Wabi-Sabi Wonderland Bloghop and Giveaway!

Posted by on Jun 3, 2013 in Giveaway! | 88 comments

IMG_8226My new friend Serena Barton has written a wonderful book, Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop. Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese term that refers to that which is “imperfect, impermanent, aged, humble and authentic.” The book focuses on intuitive painting and mixed media techniques of all kinds, to create layered and textured pieces full of intrigue and beauty.

I decided to try one of these projects on a surface I learned to make a few years ago while studying with Brody Neuenschwander in Bruges, Belgium.

I mixed up rice starch the consistency of thick cream and painted it on a board. Then I took strips of Japanese paper and layered it on with the rice starch.   IMG_8211

I kept adding layers.

IMG_8209At some point you just have to stop, and I did.

IMG_8208When the layers were dry, I added Adirondack Terra Cotta ink, from a reinker, mixed with acrylic glazing liquid. This is something I have never done, and it makes the most magical transparent layers.


I kept adding layers of ink mixed with the glazing liquid, and at one point my piece looked like this.


Layers and layers later I ended up with this rich surface which is beachy, big surprise! Not sure what is on fire, but it made me happy so I stopped.


This process was so fun I decided to make another one, which also turned into beach.

#2WSabiSerena’s book offers projects that include paint, wax, collage and all the combinations possible while meditatively working toward “wabi-sabi.” It was the most satisfying art I have done in a while, and I think all of you should try it.

Here is the deal. You can buy her book on her blog or any online bookstore. I recommend you buy it on her blog, because she will sign it and you will enjoy that, and she will also give you a little wabi-sabi treat to go with it. What is not to love about that?

While you are there, leave a comment for a chance to win a piece of her art. Wow!

Here is the rest of the list of wabi-sabi blog hoppers.

6/1: Sara Naumann
6/3: Jill Berry
6/4 Carol Sloan
6/5 Liz Kettle
6/6 Joanne Sharpe
6/8 Seth Apter
6/9 Alicia Caudle
6/10 Pam Carriker

And now the clincher!

On June 10th I will draw one name from those who leave a comment here.

Win a copy of this book, signed by the lovely Serena, and the wabi-sabi collage kit she will toss in. Good luck! Have fun!

FYI, you have to post with email address in order to win.


  1. Hi Jill, what an interesting idea to use rice starch to create a background. I love the effects of the inks on it. Definitely a technique I’ll be trying! Thanks for the chance to win Serena’s book, it looks just fabulous.

  2. Looks so intriguing, love the final results!

  3. What beautiful pieces you made! This book looks delightful.

  4. Jill, beautiful piece and interesting technique. I have used wheat starch before but not rice starch and I’m always looking for another way to use alcohol inks. thanks.

  5. Fabulous – what a great technique! Thank you for sharing!

  6. I would love to try this out. It has so many possibilities and applications.

  7. Jill, I LOVE seeing how you made this piece… so many layers. You don’t have to include me in your giveaway, I just went over the Serena’s blog and bought her book.

  8. What a great technique – something I will definitely try! Your pieces are scrumptious!

  9. Your second piece turned out really gorgeous. I think it looks like a beautiful sunset on the ocean. Skies are one of my favorite things to look at 🙂

  10. I love this technique and would love a copy of this book. Thank you for this generous opportunity.

  11. Beautiful pieces Jill! Looks like a really fun way to work!

  12. Beautiful, beautiful pieces! This looks like a great technique and lots of fun to do.

  13. I love this art! It resonates with me to be used by itself framed or as a background for calligaphy or in pieces to use with cards. So beautiful!

  14. lots of creative juices flowing. looking good Jill. looks like a fun technique.
    Eager to see Serena’s book. We were on an encaustic conference panel discussion together a few years ago. Fun and talented lady…. all the best, Josie

  15. Thanks for trying out my techniques, Jill, and for spreading the word about my book! I just love your wabi-sabi pieces and the rice starch is a perfect addition.

    Just to clarify for readers–you can order my book from me at http://www.serenabarton.com and you can enter the giveaway at my newest blog, http://wabisabiartworkshop.blogspot.com. With two websites and two blogs, I confuse even myself at times:)

    Thanks again!

  16. This looks like fun! Withthedotangelsatfrontierdotcom

  17. Jill, lots of creative ideas. I am always looking for new ways to add dimension and depth to layers of color. I work with textiles and with mixed-media and I see lots of possibilities with this technique.

  18. What beautiful pieces I would love to win!

  19. just the book I need to help me get out of my “stay inside the lines” graphic arts background

  20. Would love to win!!!

  21. These are beautiful, Jill. Makes me want to try it! Thank you for posting!

  22. Your piece turned out great! Love the colros! This is an exciting blog hop — love the idea of wabi-sabi art!

  23. I have never heard of the rice starch technique but would love to “give it a go”. When dry did you remove it from the board? Would love to win this book. I am bonkers about trying new techniques.

  24. Wonderful technique! You have done some beautiful work!!

  25. This looks like a really fun and freeing book. Who doesn’t love embracing imperfections and celebrating happy accidents. That’s where the biggest “ah-ha” moments happen. Thanks for the giveaway!

  26. Well I love Serena’s work and would love to win this book. She is so amazing.

  27. Jill, Thanks for sharing your Wabi-Sabi art experience. It is an intriguing philosophy, seeing the beauty and simplicity in things that are imperfect. I’ve been looking forward to learning more from Serena through her new book 🙂

  28. So beautiful – especially the colors in the second piece. I would love win the book!

  29. This looks like fun. Lots of great ideas here. Thanks for the chance to win.

  30. Beautiful and very inspiring!

  31. Great book and such a fun concept.

  32. OOh Jill, how fascinating! I’m itching to try those techniques now. And I just came across the book, and fell in love. The Wabi-Sabi technique is right along my philosophy lines. I’m going to have to buy it, and if I’m lucky enough to win, i will have another copy to share with artist friends! Thank you for sharing yourself and your art!

  33. This book looks so interesting. I have been looking for something different to experiment with and this looks like it would do the trick.

  34. Awesome technique! And good job 🙂 picture are so interesting…I must try this. Thank you for giveaway.

  35. This looks like an amazing project – simple, yet beautiful.

  36. the transparent colors and layering give an amazing radiant effect, even in a photo! I’m going to try some new techniques and materials! What was the length of time you spent on each project? – Blessings.

  37. Awesome! Thank you!!!

  38. love serena’s work and your piece came out lovely too!

  39. What beautiful projects! Thank-you for the step-by-step directions. I’m going to look for that acrylic glazing liquid.
    I love what I’ve been reading about the Wabi Sabi philosophy, and am very intrigued. I would LOVE to own a copy of this book! Thanks for the chance to win!

  40. this book looks like so much fun!

  41. My wabi sabi nature just insists I throw my hat into this drawing for a chance to win this sweet book.

  42. Great giveaway! the book looks wonderful!

  43. Looks like a good technique. I old be thrilled to win the book!

  44. Serena’s book looks very interesting! Can’t wait to try these techniques?

  45. Jill, I love the pieces you created. They make me want to walk on the beach, watch a sunset…can’t wait to try the techniques from Serena’s book!

  46. Thank you so much for the great inspiration. I can’t wait to
    “free” myself with a new technique.


  47. Wow! These techniques look like fun, and I know they are all new to me.

  48. both the last two look beach scenes one during a storm. love the purples. would love to win the book. thank you for being so gracious to whomever wins it.

  49. What an exciting concept! I need some guidance for how to get out of my “keep inside the lines” box!

  50. I Love this! It looks like so much fun and takes all the ‘fear’ away…..

  51. wow I love how yours turned out! I have never heard of rice starch before. Love the texture that it and the Japanese paper add.

  52. Looks like lots of fun!

  53. Hi,

    I really like the samples you produced; very cool. I would love to win a copy of the book to try it myself!

  54. I would love to win this book so I can learn to stretch my artistic pursuits.

  55. oh wow… I am so excited reading of rice starch –oh my gosh I love all this fab techniques the artists like you and other mixed media artist try out and share with others via books or websites or DVD´s..that´s just an amazing ARTWORLD!
    wonderful outcomins ..a love both pieces.. the dept and wonderful texture … great!

    Happy to found your blog, I got subscriber and want to say thank you for your generous giveawy – what great chance!



  56. Nice work! Thanks

  57. I would love an opportunity to win this lovely book and learn some new techniques. Thanks.

  58. This technique is new to me. I love how it turned out.

  59. Thank you! I’ll have to give this a try!

  60. Your pieces are gorgeous- I am so intrigued, I have to try this technique. Thanks so much for sharing!

  61. Wabi-Sabi is a new concept to me — but I love it! I am a wabi-sabi for sure.

  62. That process is so worth trying. The layering adds such a depth and richness. Wabi-sabi is a wonderful concept and I’d kill for a copy of this book…well…almost.

  63. Looks great, can’t wait to try it and get the book.

  64. your piece is stunning! the red just made me smile — such a happy hue! i am actually going to try some of the techniques in serena’s book tomorrow, after i write my post for the blog hop. i am loving this book and getting to meet the other artists along the way this week.

  65. The glazing medium sounds quite interesting. Love your layering.

  66. Serena’s book sounds perfect for me……learn to embrace imperfection. And to learn new techniques like mixing reinkers with glaze! Your canvases are a fab! I will follow your work for its inspiring nature. Thank you for a chance to win Wabi-Sabi.

  67. Thanks so much for sharing this interesting technique with us. I love the results. Thanks also for the opportunity to win Serena’s book. I’d love to have it at my fingertips to learn new techniques. This is a great giveaway. Also grateful for your inspiring blog, Jill!

  68. tx jill for sharing and inspiring! i think i might have to try that rice starch! i want serenas book real bad, i also asked my dtr to get it for me, so my fingers are crossed, i do love her beautiful artwork! aloha, angi in hana

  69. Hi Jill,
    Loved seeing your artwork here… gives me hope that I might learn from Serena’s book too!

  70. Wow! I love the way your art turned out. What a wonderful opportunity to try something new.

  71. I’ve loved the term Wabi-Sabi for years and it certainly applies to the artistic process especially if you go with the flow. Thanks for posting this. Your work looks great the book sounds like a lot of fun!

  72. An offer too good to pass on. And I love your beachy scenes, too – so many scrumptious layers and tones of color. Wow!

  73. At 70 I am just beginning to understand how art frees the soul! Your contribution has inspired me today. Thank you.

  74. looks like an awesome book


  75. Sounds like a fun challenge to all my perfectionistic tendencies!

  76. jill, what a wonderful giveaway! i would love to win serena’s new book. what you did with rice paper is amazing. would love tot ry that! thank you for this opportunity! carlanda

  77. Rice starch is new to me. Look forward to trying it. Your pieces are stunning.

  78. This book looks intriguing! Would love to add it to my arsenal.

  79. PS from me. I did not leave my email address in the actual comment bkisrael@gmail.com. Sorry I did not read that when I commented. Not sure if you meant with the comment or in the fields required section.

  80. Wow–the paintings you made with Serena’s techniques are beautiful! I’d love to win a copy of her book! Thanks.

  81. I love your starting texture and am definitely going to give the ink and glazing medium a go.

  82. These paintings are magical! I can’t wait to try the ink and glazing liquid technique.

  83. Jill Berry! 1. If you haven’t already picked I’m entering :-).
    2. Do you need a place to stay in Portland for Art and Soul? I live here now and you’re more than welcome to stay with me. I have a loft but have a comfortable futon it youre interested. Let me know 🙂 … Jenniferwhite0112@me.com.

    • Jennifer! You did miss the deadline, so sorry! Would surely love to see you in Portland, I will be there most of the week. Will email you..xooxox

  84. The colors and textures are so complex it looks hard to make! Thanks for the samples!

  85. Please enter me in the drawing. Lovely artwork!

  86. Hi Jill love how u used this process with a flair of your own …
    Hugz bev

  87. This is so beautiful!


  1. Monday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #tutorials #giveaways | lifeimitatesdoodles - [...] Wabi-Sabi Wonderland Bloghop and Giveaway! [...]
  2. Review: Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop by Serena Barton #WabiSabi #SerenaBarton | lifeimitatesdoodles - [...] Jill Berry’s blog-Giveaway for a copy of the book-ends June 10. [...]

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