The Five Mixed-Media Art Books You Need on a Deserted Island

I love the "stranded on a deserted island" game. You know, the one where you have to decide which two books (Pride and Prejudice,  The Complete Works of Shakespeare) or records (James Taylor's greatest hits and Steely Dan "Aja") or friends (not going there) you would choose to take with you.

mixed media art cuffs by alisa burke
Printed and stitched cuffs by
Alisa Burke from Sew Wild.

So, today I'm choosing the five mixed-media art books I'd grab if I were forced to choose. (Note: I'm not going to choose any of my own because I already have them in my headand that means I get to pick two more!) As far as supplies to use the books are concerned, let's assume I'd bring some basics with me and could make supplies from the natural materials at hand.

1. Sew Wild by Alisa Burke. Yes, I realize I would also have to be stranded with a sewing machine (best case) or at least be able to fashion a needle out of a bird bone or something. But Alisa's ability to make something beautiful out of just about anything with some ingenuity and a few stitches would really inspire me. And think of the funky clothes I could create.

2. Mixed-Media Explorations by Beryl Taylor. Beryl is another artist who can turn mundane items into beautiful art. In her case, she patiently and painstakingly adds layer upon layer of silk, beads, paper, and embroidery to create gorgeous art. And on a deserted island, I'd have nothing but time to see what I could make. Plus, even if I didn't make anything, I would still enjoy looking at the photos of her artwork.

3. Printmaking and Mixed Media by Dorit Elisha. Printmaking is easily done on a deserted island, assuming there is vegetation. Dorit's techniques all work without using a printing press, and there would be tons of found objects available to make patterns and stamps with.

mixed media heart by beryl taylor
Silken mixed-media heart tag by Beryl Taylor.

4. The Encaustic Studio by Daniella Woolf. With beeswax and pieces of wood, I could play with encaustic collage all day. OK, maybe this seems like the most far-fetched, least practical selection, especially if you think of encaustic collage as wax with fabric or paper only. But Daniella demonstrates so many interesting ways to use encaustic-including making little paper boats-that it would be worth taking this book along. (With any luck I'd have a DVD player to watch the video that accompanies the hard copy.)

5. The Cloth Paper Scissors Book by Barbara Delaney. This book covers all the mixed-media art techniques I'd ever want to play with. In fact, if I could only take one book with me, this would be my choice.

Those are my choices. What about you? Do you have an art book (or five) that you couldn't live without? Let's start a summer reading list for each other in the comments section below.

And if you like my choices, you know they are all available in the Cloth Paper Scissors Shop online.

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