Monday, February 20, 2012

February Pass the Book - The Artist Unique

I must admit that some parts of The Artist Unique: Discovering Your Creative Signature Through Inspiration and Techniques by Carmen Torbus were a little intimidating for me. Along with the stories of 16 different artists, the book includes step-by-step instructions for 17 mixed-media techniques. Many of these techniques were new to me and utilized supplies I don't have in my current stash - items like polymer clay, molding paste, watercolors, crackle paste, gesso, and beeswax.

However, there were a few "simpler" techniques (using supplies I had on hand) that I did try out in my art journaling. (Fine Print - I cannot draw and do not consider myself an artist. I'm pretty sure there are 1st graders who could do a better job! But I did have lots of fun and that, to me, is most important.) The first technique was to simply "draw with your eyes closed" and involved drawing a simple shape on a piece of paper with your eyes closed, then looking to see if you could create a picture with that line. Here's what I drew:

I thought the space in the middle looked like a little pond, so I set to work coloring in my drawing. I love having lots of markers and crayons and pencil colors handy to work on projects like this.

After coloring in the blue water, I decided to try out some of my stamps for the "land" area.

It's hard to see, but I actually used two different sized flower stamps and two different shades of pink ink for the little flowers.

I then decided to create a little trading card using another of the "simpler" techniques in the book - stamping with bubble wrap. I used the next page in my art journal as a pad while I was inking these blank cards.

After adding the yellow background, I used brown ink and a piece of bubble wrap to stamp around the sides of the card. Then I used one of my new stamps from Rinda's stamp giveaway to add a sentiment to the center of the card.

I'm planning to send this card to a friend, so I also stamped and inked a Mail Art envelope while I had my supplies out.

I then cleaned everything up by completing the overflow page in my journal and adding a little quote.

So, there you have it, a few of my latest "artistic" creations. There are a couple more techniques I'm inspired to try - artsy envelopes & hand lettering - so I just may be back later this week with more inspiration from this book.

In all honestly I found this book fascinating and enjoyed seeing the pieces that the artists created. This book would be an inspiring read for anyone interested in mixed-media art and art journaling. I really like this quote from Bridgett Guerzon Mills:

I used to think that being an artist meant that one would have these creative visions just appear before her, waiting to be put on canvas. But I have learned that creating a painting is something a bit more organic. It comes through practice. It arrives by coming to the easel or table every day and just working.

If you'd like to be the first recipient of The Artist Unique, please leave a comment telling me about the last new technique you tried in your art (whether it was art journaling or a canvas or a scrapbook layout or whatever medium you're working with). I'll pick a winner this coming weekend, so be sure to check back then to see if this book is heading to you! [If you are new to Pass the Book, check out all the details for Pass the Book:Year Two here.]


  1. Gosh, that's a hard one for me - I'm not really a technique-y scrapper at all. I just bought a few stamps to try on my pages, though. That's a start! It's not too long since I received a book, so I'm happy to skip the draw for this one; but I'm glad you showed us how it has inspired you. It shows how most books really do have something for everyone

  2. Looks like fun Melissa! I'd love to discover my "creative signature" as I seem to only mimic what I see and learn... so yes, I'd love to be in the drawing!

  3. Oh, please put my name in the draw - that book looks right up my alley (I have all those supplies - LOL!). And so fun to see you using those stamps!

  4. I'm going to pass on this one Melissa, though I've enjoyed seeing how it inspired you!
    Alison xx

  5. Looks like a fun book - Thanks for your kind words and prayers - feeling a little better today x

  6. Sounds like a good book, I am just getting into mixed media journalling and am enjoying it!

  7. Wow, what a beautiful work of art! Sounds like a great read, I'd love to be in the drawing!!

  8. oh, and I love getting into art journaling more...I want to try more of my own art instead of adding so much stamping. I need to "let go" more!


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