Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop"

Serena Barton has written an outstanding book about embracing our imperfections and those of our art practices.

I read the introduction and saw myself in almost every line.

I have found my wabi-sabi art soul mate in Serena Barton.

I recently did a blog post about how I wondered if some of the art that I have made was my own art (see this post).
In that post, I talked about what you would find if you peeked into my studio journal or my photo files- they are full of what Serena calls "wabi sabi colors, texture and photos".

Her book guides you through a few pages of the unlikely places that the "wabi-sabi artist" finds inspiration.
Those photos rang a bell in my memory - right back to that blog post above.
Serena could have looked over my shoulder at the photos that I was talking about in the post.

The imperfect, the decaying, the ephemeral.

To take the parallel one step farther, you could look at the photo of the piece of artwork in that post, "Protective Armour", thumb through Serena's book at her artwork and you would be struck with the similarities.
So, having said that, you will understand why I love the exercises in this book.

I really liked the way that she encourages us to allow our intuition to take the lead when creating artwork.
I do believe that most "accidents" (or "opportunities for 'out of the box' design" as I like to call them) are the basis for the most growth as an artist.
We learn more from working around, through and on top of mistakes than we do when everything is going according to plan.
And, we have a much better recall of what works and what didn't work.

There is a wealth of interesting techniques in this book too!

If you've never worked with "re-inkers" (or like a lot of people, you have them but never use them), there are a couple of exercises (maybe more than two) that use them in the book.

The type of  exercises  in the book are a great basis for building the groundwork of being a wabi sabi artist. They not only introduce you to (or reacquaint you with) a new product, they assist you in learning all of the different applications for it.
And it's the first book that I seen that uses a few of the products used in the same piece (you will have to get the book to see what I am talking about).

The book has seven main chapters that include the following -

1. Looking for Wabi-Sabi and Finding It All Around You
1. 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. Abstraction from the Real: The Power of Suggestion
6. Translucence: Creating Wabi-Sabi in Wax
7. Buried Treasure: 3-D Wax Art and Other Enhancements

Serena has written a wonderful guide that encourages you to allow your inner voice to run free, yet gives you excellent tips/guidelines for reigning her ass in if she gets too far out there (you know that we all do it).

If you're already a "wabi-sabi girl" (or guy), you will identify with and understand the path that she walks down.

If you want to learn how to listen to your intuition in regard to creating harmonious artwork and revel in it,  then this is the book for you!

You may purchase a signed copy at Serena's site (and get a bonus of collage items!) or at Amazon (please leave a review after you read it!).
Serena is having a give away over at this site - for an original painting! Leave a comment and tell her what you are creating right now. That will put your name in the hat for the painting.

There will be more blog reviews this week - here's a handy list for you.

Jill Berry will be giving away a copy of the book at her blog on June 10th. 
She will be choosing a name from the people that leave a comment on the book review post. Make sure that you post a comment on that particular post!

Now- my advice to you is to go over to Serena's blog and purchase the book from her. You get an autographed copy (which you will cherish) and a packet of collage times to get you started on your Wab Sabi way!



Bren Graham Thebeau said...

Really appreciated this post and the review, it's a book I've been thinking about buying. I'm finding myself cut off from my deeper work, too many commissioned pieces that move me away from the freedom I need to create most authentically. It's a struggle.

Fibreartist said...

I am a Wabi Sabi girl for sure! Intuitive art is my strength ! Can't wait to get Serena 's book!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to get Serena's book. I love her work and I know the book will be amazing.

Serena Barton said...

Thanks, Carol for hosting me on my blog tour and for all of you who have left comments. Carol, I love what you've said about working through "mistakes." Art is a lot like life that way!

Jo Murray said...

The concept of reworking mistakes should be embedded into every artist's psyche. Layering just adds more depth to the work. Wear and tear of natural objects just adds a beautiful patina.