Book Review: Flavor for Mixed Media (+Giveaway)

BookCoverNote: Ms. Lillypads is the winner of Mary Beth Shaw’s book.Congratulations! Send me your address and the book will be on its way!

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.

Page 26 and 27 of Mary Beth Shaw's book shows color triad theory.

Page 26 and 27 of Mary Beth Shaw’s book shows color triad theory.

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

Project from page 112.

Project from page 112.

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.

Project from page 77

Project from page 77

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!

Front of art journal page I made from instructions on pgs. 24-27.

Front of art journal page I made from instructions on pgs. 24-27.

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.

63 thoughts on “Book Review: Flavor for Mixed Media (+Giveaway)

  1. I have been looking at this book…combining food and paint….I would be in heaven! I really enjoy your reviews and I feel even more compelled to get the book given the wide range of projects. I really enjoyed seeing a piece of work that you were inspired to create.

    Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  2. Food and paint, what a great combination! Loved your revue and demo and would love to win a copy of this book.

  3. I found the art example “from page 77” very intriguing…it ALMOST made me get off my iPad and go try some stuff in the studio…sounds like a great book. Loved your demo.

  4. Your video is very inspiring. I’d love to win a copy of the book which sounds inviting (both from an artist and foodie perspective).

  5. Having a passion for cooking and art, I would love to add this book to my growing collection – and if I don’t win then Barnes & Nobles here I come …

  6. Please count me in! Any book that joins art with food is one I’d like to own. Thanks for the thoughtful review and a chance to win!

  7. This sounds just great, i would love to get this book. The video was so inspirering, thanks for that and this change on winning a awesome book.

  8. Thanks for reviewing this book, Quinn! I thought I’d seen every art/craft book on the market, and somehow this one slipped through the cracks. I’d LOVE to have a copy! thanks for the opportunity to win It! To start with, I want to dig my fingers (or maybe just dip my brushes) right into the paint and start mixing color triads!

  9. “Side porch” for your brain; kinda like my “dessert stomach”… Too full to eat any more, but my dessert stomach has room for cheesecake! Thanks for then chance to win this book ; I have a seasoned chef, and one in training (14 year old son). It’d be neat to share this with them .

    Shine on!

  10. I just became aware of Mary Beth through a stencil giveaway i hosted for her new line of stencils and just recently found out she has a book, too. glad to have found your cool post with more info and thanks for the giveaway!

  11. If it wasn’t for Mary Beth’s blog I’d never have found you. I’m delighted that I have and am signing up to follow your journey. Of course i’d love to win teh book, but good luck to all.

  12. I love seeing you in action on video, Quinn! Keep making them. It’s working out well. How about a head shot? 🙂 Looks like a book with a lot to learn from it. I like this mosaic piece you did. I think it would work well in fabric, too. Going to put it on my to do list for when/if I ever get my sewing studio organized.

    • No head shot–too hard to bend down and get my face at the level of the paper. Maybe when I get more skilled with videos. The book is great, and yes, it would look fabulous in fabric!

  13. Love the review you gave this book – having the images and your video really make it clear, and also are intriguing! I would love to win a copy – please enter me in the drawing! Thanks again for being so thorough in your review.

  14. This book sounds like a big hit with everyone! Myself included. We often think that the paper we mix our paints on is more interesting than the actual art project we’re doing! This book reminds me of those moments.
    I’d be happy to have the book as would so many other readers! Good luck to everyone in the drawing!

  15. LOVE your video, and it’s so well-edited, too. Not that I’m surprised by how well it’s edited, heheh. Love that technique and love the poem. Wow, it’s a win-win-win!

  16. Mary Beth’s book sounds really interesting Quinn . . . I’ve already started checking out some of the unfamiliar names.
    As for your signing off statement today, the image it created in my mind gave me a hearty laugh to start the day. Thanks!
    And my mind boggled about what your cats might have been doing in the studio. Did you leave a copy of ‘Why Cats Paint: A Theory of Feline Aesthetics’ (Heather Busch & Burton Silver) lying around?

    • Aren’t those guest artists fantastic? I loved looking at their work. One of my big problems is that when I start something new, I’m fine with the beginning, then immediately say, “I’ll never get really good at this,” and think that is a reason to start instead of to keep going. My Beginning Inner Hero is needed then, and she says, “you are always a beginner, and you will never be bored.” And I am fine with it, as soon as I get used to it. The cats love pushing things over. Anything I leave–ink, water, the waterdish with watercolor rinse in it. This time, after getting a foot wet, she stalked across the piece, smearing as she went. Sigh.

  17. Mary Beth is such a great teacher. This book is on my list of “books I need to buy” so it would be wonderful to win it especially an autographed one.
    Thanks Quinn and Mary Beth

  18. Beautiful project, Quinn!
    Love the addition of the gold stencils and lovely poetry.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  19. This looks like another wonderful book that I just have to have! 🙂
    I love books and especially ones with lots of wonderful eye candy.
    I would love to win!

  20. I love what you did with the colors and stencils. it is just lovely. I would love a chance to win the book as I am a big fan of hers as well as the stencil blog! Thanks for the opportunity!

  21. Hello Quinn. It looks like a great creative book. I enjoyed your clear, informative video too. Please put my name in the mix!

  22. What a nice little video.. and I followed some of the links you provided and I really love the paintings of Heather Haymart. Makes me hungry for new input ! Please put my name into the drawing hat….

  23. Hi Quinn,
    I am SO glad you are doing videos! They are wonderfully clear and helpful. I really like this idea too from Mary Beth and your own ‘Quinn’ touches of poetry and gold marker through stencils. Too bad I have to go to work right now otherwise I would be getting my paints out and having a go straight away! I’ll have to hold on to my excitement until the evening. Thanks so much for giving a great review of the book (which I would love to win a copy of) and for giving us a real practical ‘taste’.

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