Thursday, May 18, 2006

Book Review - Visual Chronicles by Linda Woods and Karen Dinino

Visual Chronicles

Visual Chronicles: The No-Fear Guide to Creating Art Journals, Creative Manifestos and Altered Books

by Linda Woods and Karen Dinino
Publisher: North Light Books (an imprint of F+W Publications), 2006
ISBN: 1581807708 ; Paperback : 128 pages
Reviewed By Kim M. Bayne, Paper Crafts Editor for
Rating: ★★★★
If you fear exploring your creativity, but are still drawn to the idea of documenting your personal history through artistic journals or altered books, two sisters – authors of “Visual Chronicles” – will inspire and enlighten you. Sisters Karen Dinino and Linda Woods guide novice book artists through stamping, collage, painting and writing with simple journaling projects designed to open your mind to new possibilities.

Tapping into the full breadth of the typical creative psyche, Karen (the lawyer) and Linda (the artist) combine their innate, individual talents to explore the application of colors and shapes to the scribing of expressive text. From chapter to chapter, the focus of their book is clear – it’s all about “me,” but in a good way. Fear-busting chapter titles include “I Have No Time,” “I’d Have to Do It All Alone,” and “Nothing Happens in My Life.”

“Good grief! They read my mind,” I thought as I glanced through the Table of Contents. In fact, when I spied the “Entry Denied” brick wall made of a line drawing and rubber stamps, I knew immediately we were all on the same page – literally. I had embraced the “brick wall” motif previously by applying dimensional paint to an altered book cover, so right then I knew I’d found kindred spirits in these two authors.

Artistic inspiration and projects aside, this book is simply entertaining reading. You could curl up and read it with nary an embellishment or glue stick in sight. You’d still come away satisfied that you’d shattered a few mental myths in the process. For example, Fear Buster No. 5 – titled "I Don’t Have Any Ephemera" – simply says "Ladies, look in your purse." For those of us reliant on fanny packs and multi-pocketed vests, we still get the picture. Ephemera can be merely the stuff that documents your lives – ticket stubs, receipts and wrappers are evidence that we have experienced life. In other words, “Every day is an artful journal,” write the authors.

So stop lamenting that you are not an artist and can’t draw a straight line. Pick up a copy of “Visual Chronicles” and start exploring your life today.

Product Resource Guide
· Buy Visual Chronicles at
· Browse for more Paper Crafts Books at

Article Description: Can't draw a straight line but want to document your life? Here's some help...with lots of flair.

No comments: