A Collage of Magical Ideas about Art

I am new to Taylor Ellwood's writing; this is the first book of his I've read so I really didn't know what to expect. Here's a hint: if you want a book of artistic techniques that will turn you into an award-winning artist, this isn't the book for you. Instead, the author seems to expect his audience to be more familiar with magical ideas than with the creation of art. If you've never drawn anything before in your life, and you love magic, you'll probably love this book.

The Magic of Art: How to use Sacred Art and Practical Magic to get Consistent Results (How Magic Works Book 3)
by Taylor Ellwood

The introduction, although possibly fascinating for the more magical-minded, left me a bit bored. I was hoping the book would get better and, fortunately, it did. Taylor offers up photos of some of his own artwork, which is abstract in nature and uses color more often than complicated forms. You might want to copy some of his artwork literally, for personal use, but probably not. The reason is that each piece of artwork has a personal agenda; a "magical" intention that inspired the creation of the work, and for which the artwork hopefully assists in resolving.

Your intention may be different from mine, and both our intentions might be different from Taylor's. Or maybe not. Only you know your intentions. The book has a few chapters in it. Each chapter deals with a slightly different facet of magical workings, shows an example of how Taylor used his artwork in a similar working, and finishes up with an optional exercise. Included are basic supply lists for people who want to get going on the magical part and don't want to come up with a bucket list. I have not done any of the exercises, and that doesn't mean I won't in the future. The book has a feeling of being one that I might come back to and, perhaps, cherry pick through the exercises.

Taylor's basic message is not to worry about whether you have any talent. Just get going with what you know and see what happens, and then share it with other people (hopefully nice people who will say something sweet) so that it can pick up "energy" from being looked at.

As someone who was trained at college level in the arts, and has no clue whether I have any artistic talent after so much education, I found some of the material a bit mind-numbing. This doesn't mean that the material doesn't have merits; it actually does. But, without the pressure of a client's demands and a deadline, I realized just how far things had drifted from my pre-college days of playing with art and actually enjoying the experience. Taylor may just have a few decent ideas in his exercise suggestions. Or maybe not. The only way to know is to actually give it a try.

That's just the first 100 pages or so. Interestingly, the last third of the book is where the collage starts to really get interesting. In an appendix format, several artists (all of whom happen to be female) dive in and share their artistic experiences, which range from avant-gard painting and dancing rituals, to textiles, to creatively writing about creative healing art in ways that make you remember the writing more than the art instruction.

And, last but not least, Taylor comes back into the picture and we get a little dissertation about magic of bodily health written by the author credited on the cover of the book, who dutifully includes an exercise at the end of this part, and the book trails along with a few more ads for more of his books.

I might have given this book five stars if the introduction had been more compelling, or if anyone in the book had mentioned anything about Veganism and art supplies. (hint: if you're Vegan, or aspiring to be Vegan, look up Vegan art supplies before going out and making any purchases. You'll be amazed at which suppliers are transparent about the materials in their paints, pencils, papers and brushes ... and which are dubiously silent on the topic)

This is an honest review based on my feelings and opinion about the book after I read it. I was given a review copy in advance of publication, and I did not receive any monetary compensation for creating this review.