The book "Painted Pages" came across my desk a while back, a gift from a friend who knows how much I love sketching and mixed media. The book is written by Sarah Ahearn Bellemare, a mixed-media artist and workshop instructor from New England.
I dove into the book and ate up every page. Sarah's colorful illustrations and imaginative use of text captured my imagination and started me on my own doodle journal journey. Then I shared the book with my Mom and she also started a visual journal. So the book is inspiring to those who read it.
The book starts with the basics, like this review of the color wheel, then goes into suggestions for tools, art supplies and materials to collect. The fun of mixed media is in the combining and layering and Sarah suggests everything from paints to stencils to security envelopes (check out the DIY project that I did with security envelopes).
Sarah's perspective on collage and mixed media makes the look at common stuff around the house through different eyes. Suddenly the old bits of paper, yellowed dictionaries with missing pages and scraps of ribbon have a use. It's not the polished, expensive scrapbooking supplies that make an interesting piece, it's the scrap papers, the left-over bits, combined into an amazing whole.
Many pictures are from the artist's studio showing her at work. The step-by-steps explain how to start and execute a painting, plus other techniques like image transfer which are fun to try.
Chapter Three's Write It Out theme takes the reader through the creative process of selecting text for a mixed media piece. The author writes "I originally began painting as a way to illustrate poems, but when I began reading the works of Walt Whitman, e.e. cummings, and Pablo Neruda, I became inspired to use some of their writings in my paintings as well". Cool.
The final chapter, Gallery, shows four original paintings by the author. The book reproduces them in splendid color and they are a joy to study with so many interesting details.
Sarah's blog is rich with images and ideas too, so check it out for regular inspiration. And while you're there, check out the online workshop called Pages & Paint in July. It looks like a lot of fun and it's Sarah's first ever online workshop.
Thank you Sarah for letting me talk about your book. And thank you for writing such an inspirational work.