Saturday Review: Somewhere Under the Rainbow

Somewhere Under the Rainbow, citizen erased, citizen erased photography, tara mcphersonSomewhere Under the Rainbow.

Somewhere Under the Rainbow is a coloring book by Tara McPherson of her artwork through Dark Horse Publications in 2008. I picked mine up two years ago and am still absolutely in love with it. It’s a coloring book mostly but you also get 4 postcards you can color, a sticker set, and with 24 crayons (the colors are custom created by her) in a cute vinyl bag. I collect postcards and stickers so these extra were amazing for me and they do not disappoint. I’ve included below photos of all the extras. It is hard to see how cute the vinyl bag is so you’ll have to trust me and I have already used two of the postcards. That leaves the coloring book itself and the custom crayons. I love coloring books, and this really doesn’t disappoint. She includes most of her artwork that she made before 2008 and the images used are very similar to her art book, “Lonely Heart“ that she put out in … also through Dark Horse. The quality of the paper is very good and it is easy to use markers or pencils crayons with it. I love that it’s in a ring style book so it is easy to flip pages over and color or if you wanted to take out. I’ve colored a few pages and the experience was really fun, you can make your own creation of her work no matter how weird it may end up looking (I am terrible at color theory). She includes all the details of her original pieces and her artwork translates well to the coloring book format. She even included her comic strip work. I guess the only downside to me was the crayons, the custom colors are amazing and I really love them however crayons by nature don’t work as well as they ever should. And anyone over the age of 5 has advance from crayons to pencil crayons so it was really a missed opportunity to not have them instead. And judging from the adult nature of her work, I don’t think the intended audience is anyone under the age of 15. I think it would be a dream to have the custom colors she made in pencil crayons instead. But buying a pack of pencil crayons is hardly a difficult thing to do so this was not a big issue for me at all. It’s simply wonderful, whether you a coloring book enthusiast, love her artwork and want to try your hand color it, or you want to perfect your color theory it’s a great book to do that with, and the extras are the icing on top. High recommended.

For more of her artwork check out here website: Tara Mcpherson

Check out below of photos of the extra items and select pages of the coloring book:

 

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Saturday Review: “Lost Constellations” by Tara McPherson

taramcpherson

 “Lost Constellations” – by Tara McPherson

 

Lost Constellations is the 2nd book featuring Tara McPherson art, its hard covered, 8.5″ x 11″ with 112 pages. This book showcases her art from 2009 and her first book Lonely Heart in 2006. I love her unique sense of fun, and its great that she shows you all elements of her art career, showing you the paintings and the posters that come from it as well as her sculpture work and comics. This is the middle book in her series, so far she’s put out one every 3 years, 2006, 2009 and 2012. She goes pop surrealism painting on a variety of materials  as well as silk screening posters for contemporary rock bands. Her color pallet is very unique to her and her style and I love the imaginary she uses in her work. She is one of my favourite contemporary artist, and she seems like a very down to earth artist who is not full of themselves or her success. I am always genuinely surprised that more people do not know of her, considering musicians seek her out to do posters for their concerts. There is some downside to Lost Constellation as its not covering a long period of time the work featured is sometimes repetitive. Its more a complete look at what she’s been doing instead of showcasing just her best pieces. She alternates from full pages pieces to showing one side sketch drawing with the other one being the painting completed. I like this style and she uses it for all of her three books, however on Lost Constellations it feels a bit more repetitive and the same old same old; I did not get this feeling with her other two books. Perhaps having less pages would make it seem a bit tighter and less formulaic. It is really nice to see her sketch work, especially on the posters she does for bands but when it happens on almost every page it almost gives an impression to me like there wasn’t enough complete pieces to show. Her vibrant art, works best when its side by side another painting, and not a black and white sketch. However its genuinely nice to see her before sketches, it just doesn’t work as well in Lost Constellations as it does in the other two books. I really enjoyed it and if you are a fan of hers, its a must have, however if you are new to her art I suggest buying her one of her other books first to get into her world.

 

*for a compelte look at Lost Constellations click below, and more of her art check out: Tara McPherson

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