Inkblot by Margaret Peot

inkblotCindy: Does anyone have a bottle of india ink I may borrow? Margaret Peot has me fired up to get creative with her intriguing book Inkblot: Drip, Splat, and Squish Your Way to Creativity (Boyds Mills 2011). She lays out the process for creating inkblot designs and then transforming them into works of art by adding pen, colored pencil, grease pencil and crayon to embellish the inkblot. The process resembles cloud watching…looking for images in the blobs on the paper…but in this case, you get a work of art to keep. Lists of needed supplies and easy-to-follow directions on applying the ink and creating the inkblots will have artists ready to go in no time at all.

A bonus in the book is the sidebar feature of “Inkblot Heroes” starting with Hermann Rorschach, the man who developed the inkblot test for psychoanalysis. Author Victor Hugo used the inkblot technique to start his paintings, but perhaps most amusing to young readers is Stefan G. Bucher’s blown ink technique that produces his fabulous monsters. His monsters, and videos of himself creating them can be viewed at his Daily Monster website. Now, who has the ink? I’m ready!

Lynn: Oh me too!  The focus group and I have a supply shopping list started although I am taking careful note of the warning that old clothes are advised as india ink is permanent!

There are so many encouraging features about this book for us left-brain types.  The instructions are simple and easy to follow, the the text is clear and encouraging and the sample results are beguiling!  I want some of these for my walls.  At the close of the book there is a wonderful gallery of inkblots that were created by artists as young as 5.

Cindy mentioned some of the fascinating sidebars but I also want to mention the introduction in which Peot talks about the brain and how some people are dominated more by one side than the other.  She notes that to be an “effective and perhaps extraordinary problem solver” it is important to learn to use both sides of the brain effectively.  I love the idea of how important it is to cultivate creativity through playfulness and this step by step book shows us left-brainers a great way to begin.  Just as valuable is the discussion about how to look at the world in a different way.

I think this terrific book can be used with all ages and will be a great addition to most libraries.  Now – where is my paint shirt?

nonfiction_mondayClick on over to Shelf-Employed for today’s Nonfiction Monday entries.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

1 Comment on "Inkblot by Margaret Peot"

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  1. shelfemployed@gmail.com' Lisa says:

    Thanks for pointing out this book (and the link to The Daily Monster – love it!). This seems like a very accessible craft – minimal supplies and maximum imagination.

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