Friday, 25 January 2013

January Book Review - Painted Pages


My first book for Darcy's artful readers club is Painted Pages by Sarah Ahearn Bellemare.

My first mistake with this book was when I bought it. I didn't buy this book in person I got it on-line and bought it off the name and front cover alone. To me the name painted pages and the images on the cover denotes some sort of painting book. I was very wrong in this conclusion and really do not understand why it is called painted pages when it has nothing to do with painting. It is in fact a book about collage and sketchbooks which if you do read the synopsis at the back does imply.

The book as a whole after I had realized my mistake was not so bad. It has good beginning section on materials that a novice would learn a few things from, as an experienced mixed media fanatic I was already familiar with the information provided. It does however give good advice on collage material and what to collect. The book also has a good section on how to do a basic image transfer, if you have never done that before.

Their is one paragraph in this book that really made me laugh ''Begin a new art-making session with a nice clean desk'' That never happens in my room, no matter how hard I try!

I found one thing really annoying with this book, it gives you a paragraph on something and then tells you to go to another page near the back of the book to see the illustration, it was pretty pointless, it could have just been written with that illustration instead. The book also has several sections and photographs on guest writers, these make absolutely no sense at all. These guest writer articles seemed to appear at random and had nothing to do with the section they were placed in. They are not relevant to the book and I could see no reason for it being included in the book apart from to add a few more pages.

I have seen this artist published in Somerset magazines, this is what initially prompted me to buy this book as she had some really good articles and art work. Had I flicked through the book in person in a shop I would not have bought it because I do not like to do collage and I think it is aimed at the beginner market.

Sorry to say, I would have to recommend to pass on this one.

As part of the club challenge we are to do a piece of work inspired by what we have read. Here is mine. I asked friends to pick random numbers for the prompts at the back of the book to create my page. The prompts used in order are: Use book page as collage, sign your name on the piece, close your eyes and paint or draw, paint lines shapes or dots with a tiny brush, paint with your finger. To finish I added words and doodling.


31 comments:

Virginia said...

Well if I'd seen a book that said painted pages I would have guessed it would have been about paint and pages - but apparently not - how utterly frustrating! On the plus side, I don't need to buy it now and you've managed to create a fab piece of artwork!

NatashaMay said...

That is so disappointing! I would have thought it was about painting as well. The photos on the cover look great. Well, at least you got a page out of it. Lol! Looks great!

Jenny said...

How disappointing Clare... yes... you would assume with that title that it would have at least something to do with painted pages.... really like what you created too...

Jenny ♥

Sarah said...

what a pity the book was a disappointment - I love the look of the cover, and I think I have this one on my Amazon wish list already - but I don't think I'll bother with it if it is very basic, I have so many books that tell me all the same things already!

I like your artwork though, I always admire pretty pastel colours in other peoples' work but can't seem to get the hang of using them myself

San @ Made in Hem said...

I'm sorry the book was such a disappointment... I really do like your Art page! At least one good thing came from this book! ;) ♥

Ria Gall said...

Rubbish book but you have created a great painted page.
Ria

Gina said...

Totally agree with your assumption that this was a book about painting techniques...though you did manage to get a pretty apt piece of art by using the prompts..your "Painted Pages" look fabulous :D XXX

Gina Shillitani said...

I hate when books are misrepresented! I have been caught up that way more than once buying books online - that is the inherent danger in it. Your art, on the other hand, is gorgeous!

Jez said...

So wrong of publishers to slant the title and cover pic to try to widen their market. I find this really annoying - and sometimes costly. I bought myself for Christmas 'Drawing and Painting People - a Fresh Approach', with a female figure interestingly painted on the cover. It's certainly a fresh approach, but very little if anything to do with painting people. The art featured in the book is truly awful (in my eyes, and I like abstracts) and its only saving grace is that some of the text is interesting and thought-provoking. So if you see that one, think before buying.
Sorry - back to your book. I just felt so annoyed for you! From the way you describe the layout with text and pictures separated it sounds like the designer was just out of college, and I often feel that guest writers are used to fill up a rather skimpy book.
So all in all this was a very useful review. It's as important to know what to avoid as it is to find something new to read, and I enjoyed reading the review.
It must have been difficult to make art for a book you were so disappointed with - good idea to get friends to choose the topic by proxy.

cindyw said...

Love your honest review of the book. I did review on collage book and don't feel the need to read another. I love your artwork....love your border with words added.

Jay said...

haha a PAINTED pages book about..none painted pages thats brilliant! sorry to see it was kind of a bust, but you can always..paint over the pages..lol

Carmen said...

I'be read this one. I was lucky and got it free to review. I agree with a lot of what you said but ultimately enjoyed the book even though it was not my style in any way whatsoever.me too but I think they did that so they could keep the final chapter as one where you saw it go from beginning to end piece.

Love your review, very honest and am impressed that you managed to still creates a fab piece of art from it. That jumping back and forth annoyed

Darcy said...

Great review, i too would have thought it was a book about creating 'painted' pages not collage pages. i think I shall pass on this one as it seems very basic. sounds like it jumps around a lot too and doesn't flow well, something that would really annoy me.

you still managed to make a good page from it though, love the doodled border and from a non painted pages book you created a painted page lol

Shirley said...

What a shame that the book did not live up to its promise but at least you have managed to produce a great piece of artwork. I have a feeling that I have the book on my bookshelf from a while back, must go and search it out. It obviously did not make an big impression at the time of me 'reading' it!

Karin said...

Hi from not so far away in snowy Scotland! I just googled this book under blogs to see what others are making of it as I have just bought it this week. I too am very disappointed. I liked the bit, when previewing, about "finding your way, your own way....." but this is such a particular way of working, using all the ephemera etc, and her images are so lovely that I don't see how I could develop my own style from reading this.I'm only about a third of the way through but I think I'm going to send it back. Thanks for your review.

Dee said...

Thanks for your honest review. I think I would have made the same mistake as you (it certainly looks like a book that may be about painting techniques). Nevertheless it resulted in some great artwork from you - well done.

P.J. said...

It's never good when a book review starts with "My first mistake with this book was when I bought it." :)

Glad you at least got something out of it. It's too bad it seems like very little though.

The artwork is awesome though. Nicely done!

sam21ski said...

Thanks for your review of the book. I personally wouldn't of thought of buying it anyway, but from what I understand it sounds like a mis-representation of the contents!!

Thanks again for the info.

Sam

Carmen said...

Just working my way through the list again where I was having trouble posting yesterday on my tablet. I see you got a nice lot of jumbled ramble from me - whoops, sorry about that x

Manon said...

I love your honest review and I guess the title not corresponding with the book says it all for the rest of the book. I won't be buying it now. Lovely art work came from it tho!

Janet said...

Lovely art page and such a disappointment for you that the book was not as you thought. Thank you for persevering and completing the assignment.

Janet xx

Jen said...

A really useful review thank you. Like your random picks to create your page. It turned out so well.
Jen x

Kelly M. Myers said...

I appreciate the honesty in your review. I had an inspired idea when I looked at your illustration...I thought how precious collaborative art can be for the future self...how we can look back at things we created with others and feel a sense of comfort.

Michelle Vanstrom said...

Thanks for the heads up on the book. Interesting that the title mislead you. Love the approach you took with your artwork. It's clear you're beyond beginner. Michelle Vanstrom

Leialoha said...

Clare, Mahalo for your informative review...love how you combined your friend's prompt picks into one piece...great colors & layers...

SusieJ said...

At last a book I know s'thing about! Carmen passed her copy to me and as a beginner to mixed media, and with an interest in collage, I quite liked it....although I too had assumed it would be about painting!
Love your very honest review and the fact that you used prompts from the book for your artwork.
Hugs xx

Ali said...

Frustrating that the book was not what you expected, but your resulting artwork is great. I have written down the prompts you used and might give it a go to see what happens here!

lorig said...

Interesting artwork from the disappointing book. Even as a beginner I think I will avoid this one based on your review.

Maz said...

Going by your review I'd have said Painted Pages isn't really the best title for the book! Great artwork though and I hope your next book is better!

Last Door Studio said...

Thanks for your thoughts on this book..

As wonderful as the cover is - I would be very much put out if a book I bought didn't live up to my expectation..

Loving your art as always..

S..

Catie Cuddles said...

How disappointing ... But at least you created something fab from the disappointment!

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