Friday, June 7, 2013

Review: Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop by Serena Barton


I live in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area, and I've seen the work of fellow Portlander, Serena Barton in the past, and was intrigued.  When I saw that she had written a book about her methods and celebration of Happy Accidents... Well, I had to have it.

I had hoped to do some work based off projects in the book, but I only got my copy yesterday, and Serena has a giveaway that ends tomorrow.  Her giveaway is an amazing opportunity to win an original artwork from Serena, so I wanted to make sure my readers had the chance to enter).

A chance to win an original piece of artwork by Serena Barton-ends June 8th.

Jill Berry's blog-Giveaway for a copy of the book-ends June 10.

Serena does have a blog hop going (same link as the giveaway), so you'll be able to find several more reviews of the book.

Most importantly:
To buy a signed copy form Serena directly (free S&H within the continental U.S., and she'll send you a collage grab bag.  This is what I got with my copy)



Now, on to my review!

Paperback: 128 pages

Table of Contents:
1. Looking for Wabi-Sabi and Finding It All Around You
2. Patina of Time: Creating the Effects of Seasoning
3. Strata of Time: Creating Layers of Texture
4. Throw in the Towel: Working with the Unexpected
5. Abstracting from the Real: The Power of Suggestion
6. Translucence: Creating Wabi-Sabi in Wax
7. Buriesd Treasure: 3-D Wax Art and Other Enhancements

The illustrations are beautifully photographed and clearly illustrate the steps being described.  Directions are simple and to the point.

The Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop explores techniques in mixed media.  Serena introduces you to techniques using beeswax, oil and acrylic paints, alcohol inks, re-inkers, foils, pastels, plaster, collage and papers, coffee and teabags, paper towels, and more.

I've found there tend to be two kinds of people when it comes to a book like this.  There are those that like to read from stem to stern and get into the author's mind.  Then there are those that just want to create--forget the chit-chat and lead me to the projects!

The book is laid out in a fashion that will make it easy for both types to use the book as they wish.

Serena discusses her feelings and the philosophy behind Wabi-Sabi, and Haiku poestry is salted throughout, making the book an enjoyable read (I know I'll be pulling it out for rainy day Sundays, just to savor the text and enjoy the illustrations).

However, the list of supplies needed for each chapter are listed at the beginning, and it is easy to pinpoint when discussion ends and instruction begins.  Several of the important techniques, used throughout, are explained in the first chapter.  The projects do build on each other, but the titles are in a font easily noticed, and describe the technique for that section.  If you want to start at a later project instead of reading from front to back, you can easily find the instructions to techniques explained earlier in the book.

Although, most of the projects shown are created on rigid supports, I believe many of the techniques could be adapted for use in art journals and scrapbook layouts.  I have it in mind to create some beautiful cards using them, too.

 June is a busy month for me, and though I'm itching to start using these techniques, I'll have to wait.  July, though. July is going to be Wabi-sabi month for me!

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