Monday, April 1, 2013

Haleighanna's Hands: Going Where Others have Gone Before

My Saturday morning routine includes a Starbucks coffee and a few hours in a comfy chair at the Barnes and Noble looking at books and magazines and dreaming. Long before I took up a paint brush or scissors, I would look through magazines and dream about making art. Just like a teenage girls read Vogue and dream of being a supermodel, I would read and dream of being an artist (trust me, supermodel was completely out of the question).

I decided to share some of my favorite books and magazines that helped me find the courage to express myself through paper, paint, nails, and leftover cardboard boxes.

Somerset Studio

This was the first magazine that I picked up that showed me the incredible world of mixed media. I was immediately entranced. Somerset Studio provided instructions, ideas and focused on the beauty of writing and lettering. Every couple of months, I look forward to opening the covers and finding beauty and inspiration from some very talented artists. It also taught me about acrylic mediums, image transfers, and working on canvas.

Somerset Studio usually includes artist papers as a free gift.

Cloth Paper Scissors

Packed with lots of ideas and a clean layout, this bi-monthly magazine is a fantastic resource. It focuses a little more on quilting, fabric, and alterative materials such as Citra Solv. The first time that opened the pages, I saw a container made out of used dryer sheets, metallic flakes and other fibers. I was hooked. Cloth Paper Scissors gives clear instructions and is really inviting.


My drawing skills leave a lot to be desired; in fact it's one of the reasons that I chose to express myself through collage and mixed media. Misty Mawn's Unfurling gave me the tools and the push I needed to help me overcome the fear of trying to draw. The book is informative and beautiful to look at. I love how the instructions are written so simply that even I get them each time I pick it up, I am eager to get back to my own work.


The Art of Personal Imagery

I started my artistic journey in high school when I began crafting programs for our high school plays. I picked up several years later when someone at my company needed a retirement scrapbook. At that point, scrapbooking was all matted photos and stickers (oh baby have we come a long way). When I got this book and saw that author Corey Moortgat  had actually painted on pictures, I think I gasped. When I recovered from the shock, I thought it was one of the coolest things that I had every seen. I recommend this book if only to jolt you into a new way of seeing possibilities.

Great examples and descriptions of unifying a composition.

Taking Flight

This is a fantastic step-by-step book on how to create layers in your composition. Paper, paint, and modeling medium, are used to create more interesting and textured backgrounds. The book has an encouraging and spiritual bent. Her faces and bodies are exaggerated but I think that's why I love them so much.

As I have said before, I need lots of inspiration. Looking at others' work or trying to deconstruct what they did, helps me solve the problems that I am having in my own work. It's an influence and a kick-start to my own process.

What books or magazines do you read? How do you get your creative juices flowing?
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