Monday, March 7, 2011

The Flavor of the Day


I received a review copy of Mary Beth Shaw's new book Flavor for Mixed Media: A Feast of Techniques for Texture, Color and Layers, hot off the presses from North Light. Mary Beth is joined by 15 well-known artists, all of whom share their techniques and tips for creating mixed-media works of art. In addition, a series of projects are clearly described and illustrated with stepped-out photos. The book approaches art much like a chef approaches food and this theme is carried throughout, even including a number of recipes from the author and the guest artists. Some of the techniques covered that I have not seen in many other mixed-media books include using clayboard as a substrate, using rubbings to create texture and depth, using a collagraph plate, working with Plexiglas, using alcohol inks, creating three dimensional paintings, and using foil as a background.

Flavor for Mixed Media: A Feast of Techniques for Texture, Color and Layers


Mary Beth generously shared her thoughts about her experience creating this book:

When I was contacted by North Light and asked to write a book, my initial reaction was one of disbelief. You want me? Really? I wasn't sure. I mean as much as I had dreamed of writing a book (as a child I imagined myself as a writer, living in a fabulous coastal home), it seemed like the mixed media world had so many books and I questioned if I had what it took to write something different. I wanted to be sure that I could somehow add value to this segment of the art world. It sounds lofty and I was oh-so-holier than thou as I clung to that statement. Truth be known, I was scared. Really really scared.

The idea continued to roll around in my head. I didn't exactly 'decline' the offer, but I didn't exactly jump on it either. I pondered. And pondered. For at least a year, if not more. All the while still thinking about a possible book and contemplating if I had an angle. One day it was suddenly clear to me and I saw the entire thing in my head. That is when I called North Light back because I knew with such certainty and passion that yes! I do have things to say. Ha, anyone who has known me for 2 minutes had probably already guessed that.

Fast forward to the project phase, quickly followed by the guest artist phase, followed by the photo shoot phase followed by the Oh.My.Gosh I really have to write this thing phase. And looking at the computer screen day after day. Working and reworking every single sentence. Then scrapping it all and starting fresh. And getting a case of the jitters. Questioning whether my ideas had any value whatsoever, doubting my ability to pull it off, analyzing my sanity. Oh yeah, talk about second thoughts. But I kept plugging and finally turned my manuscript over, all the while never being sure if I had phrased any of the book in the 'right' way whatever that might be. I was a mass of insecurities, something I don't often show to the outside world, waiting for the edits, imagining the entire book would be rejected with a flurry of red marks.

Fast forward again to the day the advance copy arrived at my house.. I found myself nearly speechless. To see the final product, to hold it in my hands, to flip through it was nearly more than I could bear. Sort of an out of body experience, I really did this?

Before I was teaching, when I was mainly exhibiting at art fairs and galleries, all I ever wanted was for my art to touch people, to find some common ground where someone would be moved by my art. And looking back, I guess that was also my aspiration for the book. To reach a larger audience than I can when I teach. To share the things I have learned, to give others ideas so they might be inspired to make things and yes, cook things!

So now I am to the stage where I am getting emails and blog posts from folks who have actually made projects from the book. I hear lovely comments and see wonderful works of art that the book inspired and I could not be more delighted. I just have to pinch myself to be sure it is all real.

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You can visit Mary Beth at her blog The Common Denominator, at her website Mary Beth Shaw, or at her store Stencil Girl Products where she sells her unique, hand-made stencils.

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GIVEAWAY

One lucky reader can win a copy of Flavor for Mixed Media. For a chance to win, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post by Sunday 3/13. The winner will be on my Facebook page on Monday 3/14. Please be sure I have your email so I can contact the winner directly. Good luck!

67 comments:

marianne said...

even if i don't win, i'll probably have to buy this book- sounds like it will be a great way to jog creativity & generate ideas if needed- not to mention fun to try the different processes anyway!

Dyche Designs said...

I loved reading about Mary's experience, love how honest she was about the process.

ArtSnark said...

Great post - enjoyed the honesty & progression. Book looks cool too

Mostly Turquoise said...

I agree with Marianne, the book looks great and I loved reading Mary's story. Thank you Seth for introducing her on your blog!

Regina, SXM

amber heagerty said...

I need something to rekindle my creative spark...Mary Beth's book sounds like just the thing to wake the slumbering Muse...
:)

Sara said...

As a newbie I'd love to get my hands on this book!

Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

Oooo! Yummy! Mary Beth is one of the nicest people I have the pleasure of knowing. She is kind and generous and a soft and gentle spirit. She works hard and is wholeheartedly supportive of her fellow artists. She deserves every success she has had and I hope her book does really well. I am positive she's added something of value to the art world by writing it.

What a great vision and good for her for putting it out there!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

I loved reading the process of deciding to accept the offer and then the o..m..g... moments that followed.
It is good to know other artists have the same jitters... ;-)
And if I don't win, I'll be buying it for sure!

XXOO~~
Anne

Jonna said...

I love her work and can not wait to see what all is included in this book. Thanks for the chance to win.

collage whirl said...

I'm very curious about this book after reading Mary Beth's story. It sounds intriguing!

Tracy Carlton said...

i love this post! one, for another source of creative juicy mixed media, but two, for her honesty, vulnerability in telling us how the process really is...so real, so human!

laurel said...

It's fun to get a glimpse of how the writer felt a out the whole process. I saw that book on possibly Amazon and knew I needed to take a closer look. I would love to win a copy of it.

Jilly said...

Great post with your own review of Mary's book! I love that she was interested in writing "The Flavor of the Day" if she could "add value to" what she knows is already in print within the mixed media world. A wonderful summary by Mary of her book writing experience- and look foward to seeing if for myself!

Susan M said...

I've been in a class she taught. Great instructor and a delightful person.

Ro Bruhn said...

This sounds like a fabulous book, I love new techniques. I hope we get to see it in our stores. Thanks for the chance to win a copy Seth.

jlh said...

Can't wait to see this new book! It looks yummy!!

iHanna said...

Just added this book to my amazon wish list yesterday as I saw it somewhere, it looks awesome, and the artists inside are already favorites of course!

theresa martin said...

Congrats to Mary Beth - the book sounds great and I enjoyed reading about her experience writing it.

elle said...

A year to decide. This book will doubtless be a keeper!

JudySheaRT said...

Seth.. my fingers are crossed to win.. I love MB and her wood icing.
Thanks for offering a great giveaway.
Judy judysheart@gmail.com

Anne Marie - Toronto said...

This book sounds absolutely delicious! Please count me in on the draw.

Wendy said...

I'm as addicted to these books as I am experimenting with mixed-media techniques. Thanks for the opportunity to win :)

Jo Reimer said...

Thanks for your review of Mary Beth's book, Seth. Although there are lots of books on the subject, this seems to be something different

MB Shaw said...

Thanks so much to all of you for such lovely comments :)

Lynn said...

I really enjoyed reading the authors angst of writing her book and her birth of it! It sounds exceptional and of course I'd love a chance to win a copy.

Judy Shreve said...

I enjoyed this post and learning about this amazing artist! Can't wait to see the book!

neva gagliano said...

flavors: i'll take the banana split...

NANCY LEFKO said...

What a wonderful book...thanks for the opportunity!

pamcarriker.com said...

MaryBeth your book is awesome! So lovely to look at and full of techniques. It's been so fun to get to know you as we discovered our books were on the same time schedule for release. Congratulations, you did great!!
xoxo
Pam

young by design said...

Thanks for the chance to win this wonderful book! I'm crossing my fingers!

Bill said...

How can anyone resist a chance to win a book like that? :O)

Marie said...

Great to hear such great things about MaryBeth's new book. I wish her much success....she is a delight!

Gwen said...

sounds like a great book, sign me up!

TheAntiquePalette said...

Of course, looks like this will be a must-have book, whether we win it here or go buy it!

Susie
TheAntiquePalette.etsy.com

ART*ticulation said...

I would have never known about this book if it were not for you. Thank you so very much Seth.

An Artaholic @ Swallowcliffs.blogspot.com/ said...

Hi Seth: I have been hearing lots about this book so I hope I can see it in person!

Dorincard said...

Very interesting! We all should express ourselves, somehow. I'd love to explore more ideas from Mary Beth and others.
Specifically, I want to create maximum cards with techniques from collage, scrapbooking, etc.
I have this in my email signature [I took out the links, not to spam anybody, coz some people HAVE TO buy everything that comes their way...:) ]:
"Philately (stamp collecting) in general, and maximaphily in particular, as a confluence of domains: learning, writing, web design, business administration, etc."
"Maximaphily (especially the non-traditional one) could become one of the coolest hobbies, because it is at the confluence of:
- philately (stamps collecting)
- deltiology (postcards collecting)
- marcophily (postmarks collecting)
- scrapbooking (collages collecting)
- mail art ("artistically-personalized mailpieces" collecting)
When I say "collecting", I mean "creating and collecting". :)"

Leslie said...

I love reading about Mary Beth's journey toward this book. Thanks for sharing!

tgarrett said...

Hi Seth- I was wondering about this book- thanks for your review and i would love to have a copy of it. So tossing my hat in the ring.

Tracy Verdugo said...

Hi Seth,
Sounds like a fabulous book. I've just finished reading Sheri Gaynors Creative Awakenings...so many wonderful idea starters for living a creative life. Mary's description of the process was so honest and refreshing. I'd love to win!
cheers
Tracy
http://artoftracyverdugo.blogspot.com

La Dolce Vita said...

nice giveaway Seth! count me in!

Christine O'Brien said...

I happened to buy this book last week, it's great! A lot of times these books are eye candy, but this one has excellent techniques detailed step by step...not to mention the recipes!

layers said...

Thanks for sharing this new book-- I love books and mixed media and finding out about artists and all 3 in one is a gift.

Whytefeather said...

Like several have said, if I don't win it I think I will definitely have to buy it!
Thank you for the give away chance... but also thank you for sharing about the book!!

Debrina said...

Wow Seth- I've been out of the blogging loop for a while (long story) but I see you're still going as strong as ever. Fantastic to be able to catch up again. How's the publishing game going? Hope all is well. Oh and I have a new blog url: http://debrinaaltered.blogspot.com/
Come on by when you get time to say hi! Miss ya!

Debrina said...

Oh wait Seth - duh, you have come on by. Tut tut me. Still, I've missed you (clearly).

rebeca trevino said...

Fantastic post!
thanks for the chance to win a copy of the book too!

vivian said...

oohhh nice! :)

tami said...

a book that is going on my list to buy! Unless i win it!

tchacon845@aol.com

Teressa Thompson said...

Oh I can't wait to get my hands on this book! It sounds incredible! Good luck to everyone.

Tee

Lise said...

Je tente ma chance ! En lançant mes voeux dans les étoiles !
Bises
Lise

Melissa Jo Gibbs said...

I went to the book signing for this...but I made the compromise to buy wood icing instead (I'm a poor recent graduated art student)! Please pick me! Thank you:)
melissajogibbs(at)gmail(dot)com

Gaby Bee said...

I'm very curious about this book! During the past 5 weeks I was without any internet connection! If you can't send or receive any mails, nor visit any Blogs, or simply surf in the internet, you feel yourself really cut-off from the rest of the world! But since yesterday, thanks God, I'm on-line again!
I loved reading this post. Thanks for the chance to win a copy, Seth.

Rebecca said...

I, too, hope to win, but if I don't will have to save up for Mary Beth's book. Thanks for having this giveaway!
Rebecca
rebecca@sover.net

JT said...

Congrats, I know you are beyond excited. Can't wait to jump in to this book.

CherylConnell said...

I have seen this book all over - would love a copy.

Thanks for the chance.
cconnell@xplornet.com

Cheryl

lisa mitchell said...

would love to win Mary-Beth's new book, thank you, Seth, for the giveaway!

Joji said...

I am new to mixed media and would love a chance to win this book.

Lura said...

PLEASE OH PLEASE....I am just new to trying my hand at mixed media and this looks like a must have on my list of books to get. there are alot of great ones and this one looks like it is on the top of the list. thank you for the opportunity to be able to win one.

Midwestie Lady - Linda said...

I really enjoy Mary Beth's interview and am looking forward to diving into this book. Thanks for the generous giveaway!

Splendiferous Girls said...

this looks like such an amazing book..I would love to to get this book and savor every page..thank you for sharing.

sharon read said...

the book looks so amazing.. going to have to get a copy .. it looks a must.. thank you for sharing

shiana said...

This book looks amazing! I would love to go though it page by page and soak up everything she has to teach me.

Leila West said...

I would so love to win this book...but if not, it's in my wish list to purchase next!

THE LILLY POND said...

looks like a must read book...thanks for the chance to win it

Cheri said...

Visiting this blog site is like going on a well needed vacation.. I get to escape into a fantastic magical world full of amazing eye candy EVERY time I visit this site!!
Even if I were never to win anything ever... it would not matter.. just having all these wonderous things to marvel at is prize enough for anyone..
Advance congratulations to who ever is lucky enough to win the book!! Enjoy and savor every page :)

Julie Shackson said...

Too late to enter, but I really enjoy your book recommendations; thank you!