(The link to the book is an Amazon affiliate link. If you should choose to buy it through this link, I may receive a commission. Thank you.)
This book “A Fine Romance: Falling in Love With the English Countryside” by Susan Branch is an anglophile’s dream book. This book was created totally by hand. Susan painted the pictures, took the photos, even painted the words, and, of course, told the story. She and her husband took the Queen Mary 2 over to England and spent two months falling in love with England all over again. Then they took the Queen Mary 2 back home. What a trip! What a book! What a beautiful work of art! This is a must have for every bookshelf and every home. Plus, you need to actually read it!
A few times while reading this book, I cried from the sheer beauty of the thing. And when it was over, I sat with the book in my lap and just sighed and savored it. The feel of the book is good, too. Heavy, substantial, the pages thick and healthy. A satisfying book in all respects. It has been a week since I finished it. This copy is a library book. I need to get my own and I think I will read it again…. Soon….
This is a charcoal drawing of Portrait of a Girl. The original was painted by Michiel Sweerts (1618-1684). He was a flemish painter of the baroque period. He has done some really lovely portraits.
This charcoal drawing was done on watercolor paper that was prepped with burnt sienna acrylic paint. I covered the painted paper with charcoal, rubbed it into the texture of the paper with a brush, then I coated it again and started removing charcoal with a kneaded eraser. The entire thing was a process of adding and subtracting charcoal. I also used white charcoal pencil for highlights. It was touch and go for a while. At first, it was looking like I was making a mess. But, if you just trust the process and keep going, it does get better and you can back down off the cliff and continue. (At least, that is MY process… LOL!)
I am very happy with her. When I started to work on her, I suddenly realized that I was not filming and started to get up and get my equipment. But then, I decided that I would like to just get lost in the zone every once in a while. I relaxed and took off.
I have read the most nifty book! I will be posting about it next week. Oh, it is SO NIFTY! And beautiful! May you dream and wonder about it until I get my post up… LOL!
Though trees burn bare and girls turn wives,
We shall afford our costly seasons;
There is a gentleness survives
That will outspeak and has its reasons.
There is a loveliness exists,
Preserves us, not for specialists.
-- William DeWitt Snodgrass
I just finished the book The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It is an amazing book and it brought back memories for me. Of Pinky.
I knew her for a brief time in my childhood. She was the cook and/or housekeeper for relatives of mine. One summer I stayed with them for a time and “helped” Pinky in the kitchen. I’m sure I was not all that much of a help, but Pinky made me feel like I was a great help to her. She was wonderful. She smelled warm and delicious. She felt smooth and soft. Her voice fell like a comforter on my heart. She was kind, loving, and beautiful. And she could cook. (Chocolate pies…!!!) Pinky invited me to her house and my mother drove me out. Pinky had a gift for me in appreciation of my help. She gave me a cross necklace and a hug. I have a sneaking feeling that she also prayed for me. I was a very privileged little girl. I will never forget her.
“I listened wide-eyed, stupid. Glowing by her voice in the dim light. If chocolate was a sound, it would’ve been Constantine’s voice singing. If singing was a color, it would’ve been the color of that chocolate.” ― Kathryn Stockett, The Help
(Some links in this post may be affiliate links which means if you buy something, I will receive a small commission.)
Well, we finally have come around to painting the apple after talking about supplies and mixing the paints.
If you have not watched the earlier videos, please check them out:
If you have any questions about art, or these particular videos, please let me know and I will do what I can to answer them. Also, try following along with me. It is fun to paint. It doesn’t have to be good, as you can see by mine, but it can be relaxing and fun. When I am concentrating on my art I cannot seem to communicate. I’m sure you can see that. LOL! So, get you some supplies, pick a spot, and get to it!
I have been reading quite a bit. I read The Reading List by Sarah Nisha Adams. It takes place in London and several people get involved in a reading list which a teenager found in a library. The books that they read end up brining a lot of people in the community together. There is also quite a bit of emotional healing.
After that one, I read The Thin Woman by Dorothy Cannell. It is a cozy mystery taking place in England in the 1980’s. A man leaves his fortune and estate to his niece and her “fiance” on the condition that she lose 63 pounds in six months and he writes a book and sends it to a publisher in the same time frame, AND they find the treasure that is related to the estate. It is a wild and wacky book. I really enjoyed it. It is one of the few that I was able to solve on my own, though. This is Book One of a series.
I am now reading The Help by Katherine Stockett. It is about several women in the 1950’s south, I believe. Some are servants and some are not. So far, it is very good and I am looking forward to it, but the nearly constant use of the dialect is giving me a headache. It is too hard to constantly have to be translating in your mind as you are reading. I do anticipate that it will be a worthwhile read, however.
I also have made up a reading list for this fall, when school is back in. Our local library is in downtown right across the street from Beacon College, so when school is in it is next to impossible to find parking. So, I made a reading list for ebooks that I can find on hoopla or libby. After that reading list is finished, I will make a reading list from my own bookshelves. I am okay with reading books over and over and over again.
Do any of you make reading lists and follow them? I make all kinds of lists, but I don’t stick to them perfectly. They do help, though.
I am also keeping up with my bullet journal. I talked about it in this post. I am on my third notebook for this year. I hope that this is the last one. I am using a lovely little yellow-flowered blank book this time, instead of a spiral notebook. Notebooks are good and I will use another one in the future, I’m sure, but I found this blank book in the thrift store and am using it.
I really do encourage everyone to use some version of a bullet journal. Mine is so basic, just my pen and plain writing. No fancy artwork in my journal. LOL! Go figure… But, it is very helpful in keeping track of life. Do some research and give it a try with just a notebook and a pen or pencil. If you do, let me know how it goes.
We are recovering from our first significant power outage since we have been in Florida. We actually had to break out the candles. It only lasted about an hour. The storms here can be intense, but this time there was nothing going on when the power went out. We managed to play several wild and wooly games of backgammon to candlelight.
Now, all is still and I am thinking of heading off to bed for my beauty sleep.
It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it. — John Steinbeck
I have posted my second video in the apple painting series. It is about mixing my colors. In the video, I also tone my canvas with acrylic paint.
Thank you for watching my videos while I am in this painful learning process. I am reading a book called How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck. (I hate the word “suck” as it is used so frequently, but that is the name of the book.) I appear to be a slow learner, but I am learning all the same.
I recently painted this quick little alla prima apple in oils on an 8×10 canvas. I filmed everything and am releasing it in three parts. The first part is about the supplies that I am using. The second part will be about mixing my colors. The third part will be the actual painting.
I have recently become an Amazon affiliate, so I have a list of affiliate links in the description of the video. I tried to find all the supplies that I am actually using, but they don’t have them all. I believe I found some that were good replacements. Of course, if you want to make your own art, you don’t have to use what I use. You can use any color and any supplies you want. That is the art part. LOL! If you have a local art supply store, it would be a good idea to use them. Of course, I would be grateful for any business you can throw my way, too. If you click on an affiliate link and order through that link, I will receive a small commission.
But, wherever you get your supplies, it would be nifty if you did actually make your own painting. If you do, please let me know and send a picture of it so I can see.
Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. — Martin Luther
So, what is the difference between a sketch and a drawing?
A sketch is usually much looser and less detailed than a completed drawing. A drawing can take quite a while. Some of my portrait drawings have taken many hours. The following took me 16 hours over several days:
People are sometimes surprised at how long it takes to make a detailed drawing. You can capture the essence of something or someone in a sketch, but it just gets better with more time. However, I don’t particularly care for a drawing that tries to be an exact photocopy, although it is impressive for the sheer length of time that was dedicated to it.
Anyway, Part Three of my fox drawing is up on my YouTube channel, where I finish the drawing. I could have spent a lot longer on that drawing, but it is a challenge to make a nice piece of art, film it, and keep it within a reasonable video length. The initial video was almost an hour and a half and I edited it down to 42 minutes.
We are in the middle of a horrendous thunder storm right now. We are in the land of lightning, here in Florida. I can stand quite a bit, but there is that one particular type of thunder that just gives me the jim-jams! I can’t describe it, but when it erupts, and it did twice tonight, I just about jump out of my skin.
It reminds me of a time, many years ago, when we lived in Deltona. A humdinger of a storm came up and I went to the front door and opened it to watch the light show. As soon as I opened the door a bolt of lightning smacked the road right in front of me. I screamed, jumped back, slammed the door, and ran for cover. LOL!
Ever since, I have not been as enthusiastic of a storm watcher as I used to be. We do get some nifty sunsets, though. I loved how the sun was slanting into the studio the other night.
The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire. — Pamela Hansford Johnson
This has been a hectic couple of weeks. Among other things was a very difficult time trying to upload my video to YouTube. I’m glad that Adobe has such a good support team. I have spent many hours with them. LOL! Yesterday, I uploaded a YouTube short (about 45 seconds) to let people know that I was working on Part Two. It uploaded relatively quickly and successfully. A 45 second video only took two hours to upload. (!!!)
Last night, I started the upload of Part Two, again. It was still going when I got up this morning. But, it eventually got finished and successfully published. I think it took about nine hours. We are looking into getting faster internet… To see Part Two, please click on the thumbnail photo, below.
If you missed Part One: Supplies, please click here.
I must confess that it is difficult making videos while trying to make art. But, I think I will get the hang of it. I really need to work on talking. I tend to clam up or mumble while I am concentrating. LOL! So, how many of you are drawing along with me?
Let what will be said or done, preserve your [composure] immovably, and to every obstacle, oppose patience, perseverance, and soothing language. — Thomas Jefferson
I have published a new video on YouTube. I must tell you all that in the first video, I announced a giveaway at the very end of the video. I will extend the giveaway until Tuesday, July 5, 2022, to give everyone a chance. Please watch my first video (or skip to the end) so that you can enter the giveaway and then watch my second video. Thanks!
P.S. With the first video, I was just learning and I used a free video editor on my phone. This time, I have Adobe Premiere Pro and I have been blowing my mind learning it, but it is worth it. I actually spent about eight hours working on this video on Saturday, then the computer froze and I lost it all. Well, I discovered that I didn’t actually lose it, but it was a journey around the interwebs before I found out that I could retrieve it. They say that lifelong learning is good for you … If it doesn’t kill you. LOL! Please let me know how you like it.
Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something. — Rainbow Rowell in Eleanor & Park
I have finally decided to pursue a YouTube channel. I have posted my first video.
You know, it is hard to learn some of these things. Editing a video has been a fiasco, thus far. I am learning, but it is an uphill battle. The most difficult thing, though, is hearing and seeing myself on video. LOL! Well, I have decided to grit my teeth and do it. My brother, Ray, told me, years ago, that I should be on YouTube. I told him, “No way! No. Never.” Will I ever learn to stop saying never?
So, I filmed myself drawing a horse. Please give it a look and let me know how it worked for you.