Accessibility in Watercolor & Interior Design | Crafts & DIY Reviews

An excellent introduction to the rewarding medium of watercolor for artists of all levels; for readers looking for ideas to blend old and new items into a cohesive look for their homes

redstarEwing, Kateri. Watercolor Is for Everyone: Simple Lessons To Make Your Creative Practice a Daily Habit—3 Simple Tools, 21 Lessons, Infinite Creative Possibilities. Quarry: Quarto. Aug. 2020. 128p. ISBN 9781631598593. pap. $22.99. CRAFTS
Craftsy superstar and noted art instructor Ewing (Look Closer, Draw Better) truly believes that with the right inspiration, anyone can be an artist. To prove her point, Ewing’s latest how-to guide, which stresses the importance of the learning process over that of the finished product, takes advantage of the fluid nature of watercolor to help novice artists (as well as established painters in need of a slight kick in the pants to their imagination) unlock their inner creative geniuses. After providing concise and clear information about the necessary tools of the watercolor trade and how to care for them, Ewing sets forth a series of 21 intuitive lessons that are drawn from the world around us and allow users to experiment with a range of objects in the creative process. VERDICT Written in a warm and inviting tone that is both inspirational and aspirational, this is an excellent introduction for artists of all levels to the rewarding medium of watercolor.—John Charles, ­formerly of Scottsdale P.L., AZ

Farmer, James T. Arriving Home: A Gracious Southern Welcome. Gibbs Smith. Aug. 2020. 240p. ISBN 9781423654131. $45. INTERIOR DESIGN
Through his previous eight books, the young Southern designer, Farmer (A Place To Call Home), has become a lifestyle expert joining the ranks of P. Allen Smith and Martha Stewart. This book showcases several of the homes he’s decorated in the eastern half of the U.S., each in its own lavishly illustrated chapter. There are introductory remarks for each chapter and photo captions throughout, but this is not a step-by-step tutorial on decorating. Rather, readers gather inspiration from the photos that marvelously capture the welcoming, comforting feeling of home Farmer’s style evokes. With a healthy respect for tradition and an understanding of modern lifestyles, he ­confidently mixes ­vintage family pieces with new items. He unapologetically layers patterns and textures in rooms while throwing in generous kicks of color, too. The look is simultaneously vaguely familiar and fresh. Though reminiscent of English country style and rooted in his Southern upbringing, Farmer’s ideas can be used anywhere (though his reliance on layering and patterns may not appeal to minimalists). VERDICT As the economy tightens, readers will be looking for ideas to blend old and new items into a cohesive look for their homes. This book demonstrates it is both possible and stylish. Recommended.—Bonnie ­Poquette, Milwaukee

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