image, a photo by momoo50 on Flickr.
Today my post is a book review. I pre-ordered a book months ago that was written by Mary Beth Shaw and it arrived last Thursday. I did happy dance knowing that I would be delighted with the contents of my friend's latest endeavor. However, I need to step back a few years to explain how I met Mary Beth.
Late March 2010 I attended ArtFest as a 60th birthday present to myself. I actually turned 60 in November of 2009, and sent in my registration for this wonderful Art Retreat as my present. One of the classes I registered for was taught by LK Ludwig and involved painting backgrounds on paper. I was very interested in the class because I love paper and wanted to find ways to paint paper that I would use for my greeting cards. In the class LK let us use stencils she brought. There was a set of stencils that the entire class literally lost their minds over. I knew I had to have at least two, one that looked like a cluster of pebbles and one that looked like rows of intricate squares. LK told us she was using Stencil Girl Stencils and giving them a test run in her class. We could purchase them at Vendor night. Oh my, I was sooooo geeked. So, on vendor night, money in hand I made a bee-line to the Stencil Girl table (so did about 50 other attendees). The scene was not pretty. I started out at the front of the table and mid-choice I was pushed way to the back and in a blink, all of the stencils were gone. To say I was devastated is putting it mildly (did I mention I absolutely abhor shopping in crowds?). I guess the look on my face must have been pretty pitiful because Mary Beth actually talked to me, asked me which stencils I wanted and let me order them. From that moment on she had an undying fan.
Fast Forward to today. Last Thursday evening I sat down with a cup of hot chocolate and opened my copy of Stencil Girl: Mixed Media Techniques for Making and Using Stencils. My initial goal was to read the book in one setting. I quickly realized that power reading would be an insult to this book. The title says it all Mixed Media Techniques. It is divided into three sections. After the Intro and supply list you will find: Stencil Art, Stencil Décor and Stencil Fun.
"Whether you are a beginning stencil artist or an old pro, this book will offer you some fresh ideas to expand usage of your stencil library. Use this book as a starting point......It is my intent to provide you with inspiration that will spark even more ideas and propel you off into new directions." This quote from Mary Beth is found in the Stencil This article at the front of the book. It perfectly explains her purpose. It is not to dazzle you with pretty pictures, it is to provide you with ideas by generously showing us her process. I am definitely going to try Spray it Again, Sam found on pages 66 and 67.
In addition to Mary Beth's step by step instructions, you will find pictures of stencil projects completed by artists such as Tracie Lyn Huskamp, Jane LaFazio and Joanne Sharpe.
I am not a professional book reviewer. I have written reviews here on by blog of friends who have written books because I firmly believe that as artists (yes I finally called myself an artist), we must support each other anyway that we can.
I am new to the art world and yet I have made so many friends who have encouraged me, taught me and inspired me to at least try.
You can visit Mary Beth's website, www.mbshaw.com, to see more of her marvelous work.
Well that is it for this week dear reader. Have a thoughtful week and thanks for stopping by.