Nov 19, 2012

Mixed-Media Girls with Suzi Blu Book Review Part I


Suzi Blu Book

Disclaimer:

I have long been a Suzi Blu fan. I have taken two or three of her online classes with very good results. When I saw her book on the shelf I picked it up to purchase without even looking inside. I figured if it was by Suzi Blu it would be good. This review will be from the perspective of someone who is familiar with Suzi Blu and her class style. 

First Impressions

I want to run home and start working through some of these exercises right away! The cover of the book is bold and bright. If possible, the inside pages are even bolder and brighter.

The book will teach you how to draw a face that actually looks like a face! Imagine that. Before taking a class from Suzi I felt lost in the face drawing department. She clearly explains how to draw eyes (very important) and how to add to your eyes to make a face. Once you have this down you can move on to the other things she teaches you, from creating backgrounds and texture, to using your faces in your own pieces of art.

I kind of feel like this book is several of Suzi's classes in one place. I like that I now have a resource to go to for all the information. While taking classes I had to print out the info and try to keep it organized. I found it to be confusing at times. Now, I can follow her in-depth directions without having to flip through my papers or find a particular spot in a video. While I now have a one-stop place to go for info, I do miss the "handmade" nature of Suzi's notes. The instructions in this book are typed and uniform, not nearly as interesting as Suzi's handwriting and doodles.

Once I have a chance to review the DVD I will complete this review with a part II. In the meantime, I think this book is worth every penny even before checking out the DVD. Once again, Suzi rocks!

If you are interested in this book it is available for purchase in my bookstore through Amazon.

 

 

May 10, 2012

Unfurling, A Mixed-Media Workshop with Misty Mawn: Inspiration and Techniques for Self-Expression through Art

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First, I need to start out by saying that I have seen Misty Mawn, the author of this book, creating art in person. While watching her sketch and draw I thought, "this is what a real artist looks like when they are making something." I just felt like I was watching something that I wouldn't see that often in my lifetime. She was making something in a setting with about 20 other artists, but she stood out. RIght then I decided that if I ever had the chance to take a class with her I would. I was also kicking myself for not taking a class with her when I previously had the chance. Sigh. 

unfurling_page 

Shortly after this I was at my local bookstore and ran across her book. I'm not sure if it was newly published or not, but it was certainly new to me. I grabbed it as quick as I could and almost ran out the store to start reading it. I figured if I couldn't take a class from her right now, then her book was the next best thing.

I was right.

Misty's book has some fabulous photos of her work and equally fabulous project photos so that I could try the projects and techniques. I love the narrative in this book too. Throughout the whole book, Misty's writing encourages us to try her projects and techniques, never once suggesting that what she does is out of reach for those of us aspiring to learn and become better artists.

 

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I also love that she includes a variety of mediums and project ideas. By doing this she shows that even serious artists can have varied interests. I especially think this is important because too often we are told that we must "stick to one thing" and become and expert at that thing. I think being creative means learning and trying new things. Misty's book gives us plenty of opportunity for that.

unfurling_cover

 

If you would like to order this book it can easily be found on Amazon.

Oct 15, 2009

Stitch Alchemy Book Study

Since I have so much spare time I decided to join an online book study group. Well, actually... I have been looking for any excuse to buy the Stitch Alchemy book and I found one while browsing Belinda Spiwak's blog a while back. She is leading a book study group. Our first "assignment" was to create some fabric paper. Our next one was to experiment with some different types of inks. Here is what I have so far. The first picture in each set is without ink, the second of each set is with ink.

 

While I have never made fabric paper before, the concept wasn't new for me just an addition to what I already know.

I used PVA for my glue since I have so much of it. It worked really well. I am pleased with the way it feels. Also, I opted not to try and get all the wrinkles out of my fabric paper as I was gluing since I love the texture.

I also found that I am fairly comfortable with the whole "experiment with ink" thing. So, for the first and second assignments I was really itching for something more to do. I found that I really wanted to make something with my fabric paper. But, since I have so much other stuff that I should be doing I am holding back. I told myself that I have to wait until next week for the next "assignment."

I am saving this fabric paper for future techniques. I am sure that as I progress through the book study I will be making more. I really wanted to add bits of thread, fiber, and fabric to my fabric paper but can't seem to find anything since I am now half way unpacked from moving the shop. I just have to take a deep breath and say, "be patient Michelle."