Thursday, April 29, 2010

Imaginary Trip to England - Kew Gardens

Laure provides photos for us for most of our lessons (although we are free to use other images if we choose). But for our trip to the Kew Gardens, we were to wander around on our own and decide what to sketch.

I wandered around flickr and found 3 photos to sketch. I've obtained each photographer's permission to post my sketches based on their photographs.

The Kew Palace photo is here.

The Camellia photo is here.

And the Tulip photo is here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Imaginary Trip to England - Details

The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life. -William Morris

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Imaginary Trip to England - Fog

England has a lot of fog, with over 30 inches of rain per year. I don't usually do mornings, but this sunrise was worth getting up for.

I'm not really in England (even though I'd like to be) - I'm on an Imaginary Trip with Laure Ferlita.

Imaginary Trip to England - Ancient Ruins

We traveled all the way to Yorkshire today, where we saw so many ruins I lost track of which priory this was. Most of what we saw dated all the way back to the 12th century. I so wanted to be able to open this door; what could the stones have told me? I certainly can't see anything this old in the U.S.

I'm not really in England (even though I'd like to be) - I'm on an Imaginary Trip with Laure Ferlita.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

I enjoy reading books that take ancient stories or myths and retell them from a new perspective.  I have read several books like this (Helen of Troy by Margaret George and the Guenevere series by Rosalind Miles are a couple of examples I've read in recent years).  The Red Tent is another example.  It is the story of Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah from the bible, told in her own voice.  The title refers to the place where women gathered during their monthly cycles and to give birth.  It begins during Dinah's childhood with her mother and her father's 3 other wives and tells the story of her life.  It was an interesting look into the lives of women during biblical times.  I rate this book 4 out of 5.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

In July, 1942, 10-year-old Sarah and her parents are arrested by the French police, who are cooperating with the German Gestapo to round up all of the Jews in Paris.  Because Sarah believes they will back home soon, she locks her younger brother in a cupboard, their secret hiding place, to protect him.  Sixty years later, Julia Jarmond, an American journalist living in Paris, is researching the roundup for a story she is writing for her magazine.  She becomes obsessed with learning what happened to Sarah.  The early chapters alternate back and forth between the past and the present.  It was a very moving and heartbreaking story, and I rate it 5 out of 5.  It is my 7th book for the New Author Challenge 2010.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Imaginary Trip to England - Day 2

We went to a real English Pub (Public House) today, and what fun we had! It's so great to be with a group of artists - no one thinks it's rude to sketch while we talk and eat.

No, I'm not really in England (even though I wish I was) - I'm on an Imaginary Trip with Laure Ferlita.

Imaginary Trip to England - Day 1

I wish I was REALLY in England!! But this is definitely a fun way to "see" the country - no travel necessary. I've joined Laure Ferlita and several other artists in an Imaginary Trip. On our first day, we went to Buckingham Palace and St. James's Palace to see the Guards.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors

The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum built by the Emperor of Hindustan in the 17th century as a monument to his beloved wife.  The Emperor's daughter, Princess Jahanara, tells the story to her two granddaughters many years after the fact, and also tells about her forbidden love for the architect.  The author does a good job of making the events and characters real.  The further along I read, the better the story got, until near the end, I couldn't put it down.  I rate it 4 out of 5.  This is my sixth book for the New Author Challenge.