Sunday, May 15, 2022

Floriography Review & GIVEAWAY

Get the scoop on flower meanings! This is Floriography: The Myths, Magic & Language of Flowers by Sally Coulthard. Floriography means the language of flowers. It's a form of communication using flowers. Every flower carries its own special meaning. For example, one you probably already know, a single red rose signifies love in western culture. Using flowers to communicate is widely practiced in modern society. Discover the secret meaning of fifty flowers and plants from across the world. Each flower is featured on two full pages next to each other. One page is text, the other an illustration. Sourcing the arts, culture and folklore the author shares snippets of information about each flower. With excerpts from English literature, Japanese mythology, American poetry, religion, medicine, witchcraft and much more. The artwork is by British artist Clover Robin. Her beautiful illustrations are a mixture of cut paper collage, painting, printing and hand drawing. Seeing them assembled collectively - wow! You might even use them as a reference for creating your own art. With dimensions of 14.35 x 19.18 cm (5.65 x 7.55 inches) this book fits into a small backpack or handbag making it easy use on the go. How thrilling to send messages with flowers. Do you know any flower meanings? See excerpts and the complete table of contents below. Quadrille Publishing released this 144 hardcover on March 9, 2021. Get your copy below!


CONTENTS

Introduction

Buttercup
Primrose
Daisy
Daffodil
Sunflower
Rue
Dandelion
Wattle
Pansy
Chrysanthemum
Marigold
Nasturtium
Honeysuckle

flowers to say...I love you

Poppy
Hydrangea
Rose
Echinacea
Oleander
Peony
Clover
Anemone
Lotus
Carnation
Orchid
Foxglove

flowers to say...good luck

Heather
Lilac
Hellebore
Mugwort
Thistle
Passionflower
Iris
Violet
Tulip
Periwinkle
Sage
Wisteria
Rosemary

flowers to say...I'm sorry

Bluebell
Cornflower
Lavender
Borage
Forget-me-not
Edelweiss
Lady's Mantle
Chamomile
Lily of the Valley
Yarrow

flowers to say...get well soon

Lily
Jasmine

Acknowledgements

Contents.


























Clover.


























Periwinkle.


Yarrow.


























Chamomile, Dandelion, Echinacea, Lady's Mantle.



The buttercups, the little children’s dower, – Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

ROBERT BROWNING: HOME-THOUGHTS FROM ABROAD (1845)



In the hope of living in a studio of our own with Gauguin, I’d like to do a decoration for the studio. Nothing but large sunflowers.

LETTER FROM VINCENT VAN GOGH TO THEO VAN GOGH (1888)



Her eyes, like marigolds, had sheath’d their light And, canopied in darkness, sweetly lay, Till they might open to adorn the day.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: LUCRECE (1594)



When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d, And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night, I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

WALT WHITMAN: ‘WHEN LILACS LAST IN THE DOORYARD BLOOM’D’ (1865)



There sprang the violet all new, And freshe pervinke rich of hew, And floures yellow, white, and rede, Such plenty grew there never in mede

GEOFFREY CHAUCER: TROILUS AND CRISEYDE (14TH CENTURY)



Wisteria blossom in clusters Lovely coloured and long Intending to cherish him I bought sake

And offered it to him Embracing my beloved Just as the wisteria Twines around the pine

KATSUI GENPACHI: THE WISTERIA MAIDEN (1826)


My copy.

Raincoast Books Canada has generously offered to giveaway a copy of FloriographyThe Myths, Magic & Language of Flowers! One winner will be selected at random. Open until June 1, 2022. CANADA  ONLY. Good luck!

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Furoshiki: And the Japanese Art of Gift Wrapping Review & GIVEAWAY

Good-bye paper wrap and plastic bags! This is Furoshiki: And the Japanese Art of Gift Wrapping by Tomoko Kakita. Learn how to make beautiful wraps and bags simply by folding and knotting a single piece of fabric. Both the art and the cloth are known as furoshiki. These cloths may be used and reused to wrap and/or carry almost anything from an envelope to a futon. Some popular choices include books, plants, flowers, food, wine bottles and gifts. The art or technique of furoshiki is not difficult. To suit the size and shape of the contents there are options for fabric, size, color and pattern. Making the possibilities endless! This stylish little guide is divided into two sections, an introduction (answers any questions) and the tutorials (show how to do it). In her introduction the author touches on a number of points - gift giving in Japan, the origins of furoshiki and its history. This is followed by furoshiki material, sizes, designs and the significance of color in Japan. It concludes with the decline of furoshiki, its revival and the joy of using it. The bulk of this guide is its 30 tutorials. In the first one the author shows how to tie the 2 key knots - a square knot and its release and the single knot. This is followed by 29 furoshiki wrap tutorials complete with step-by-step diagram instruction with text, notes and color photos. I'll let you in on a little known detail. Included with this book is a link to a library of videos in which the author demonstrates how to do all 30 knots and wraps. I watched several of these instructional videos myself and found them straightforward and easy-to-follow. All videos are less than 2 minutes in length. One of my favorites is the book bag wrap. It's très chic for book club meetings. I also love the cushion wrap. It's ideal for quick and easy decor changes. With summer nearing I'd like to try the watermelon wrap. It looks like a cool way to carry and present a melon. This book serves as a handy furoshiki reference. Its compact size 13.72 x 18.67 cm (5.4 x 7.35 inches) makes it easy to carry. It's so lovely you'll want to leave it out. You'll return to it over and over again. It would make a wonderful gift alone or paired with a furoshiki. Interest in furoshiki has exploded likely because of its sustainability, versatility and elegance. Have you tried furoshiki? See excerpts and the complete table of contents below. Laurence King Publishing released this 144 hardcover on November 16, 2021. Get your copy below!

 

INTRODUCTION

Basic Knots
Everyday Wrap
Hidden Knot Wrap
Flower Petal Wrap
Gathered Wrap

Pom-Pom Wrap
Double Knot Wrap
Bow Corner Wrap
Twin Wrap
Gathered Bottle Wrap

Bow Bottle Wrap
Pleated Bottle Wrap
Paired Wrap
Pole-and-Loop Wrap
Fancy Wrap

Banana Wrap
Finger Loop Wrap
Rolled Wrap
Watermelon Wrap
Double-Handle Wrap

Book Bag Wrap
Tote Bag Wrap
Bouquet Wrap
Simple Drop Bag
Basket Wrap

Orchid Wrap
Twist Wrap
Ritual Wrap
Cradle Wrap
Cushion Wrap

Acknowledgements

Pole-and-Loop Wrap.


Pole-and-Loop Wrap continued.

Watermelon Wrap.


Watermelon Wrap continued.
Banana Wrap.


Page 9 of my copy. The beginning of a section on furshiki sizes. 

Raincoast Books Canada has generously offered to giveaway a copy of Furoshiki: And the Japanese Art of Gift Wrapping! One winner will be selected at random. Open until May 22, 2022. CANADA ONLY. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
     

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Mixed Media Color Studio Review & GIVEAWAY

Find color! This is Mixed Media Color Studio: Explore Modern Color Theory to Create Unique Palettes and Find Your Creative Voice by Kellee Wynne Conrad. Take an in depth look at modern color through a series of practical exercises and projects using acrylic paint. Learn about color by playing with color. Modern color is defined as a base palette of primary cyan, primary magenta, and primary yellow (CMY). This palette offers an incredible array of colors that you cannot get by mixing traditional colors. In Chapter 1 Kellee reviews the mixed media supplies she uses. This includes acrylic paint, acrylic mediums, brushes, mark-making tools, collage elements and substrates. To do the color exercises and projects in this book you'll need, minimally, a few tubes of acrylic paint (3 primary colors and white), something to paint on and a brush or two. She encourages resourcefulness. If you don't have a listed tool or material substitute or adapt. The exercises in Chapter 2 show you how to uncover your signature color palette and discover new ones. Kellee shares her 5 color principles and talks about her one guiding rule of design - variation. Chapter 3 is packed with color mixing exercises starting with a color wheel warm up. Experiment with the CMY modern color palette and more. Luscious paint color swatches and mixes are found throughout. Put it all together in Chapter 4 and make some art. Twelve mixed media projects explore painting styles, techniques and color. Each step-by-step project has a focus - complementary colors, value, range, grays and saturation. The following colors are highlighted - green, blue, orange, purple, red, black and yellow. Several guest artists are featured. If you want to master color get this book! I've never used acrylics before but this book makes me want to. It's a wonderful modern color adventure. See excerpts and the complete table of contents below. Quarry Books released the 128 page paperback ‏on August 24, 2021. A Kindle edition is available. Get your copy below!


I N T R O D U C T I O N

How I Found Color

1
SUPPLIES
My Favorite Supplies For Making a Colorful Impact

2
DISCOVERING YOUR SIGNATURE COLOR PALETTE
A GUIDE TO CREATING YOUR PERSONAL COLOR PALETTE
Palette Collecting Exercises
Kellee's Five Color Principles
My One Guiding Rule of Design: Variation is the Key

3
MODERN COLOR THEORY
LET'S EXPERIMENT WITH COLOR
Color Wheel Warm-Up
The Benefits of Making Mud
Color Has Value
Color Proportion
Alternative Primaries
Color Mixing Experiments

4
PALETTES AND PROJECTS

Lesson 1: 
COMPLEMENTARY SUCCESS
Project: Painted Postcards

Lesson 2:
FROM DARK TO LIGHT
Project: Abstract Landscape

Lesson 3:
HIGH-KEY/LOW-KEY
Project: Moody Abstracts

Lesson 4:
COLORFUL NEUTRALS
Project: Architectural Arches

Lesson 5:
CHROMA POP
Project: Painted Portal

Lesson 6:
TRICKY GREENS
Project: Dynamic Landscape

Lesson 7:
INFINITE BLUES
Project: Small Seascapes

Lesson 8:
TAMING THE WILD ORANGE
Project: Abstract Florals

Lesson 9:
ROYAL PURPLE
Project: Mixed Media Landscape

Lesson 10:
A THIMBLE OF RED
Project: Abstract Garden

Lesson 11:
BLACK AS A COLOR
Project: Mixed Media Florals

Lesson 12:
YELLOW ON TOP
Project: Mixed Media Abstract Botanical

GUEST ARTISTS
Alice Sheridan
Priscilla George
Laly Mille
Ange Miller
Regina Lord
Becca Bastion Lee
Melissa Doty

Final Thoughts
Acknowledgements
About the Author
Index


How I Found Color

Creating a Color Wheel



SUPPLIES

Oh, the thrill of walking into an art supply store and seeing all those pretty paint tubes lined up, calling to you to bring them home. But before you blow your budget, consider a few things: You don’t have to have it all. A few tubes of paint, a surface to paint on, and a brush or two will give you a good start. I suggest using a variety of materials for the projects in this book, but I encourage you to be resourceful. Adapt with what you have on hand, substitute when possible, and be innovative with your supplies. If you are interested in learning about art supplies, we’ll review the possibilities in this chapter.



DISCOVERING YOUR SIGNATURE COLOR PALETTE

Color is part of my identity as an artist. I’ll bet that if you looked at your work, you would see a color pattern as well. When you paint, do you have a go-to palette or know how to identify one that is materializing as your own signature color combination? A golden thread runs through your work and your life, and it’s the key to your own signature color palette. The best way to discover your signature color palette is to see the world with wonder. Figure out what lights your soul on fire and then embrace your natural path toward creative expression. Soon you will see color combinations everywhere you go that you simply can’t resist.



MODERN COLOR THEORY

Previously, color theory included hues such as ultramarine blue, cadmium red, and cadmium yellow. The newer colors of phthalo, quinacridone, and azo yellow are synthetic hues not found in nature and have revolutionized the way we create because they offer an incredible array of colors that you can’t get using the traditional color palette. Many artists have moved over to new and exciting possibilities with modern synthetic colors. This is where modern color theory comes into play. For printing and graphics, and now on your canvas, you can use primary cyan, primary magenta, and primary yellow. Let’s take a deep dive together into a whole new world of modern color theory.



PALETTES AND PROJECTS

One of the greatest pleasures in working with mixed media is that painting in layers is forgiving. You can correct mistakes and adjust your work along the way by experimenting with different mediums and mark-making tools. Be creative in your approach—use what you have—and substitutions are allowed. Nothing is a mistake in the process of making art. If something doesn’t go as planned, consider it serendipity, a chance to discover something unexpected in making your most authentic artwork.



TRICKY GREENS | PROJECT: DYNAMIC LANDSCAPE

In this lesson, you’ll see how a green-centric painting compares with one that is balanced with other colors and more natural hues of green. When painting landscapes, many of my students are inclined to use a bright St. Patrick’s Day green right out of the tube or mix a similar super-saturated color. To create a dynamic and interesting landscape, more variety is needed. That’s why we’re going to push the range of hues we use and include complementary colors.



INFINITE BLUES | PROJECT: SMALL SEASCAPES

This lesson will not only expose you to myriad blue hues, but it will also bolster your acrylic painting practice. If you don’t have a million blues like I do, return to the color wheel warm-up lesson (see page 36) and mix a variety of blues using the modern primaries. Once you have a nice selection, begin playing with paint and create these lovely small seascapes.



YELLOW ON TOP | PROJECT: MIXED MEDIA ABSTRACT BOTANICAL

Let’s get wild with our biggest project. This is a great opportunity to try out any of the mixed media techniques or ideas that we’ve covered, and we’ll see what happens when we bring it all together into one big yellow phenomenon. Don’t hesitate to make it your own!



The modern CMY color base.


























Photo I took of part of back cover.

Get your copy of Mixed Media Color Studio at Amazon Canada and Amazon USA. The Quarto Publishing Group has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until May 14, 2022. Canadian and USA addresses only. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, April 17, 2022

Doodling for Cat People Review & GIVEAWAY

Cat person? This is Doodling for Cat People: 50 inspiring doodle prompts and creative exercises for cat lovers by Gemma Correll. Oh what fun! Her book is designed to inspire creativity and entertain. It's a book you draw in. Follow the prompts and step-by-step exercises. There's plenty of space to doodle in. The activities vary. They are simple enough for anyone to do and enjoy. You'll definitely learn how to draw a better cat. No special tools or materials are required. Use what you like, pencil, pen, or other favorite drawing tools. The book's portable size (6 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches) and weight (12 ounces) makes it easy to doodle anywhere. There is lighthearted cat humor throughout. And fun cat facts. I find the UK illustrator's witty style very appealing - it strikes a cord. It's purrfect for creative cat-lovers! See excerpts and the complete table of contents below. Walter Foster Publishing released the 128 page paperback ‏on April 3, 2015. Get your copy below!


TABLE OF CONTENTS

How to Use This Book
20 Signs You're a Cat Person
Doodled Cats
Doodled Cat Faces
Expressions
Anthropomorphic Cats
Fashionable Furballs
Draw a Kitty
Draw a Cozy Curled-up Kitty
Draw a Kitty Sitting Pretty


Make a Doodled Cat Mug
What's in a name?
Cats Doing Tricks
A Day in the Life
Kitty Kingdoms
Cats & Dogs
Draw a Perky, Fluffy Persian
Draw a Str-e-e-e-tching Kitty
Draw a Super Sphinx
Cattitude


Draw an Anthropomorphic Cat
Cats-in-Hats
Cat-Toids
Funky Fur
Food!
Playtime!
Cats in Motion
Kitties on Vacation
Doodle Diary

About the Illustrator




Cats in Hats.


A photo I took of pages 40-41 of my copy - Draw a cozy curled-up kitty.

Get your copy of Doodling for Cat People at Amazon Canada and Amazon USA. The Quarto Group has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until May 4, 2022. Canadian and USA addresses only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 03, 2022

Creative Acrylics Review & GIVEAWAY

Learn how to paint with acrylics! This is Creative Acrylics: A Step-by-Step Beginner’s Guide to Creating with Paint & Mediums by Carla Co Chua. She introduces acrylics and provides painting tutorials on canvas and a few other surfaces. Learn about the tools and materials used in acrylic painting and what you need to get started. Set yourself up and start experimenting with your supplies. Practice exercises include color mixing, flat wash, glazing, dry-brush technique and adding texture. Begin the first of 16 acrylic on canvas lessons. Follow step-by-step photo and text instruction to make artwork. Lessons are organized by theme - still life, flowers, landscapes and skies, and adorable animals. The first lesson is a simple orange still life. Each lesson goes over a variety of fundamentals like color, composition, value, form, brushwork and perspective. Build your skills and confidence by completing all 16 paintings. The last chapter explores the versatility of acrylics. Create some DIY projects and crafts by learning how to paint on wood, fabric and leather. This is a fun and practical approach to learning about and working with acrylics. See excerpts and the complete table of contents below. Quarry Books released the 144 page paperback ‏on February 1, 2022. A Kindle edition is available. Get your copy below!


CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

1
MATERIALS
Acrylic paint
Substrates
Brushes
Mediums
Miscellaneous Tools and Materials

2
GETTING STARTED
Setting Up Your workplace
Color Theory
Basic Painting Techniques

3
STILL LIFE
A Simple Orange
Purple Grapes
Coffee Mug
Colorful Donuts

4
FLOWERS
Hydrangea
Rose
Sunflowers
Floral Bouquet

5
LANDSCAPES AND SKIES
Skies and Clouds
Pastel Evening Sky
Sunset Cityscape
Snowy Mountains

6
ADORABLE ANIMALS
Koi Fish
Fluffy Puppy
Colored Parrot
Tiger

7
PROJECTS
Cupcake Apron
Koi Pond Wooden Bowl
Floral Sneakers
Leather Tote Bag
Wooden Floral Brush Rest

TEMPLATES
RESOURCES
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
INDEX


Paint palette.


Paint brushes.


Types of acrylic paint.


2. GETTING STARTED - Basic Painting Techniques. Start of the practice exercises.


3. STILL LIFE - Orange. Start of the painting lessons.

4. FLOWERS - Start of the flower painting lessons.


One of the numerous helpful tips found throughout.

7. PROJECTS - Learn how to paint on wood, fabric, leather and canvas sneakers.

Creative Acrylics ISBN-13: ‎978-0760373279 is available at Amazon worldwide. The Quarto Publishing Group has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until April 20, 2022. Canadian & US addresses only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway