-by Gwen Diehn
Paperback, 128 pages
Publisher: Lark Books; 1st Pbk edition (August 28, 2003)
ISBN-10: 1579905129 / ISBN-13: 978-1579905125
MY RATING: 4.5/5
In The Decorated Page — an inspiring and amply illustrated forerunner to her most recent work, The Decorated Journal — author and artist Gwen Diehn effortlessly motivates the flowing of creative juices with regards visual journaling (complementing descriptive text with visual art), beautifying and personalizing journals, scrapbooks, and albums as a form of artistic expression.
Diehn’s The Decorated Page, attests that she is not only adroit at binding and embellishing beautiful books, also finds her niche in writing them. From the first page onward, it is evident that the author, who teaches journal-creation itself as an art form, takes great pride in sharing the details of her creative knowledge and experience, as much as she enjoys putting them to use.
Each cleverly laid-out colourful pages include easy-to-grasp instructions and suggestions, which build gradually on the preceding pages, allowing the reader to progressively observe how the core pieces of the project fit together and visualize the finished product. It is literally brimming with beautiful samples of uniquely decorated journals and albums utilizing different materials, equipment, mediums and techniques, that will be sure to inspire even the most hesitant of artists and journal keepers.
The Decorated Page incorporates the use of various contemporary materials such as watercolour, pastels, coloured pencils, crayons, liquid acrylics, ink, and more, along with a vast array of techniques to get the most out of your materials. Also helpful are Diehn’s detailed and practical comparisons of various types/weight of paper, varieties of adhesives, and brushes. Other design suggestions include the use of cut-outs, copier transfers, gouache, collage, colour washes, stamping, etc., to enhance the beauty and interest of your journal. The author touches upon dry/wet processes, use of transparencies and drop shadows to add an interesting dimension to the journal’s pages.
As was the case in The Decorated Journal, Diehn generously offers her readers an additional comprehensive workshop-in-a-book with The Decorated Page — a great companion to its predecessor, which will be sure to delight journal enthusiasts. Whether you are a novice or “journal veteran”, an occasional journal reader/writer or an avid daily archivist, this book will prove to be a treasure trove of inspiration and imaginative ideas.
— Reviewed for Sterling Publishing Co. NY