and with absolutely loads of full-colour photographs including stepped How To’s as well as finished pieces – by herself and other artists, so that you can see each technique from a different point of view.
Although Mary is essentially a Fine Artist, this book would also serve well for anyone interested in other branches of arts and crafts, from collage, mixed media and journaling to calligraphers, altered book artists, quilters etc.
The techniques incorporate many different mediums including watercolours and acrylics, along with items you may never have thought of (eg: shelf liner, aluminium foil). Mary covers subjects such as resist (used in a way I hadn’t seen before) and creating surface texture, how to find your own personal voice and streamline and strengthen your own designs. She also deals with personal symbolism, something I had never really thought about.
Mary Todd Beam’s use of colour is truly inspirational and will definitely encourage you to work out of your “safe” colour zones. She also suggests layouts, and shows actual examples of paintings using those layouts, which is really helpful. Every style is covered, from figurative and virtual (photographic) style through to truly abstract.
Mary’s techniques also cover practical problems you might encounter: how to make realistic rocks that have weight; really wet water; rough, grainy sedimentation; a leafy, loamy forest floor – not just in colours of paint but also in use of texture so that you really FEEL your subject (quilters and embroiderers especially will love this).
I highly recommend this book, and hand on heart I think anyone would gain a tremendous amount of information from it. It is true eye candy from a deservedly highly successful artist, who not only talks the talk but walks the walk. An essential for any artist’s book shelf.
- Each section very clearly explained and easy to follow
- Tons of full colour step-by-step photographs
- Truly inspirational use of colour
- I really felt encouraged to try these projects
Learn more about Celebrate Your Creative Self