Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sketchbook Challenge - Sweet

Just barely got this month's challenge finished before the end of the month! I haven't been sketching much this month for some reason. But it felt really good to sketch this.

Journaling reads: "These sunny flowers survived the snow of a few days ago. It was forecast to be a blizzard, but we only got about an inch. I'm glad the flowers survived!"

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

On the morning of Nick and Amy Dunne's 5th wedding anniversary, Amy disappears.  Nick lies to the police about several things that can be easily checked.  Amy's diary paints a picture of a very troubled marriage.  As the story unfolds, told alternately from Nick's point of view and Amy's diary, Nick and Amy both become less and less likable.  There are several plot twists that I certainly didn't see coming.  It was a very dark story, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was very well written; I rate it 5 out of 5.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Draw & Paint Culinary Herbs - Lesson 6 Basil

We used a flat, heavy application of watercolor as a base layer, then used colored pencils on top. It's slow going, but allows for a lot of shading and detail.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Draw & Paint Culinary Herbs - Lesson 5

I've fallen a little behind, so I'm trying to get caught up. I actually bought some oregano to sketch. It's much nicer to sketch from the real thing (it smells nice too). I wasn't too satisfied with this as I was working on it, but I like it a little better now. I'm out of practice!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mrs. Lincoln A Life by Catherine Clinton

I learned a lot from reading this book.  Mary Todd was a well-educated woman from a wealthy Kentucky family who became a Northern wife when she married Abraham Lincoln, a Springfield lawyer.  They were poor for much of their marriage; Mary Lincoln continued to worry about money for most of her life.  She was faithful to the Union in spite of vicious press attacks on her throughout her husband's presidency and the Civil War.  She was the first president's wife to be called "First Lady."  After her husband's assassination, her mental health suffered and she was briefly held involuntarily in an asylum after her son Robert had her brought to trial on charges of insanity.  She never forgave him for betraying her.

The book has been on my shelf for over a year, but I wanted to read it before seeing the movie Lincoln.  I'm glad I read it, although I found it slow.  I rate it 3 out of 3.

Draw & Paint Culinary Herbs - Lesson 4

Informal watercolor of dill or fennel using Val Webb's reference photos. All watercolor; no pencil first (even in the title, where I usually use pencil).

Monday, February 11, 2013

Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon

This was a pretty unusual story.  It follows three different sets of characters, and it's a long time before you learn how they are related, but you eventually do.  Miles Cheshire is searching for his twin brother, Hayden, who has been missing for 10 years.  Lucy Lattimore has run away from Pompey, Ohio, with her former high school history teacher, George Orson, a few days after graduation.  And Ryan Schuyler has learned that his parents aren't who he thinks they are, so he walks away from his college campus to remake himself. It is very well written and I often couldn't put it down. I rate it 4 out of 5.