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Flavor for Mixed Media: A Feast of Techniques for Texture, Color and Layers Kindle Edition
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Aside from the food recipes, the rest of the book contains a slew of step-by-exhaustive-step mixed media recipes for creating background surfaces. The materials required rival the warehouse of a gourmet spice retailer (and many of the materials are just as expensive) . What exactly one is supposed to DO with these laboriously crafted background surfaces is not addressed, which I found enormously disappointing. As a well respected artist, the author undoubtedly could have shared valuable guidance on design. What a shame that she did not.
If a level of complementary information was supposed to be provided by the invited guests, they didn't come through. The guests' commentaries are mostly vague and rather rambling, and I never could figure out why they were included. What they had to say is far more suitable to the feature articles in the magazines where they seem to be endlessly (and more thoughtfully) published. Their appearances in this book brings nothing new to the table, so to speak.
This book had real possibility, I felt, but it didn't even begin to reach its potential. While a feast for the eyes is always a good thing, I do wish this book had delivered nutrition as well.
The book is divided into different "courses": color, texture, layers, flavors (styles), combination (mixing supplies, techniques). In short write-ups, author Mary Beth Shaw introduces 15 guest artists then goes on to explore different techniques and create works inspired by them. The techniques and projects featured include 3D painting, collage painting, using text in an abstract way, working with a clayboard and painting without paint. Many I've seen in other art books but the step-by-step instructions here are very clear and extremely well illustrated with photographs. Some of the materials and media used are very interesting although not readily found in most homes, for instance plexi, wood icing and clayboards.
Flavor for Mixed Media is quite a good how-to book although the artistic recipes are not really fresh. I did like Shaw's approachable writing style and how she personalized each project. There are also some useful tips sprinkled throughout the book.