Mary Beth Shaw‘s book, Flavor for Mixed Media, caught my attention because it used food as a metaphor for art. Two favorites in one book! The book expands the meaning of mixed media by including favorite recipes from contributors. That made it interesting to Kent, who is a personal chef, and loves a good recipe. We both decided to try projects from Mary Beth’s book–I’d try an art project, Kent would cook one of the recipes.
Paper Mosaic is one of my favorite collage approaches, and Mary Beth’s book has a section on using a color theory exercise to help expand your use of color. I built on that technique to create one of my free-standing journal pages. Here’s the video–about 6 minutes long, and a project from start to finish.
Artists mix colors, but we often mix our favorite colors over and over and don’t expand to different hues, tints, and values. The chapter’s guest artist is Sarah Ahearn Bellemare, and her color triad theory helps you mix and keep information on colors you love and that work together.
The book is full of projects and ideas, but be sure to check out Mary Beth Shaw‘s website, too.
Painting Without Paint, guest artist Misty Mawn
Triad Color Theory, guest artist Sarah Ahearn Bellemare
Organic Abstract Painting, guest artist Elizabeth MacCrellish
Clayboard Book, guest artist Shari Beaubien
Texture Sampler, guest artist Susan Tuttle
Candle Shade, guest artist Laura Lein-Svencner
Collagraph Plate, guest artist Julie Snidle
Plexi Squared, guest artist Tonia Jenny
Three-Dimensional Painting, guest artist Dolan Geiman
Icing Panels, guest artist Heather Haymart
Taste of Klimt, guest artist Deb Trotter
Collage Painting, guest artist Claudine Hellmuth
Cardboard Collage, guest artist Katie Kendrick
Abstract Letter Forms, guest artist John Hammons
Abstract With Discarded Material, guest artist Judy Wise
Don’t take that “discarded material” too seriously. These are ideas for recycling materials and keep your art supply costs down. I’m all for seeing materials in a new way, particularly if I don’t have to create a shopping list for them.
The eye candy in the links alone is richly satisfying–but what I really like is the variety of the projects. You get enough help to make the project through the step-by-steps, and the luscious photos of finished projects encourage you to keep going.
One of the joys of mixed media is choosing what you are interested in and exploring it. No problem veering into the kitchen for some of the guest authors’ recipes, either. I asked Kent to make Katie Kendrick’s coconut lentil soup because I like lentil soup, it freezes well, and it’s satisfying without damaging my diet. But you can also make your own tortillas, sugar cookies from a recipe that’s as versatile as the artwork, and Mary Beth’s own secret Brownies. (Yum!)
It’s been a long time since I’ve read a how-to book that you can take to the grocery store with the same great results as if you take it to the studio!
Giveaway: Mary Beth generously donated a signed copy of the book to my blog readers. Leave a comment that you’d like the book, and your name goes in the drawing that will be held on Wednesday evening, Phoenix time. The winner (international entries are fine) will be announced on Thursday’s blog and at the top of this blog post.
—Quinn McDonald is learning how to shoot and edit videos to teach online classes. She wishes she had another four hands and a side porch on her brain to provide more room for learning new skills.