Art-making Reads for the Holiday: Recommended by Robin Broitman

The holiday reading marathon continues -- and the question is what to read?  Lots of my friends (both writers and readers) have "crafty" habits; chalk painting furniture (that's mine), knitting, and scrap-booking.  My talented colleague, Robin Broitman (who's worked in TV and consults on online content strategy) has become engaged with mixed media art-- and as usual, has devoured tons of resources.
I will let her take it from here:
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A few years ago, I took an art class at my local community center on stamp making and stenciling.   But the teacher didn’t include the basics of supplies and techniques.  So, I turned to the web, where I found a robust online world of mixed media art and art journaling – videos, online courses, Facebook groups, art supplies sites and books – on every technique and art medium one could imagine.
In the spirit of holiday reading:  here are fine books if you’re looking to learn about mixed media art and art journaling.  Have fun!

The first online class I took was a  Stenciling workshop offered by mixed media artist Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.  (Find it in Julie’s online classroom.)  In this well-illustrated book, Julie focuses on making and using rubber stamps.

The basics as well as a range of step-by-step techniques for making art with acrylic paint.  Includes clear instructions and great visual examples.







In addition to covering basic tools/supplies, Tesia provides techniques and exercises that help you build skills and explore your creativity using acrylics.  Watch a fun recording of an online event where she demonstrates acrylic techniques.

Instructions for a range of mixed media art techniques using household items like aluminum foil, craft glue, petroleum jelly, etc.  You’ll enjoy high quality photos and examples of completed artwork.

A collection of the best articles and projects from the mixed media art magazine Cloth Paper Scissors.  The Cloth Papers Scissors website is a god-send for beginners with a fabulous resource of free eBooks.  Publishing company Interweave’s Mixed Media shop offers an abundance of learning materials, books DVDs and my favorite downloadable videos/e-books on mixed media art learning topics. 





What’s art without a doodle?  While researching courses, I came across the website of Joanne Sharpe, who offers a range of online courses on doodling/lettering.  In this colorful book, Joanne shows her audience how to take their own personal handwriting into unique fonts and lettering styles for media media art.   



I always believed that drawing was an innate talent.  This book taught me that anyone can learn to draw. This book provides 30 days worth of simple instructions for drawing spheres, buildings, and even the human face.  All you need is a sketchbook, a pencil and practice!





The “textbook” for the author's online class that goes by the same name.  Filled with innovative techniques for incorporating mark-making into your art.  (My favorite is creating stencils with a hot glue gun.) The book is presented in 3 sections.  The first explores creating tools, the second covers techniques to use these tools to build layers in your art and the third has inspirational projects.

Here are two on my holiday wish list:

I found this one through a video on Facebook.  (You know those.)  The video shows the author demonstrating a thread painting technique.  It's intriguing because I find that I like my mistakes better than my intentional art.  I hope that this offers techniques for building on this!

In the past, artists made their own plates with gelatin, which lasted a short amount of time.  Joan Bess invented the concept of the Gelliplate, a durable, reusable printing plate.  I’m looking forward to learning techniques from Joan’s book.  
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