Book Review: Painted Pages by Sarah Ahearn

I recently bought Sarah Ahearn’s lovely book “Painted Pages.”

I had debated on ordering this book for awhile since the last book I bought is still sitting half read on my studio table. If I couldn’t finish a book I had, did I need to buy more? The personal philosophy of Beth Nicholls, one of my HSHB teachers, pushed me to place the Amazon order: “Money on books and travel is never wasted.”

I am so glad I ordered “Painted Pages.” My copy arrived on a Friday afternoon and Monday night found me curled in a large chair with a cup of tea, devouring this inspirational book.  With the recent buzz of teaching in my head, this book offered inspiration at just the right time.

I wrote this review on Amazon for Sarah Ahearn’s book:

I’ve had Sarah Ahearn’s book on my Amazon wish list since it was release in 2010. I read some of the reviews for her book, including the less favorable ones before placing my order, so was curious how I would feel about the book once it arrived.  

Despite my hectic schedule, I made time to sit and savor every page of her book just 3 days after receiving it. I had no need to be weary about my purchase.
This book was exactly what I wanted it to be. I LOVED her emphasis on using a sketchbook for inspiration and how she showed a direct correlation between her sketchbook and finished art. I find inspiration in many of the same items (dictionaries, antique photos, rub on letters, any discarded old piece of paper, etc) as the author, so this was a book I could completely relate to. I particularly enjoyed that this was not another book where the author gave specific instructions on how to recreate a particular piece of art. I was looking for a book on general technique and I found Ahearn’s tips were something I could incorporate into my own artistic process.
In addition to the worthwhile content, the design of the book was an added touch. The photographs, particularly Ahearn’s studio, where a great complement to the book. The design of the book mimicked the style of the sketchbook and made me almost feel I was in Ahearn’s studio sifting through her collection of papers and found objects.
I would recommend this book for any true artist looking for that added motivation to keep a sketchbook and anyone who enjoys the lost treasures of another era.

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