Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sketchbook Challenge - Circle 1

July Sketchbook Challenge theme is circles. I have a new palette with paints I've never used before (Winsor Newton Cotman Watercolors - I've always used artist grade paints but I wanted the palette).

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks

I really enjoyed this historical novel set in the 1660's in Martha's Vineyard.  It is narrated by Bethia Mayfield, the daughter of a Calvinist minister who has made it his life's work to convert the native Wampanoag to Christianity.  She becomes friends with Caleb, who eventually becomes the first native American to graduate from Harvard College.  It is a very well written story about the clash of cultures and the difficulties for women who were intelligent and interested in learning.  This is the fourth novel by this author and I have read all three of her previous novels:  Year of Wonders (my favorite), March, and People of the Book.  I rate it 4 out of 5.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn

Clarissa Granville is almost 17 years old when the story begins.  She has just spent an idyllic summer at her family's country estate, Deyning Park, where she meets and falls in love with Tom Cuthbert, son of the family's housekeeper.  But then the Great War (World War I) begins, and everything changes.  Clarissa's 3 brothers (Henry, William, and George), Tom and many of their friends all go off to war.  Many don't return or else are so physically or emotionally damaged that life is never the same afterwards.  I really wanted to like this book, and I did like a lot of it.  But it is narrated by Clarissa, and I thought she was such a ninny!  I know that I'm seeing an early 20th century woman through the eyes of the 21st century, but she could be so exasperating at times.  She claimed to have this all-consuming passion for Tom, but when it came right down to it, she let the opinions of others (especially her mother) control her.  I kept thinking of the rather crude expression, "sh*t or get off the pot."  Anyway, I debated how many stars to give this, and finally settled on 3 out of 5.  It is my 7th book for the World War I Reading Challenge.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Sketchbook Challenge - Urban Sketch 2

Dinner with my mom at her favorite restaurant. She was amazed when I pulled the paints out of my purse! Sketched straight to pen. June Sketchbook Challenge theme of urban sketching.