Saturday, May 3, 2014

Book Club - Mixed-Media Self-Portrait's finished

The book club started by Deb Prewitt of Blue Twig Studio continued reading the final chapter of Cate Caulacos Prato's Mixed-Media Self-Portraits: Inspiration and Techniques this month. (See review of the first chapter at Blue Twig Studio's blog here and my blog here.)  This is an excellent book if you are interested in self-portraits.
Mixed-Media Self Portraits by
Cate Caulacos Prato

The last chapter is full of projects to create self-portraits, such as art dolls, collage, photography, a fabric book, a plaster cloth mask, an assemblage of found objects, and a photographic art quilt. Full instructions for each project are given. 

I found this chapter very informative, as it's full of real examples of self-portraits that do not include a face!  When one says "self-portrait", usually a facial view comes to mind and that is terrifying for most. This chapter shows many different ways to achieve a self-portrait without including an actual facial view - it makes creating a self-portrait do-able and less terrifying. 

The journey doll is interesting, as dolls are used by children to role play and dream. A journey doll can become a vision of one's dreams or an alter ego or how one sees oneself at this moment in time. The sky's the limit in terms of embellishing a journey doll. 

I love the idea of the journal - a fabric journal, a paper journal, a mixed-media journal - that focuses on a specific year, event, milestone, whatever in one's life. The example chose the year of birth and created a page for each month highlighting what was happening in their life and/or the world. This could be done for any important time period in one's life. This is one I could see myself doing. 

Some quotes from this chapter that I really like are:
     "I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well." - Diane Ackerman

     "The journey between what you once were and who you are now becoming is where the dance of life really takes place." - Barbara De Angelio

     "The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware: joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware." - Henry Miller

I collect quotes. My grandmother started me doing this. Before she died, I had asked her to create a journal of her life for me. She wrote many quotes that she really liked in the journal. I've continued to do that over the years. I am now adding them to art journals. So I had to add some quotes from the book that I find inspiring.

Thank you, Deb, for recommending this book. It really is a great book full of ideas and how to get to know yourself better in order to create a self-portrait, that can be done in many different ways. I'm sure I will be using this book as a reference for years to come. 

Check out Deb's blog for next month's book, Ignore Everybody and 39 other keys to creativity by Hugh MacLeod. From the title, it's got to be a great book!! 


  1. I loved all the quotes that were scattered through the book as well. I try to gather quotes as well, although I'm not always very good at remembering to write them down in my quote book. :) It sounds like a lovely gift your grandmother gave you.

    1. My grandmother was a special lady. The journal she gave me is priceless. She taught me so many things - my love of all things fiber comes from her. She encouraged me to go for my dreams and that anything was possible. I will always miss her, but treasure all the time I had with her.