Book review : Daily Painting

 

Daily Painting:
Paint Small and Often
to Become
a More Creative, Productive,
and Successful Artist

Daily Painting

In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this book for free
from Blogging for Books
in exchange
for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated
for this post as a reviewer,
and the thoughts are my own.
Daily Painting:
Paint Small and Often
to Become
a More Creative, Productive,
and Successful Artistby

by Carol Marine

Publisher: Watson-Guptill/Crown Publishing
Release Date: November 4, 2014
ISBN:  978-0-7704-3533-2
Pages: 192

Genre:
Painting/Creativity

Source: Received
from the publisher through Blogging For Books
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
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MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK

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 This book is extremely well organized and full of great ideas and advice, based on the personal experience of the author herself, and lots of awesome paintings to illustrate her points.
The main point is that to get better at painting, you need to do it daily, with small projects – sounds familiar to writers, right?
The author gives her testimony on how if changed her artist life to follow this practice. She also includes similar testimonies by other artists.

One thing I really liked in the format of the book is the extensive use of bullet lists. It makes it very clear and easy to read.
She also talks about the benefits of blogging, to help spread the word about your art. As an active book blogger, I totally agree.

Then she talks about:

  • the Materials she uses, with lots of concrete details, for instance what light bulb to use
  • Subjects, that is, what to paint, with great ideas again from her or from other artists, for instance keep your artist eye open when you visit your grocery store, when you walk in the street, etc
  • the chapter on Value is awesome about how to work with shading and lightness/darkness of color
  • Color Mixing
  • Drawing and Proportion. She talks about painting what you see, not what you think you see, so ignoring your brain. For instance paint from pictures holding the picture upside down. I’m definitely going to try this on my next pet portrait!
  • Composition
  • Oil painting, and the top mistakes!
  • Artist’s block, with testimonies from several other painters
  • How to take pictures of your paintings
  • and even tips for online sales!

    There’s also a short alphabetical index.
    Recommended for those who want to really get more serious about painting, and need some concrete simple advice.

 

WHAT IS IT ABOUT

 A unique system for jump-starting artistic creativity, encouraging experimentation and growth, and increasing sales for artists of all levels, from novices to professionals.

 Do you want to bring the joy back into your art?

Have you landed in a frustrating rut? Are you having trouble selling paintings in galleries, getting bogged down by projects you can’t seem to finish or abandon, or finding excuses to avoid working in the studio? Author Carol Marine knows exactly how you feel—she herself suffered from painter’s block, until she discovered “daily painting.” The idea is simple: do art (usually small) often (how often is up to you), and if you’d like, post and sell it online. Soon you’ll find that your block dissolves and you’re painting work you love—and more of it than you ever thought possible!   [from the publisher]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

CAROL MARINE is an artist and the creator of the popular blog A Painting a Day (or Almost). She is a member of Daily Paintworks, a distinguished group of daily painters, and she teaches daily painting workshops around the country. Marine lives in Eugene, Oregon. Visit www.dailypaintworks.com.

 

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK YET?
What’s your personal recommendation as an artist?
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS  IN A COMMENT PLEASE

***

 

Book review and giveaway: The Towers of Tuscany

The Towers of Tuscany_Tour Banner _FINAL 2

The Towers of Tuscany

Towers of Tuscany

In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this book for free in exchange
for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post
as a reviewer,
and the thoughts are my own.
The Towers of Tuscany
By
Carol M. CramPublication Date: Jan 23, 2014
New Arcadia Publishing
Paperback; Ebook

Pages: 380
ISBN-13: 978-0981024110


Genre:
Historical fiction

Source: Received
through
Historical Fiction virtual book tour

This book counts for the following Reading Challenges:

    2014 historical fiction New author challenge

MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK

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As a painter, I enjoy very much novels where art has a central part. If it’s combined with historical fiction, it makes for a delight, and that was exactly my experience with The Towers of Tuscany.
Sofia inherited her father’s genes and benefits from his teaching, as painting is concerned, but she has the misfortune of being a female, that is, not being able to have her own art studio. She first paints in hiding in a concealed room where her husband cannot see what she does. Then, after some dramatic events leading to her father’s death, she flees her city in October 1338 disguised as a man to be able to keep painting and doing commissions for rich patrons. One of them discovers her real nature and falls in love with her, which can be a very dangerous thing for her…

The historical setting was wonderfully rendered, with the situation of females in that all masculine world, the rampant and condemned homosexuality, and the inevitable Plague that devastated Europe in the 14th century.

I enjoyed a lot all the characters, and especially the relationship between Sofia and the friends she makes on her escape route. Sofia has a very strong personality and can be stubborn. I enjoyed the way she integrated the wisdom received from her father to counterbalance her own foibles. All along, she reminisces past events and words of her dad; these are integrated in the storyline in italics.

I enjoyed also very much all the art descriptions, for instance on the panel preparations before painting. The description of the city of San Gimignano and Siena make you want to go there right away!

The only thing that didn’t really work for me is the Epilogue. In 2014, a woman buys at auction Sofia’s last painting found under the ruins of a villa she bought in Italy. If the book had been built along a back and forth between the 14th and the 21st century, that would have worked, but to have all the book set in the 14th century, and suddenly this Epilogue in 2014, I found it flat. For me, the book would have ended perfectly just before the Epilogue. But it’s only a few pages long, and doesn’t hid the fact that the whole book is a gem.

All chapters begin with a quotation from Il Libro dell’Arte by Cennini, “often translated as The Craftsman’s Handbook. The book is a “how to” on Renaissance art. It contains information on pigments, brushes, panel painting, the art of fresco, and techniques and tricks, including detailed instructions for underdrawing, underpainting and overpainting in egg tempera. ” [from wikipedia on Cennino Cennini]

VERDICT: This is a beautiful gem for lovers of Italian art and history. Through her stunning colors and her vibrant heart, Sofia invites you into her passionate life and encourages you to follow your own path, at whatever cost.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT

Set amid the twisting streets and sunlit piazzas of medieval Italy, the Towers of Tuscany tells the story of a woman who dares to follow her own path in the all-male domain of the painter’s workshop. Sofia Barducci is born into a world where a woman is only as good as the man who cares for her, but she still claims the right to make her own mistakes. Her first mistake is convincing her father to let her marry Giorgio Carelli, a wealthy saffron merchant in San Gimignano, the Tuscan city of towers. Trained in secret by her father to create the beautifully-crafted panels and altarpieces acclaimed today as masterpieces of late medieval art, Sofia’s desire for freedom from her father’s workshop leads her to betray her passion and sink into a life of loveless drudgery with a husband who comes to despise her when she does not produce a son.

In an attack motivated by vendetta, Sofia’s father is crushed by his own fresco, compelling Sofia to act or risk the death of her soul. The choice she makes takes her on a journey from misery to the heights of passion—both as a painter and as a woman. Sofia escapes to Siena where, disguised as a boy, she paints again. When her work attracts the notice of a nobleman who discovers the woman under the dirty smock, Sofia is faced with a choice that nearly destroys her.

The Towers of Tuscany unites a strong heroine with meticulously researched settings and compelling characters drawn from the rich tapestry of medieval Italy during one of Europe’s most turbulent centuries. The stylishly written plot is packed with enough twists and turns to keep readers up long past their bedtimes. [provided by HFVBT]

 

Praise for The Towers of Tuscany

“The Towers of Tuscany is a delightful escape to the Siena we all love. Carol Cram has crafted a delicious story about a strong woman torn between her secret past, her love of painting and the forbidden charms of her rich patron. Hard to resist and highly recommended!” – Anne Fortier, Author of The Lost Sisterhood and the New York Times bestseller, Juliet

“Carol Cram’s lush descriptions and intriguing characters bring this dramatic tale of medieval Tuscany to life. If you love Italian art, a feisty heroine, and a page-turning plot, you will adore this novel.” – Deborah Swift, Author of A Divided Inheritance

The Towers of Tuscany has all the elements of a wonderful historical novel―a talented, frustrated heroine, a treacherous, feckless husband, and a promise to a dying, much loved father who orders the heroine on a dangerous mission. Carol is a first rate storyteller. The research is well done. Every chapter displays a fine knowledge of painting technique of the 14th century, and customs and mores of the age. The details of dress, fabric, food, are flawless. The clever dialogue and fast pace make the novel zing along.” – Roberta Rich, Author of The Midwife of Venice and The Harem Midwife

“Sofia will set your heart racing as she attempts to find what we all, in our own ways, strive to seek: love, resolution, and artistic freedom. The legacy of this story will leave you yearning for more.” – Cathleen With, award-winning author of Having Faith in the Polar Girls’ Prison

Buy the Book

Amazon (Ebook)
Amazon (Paperback)

READ AN EXCERPT.

About the Author

Carol CramCarol M. Cram has enjoyed a great career as an educator, teaching at Capilano University in North Vancouver for over twenty years and authoring forty-plus bestselling textbooks on business communications and software applications. She holds an MA in Drama from the University of Toronto and an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Carol is currently focusing as much of her attention as she can spare between walks in the woods on writing historical novels with an arts twist.

She and her husband, painter Gregg Simpson, share a life on beautiful Bowen Island near Vancouver, Canada.

Author Links

Website | Blog | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

 

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK YET?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE NOVEL SET IN TUSCANY?
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS  IN A COMMENT PLEASE

The Towers of Tuscany: Book Blast and giveaway

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and author Carol M. Cram are excited to announce The Towers of Tuscany Book Blast!
Join us from April 7-13 as The Towers of Tuscany is featured around the blogosphere, along with a chance to win one of three copies of this amazing new novel!
Called “a beautifully crafted masterpiece of historical fiction“, “lush”, and “page-turning” Cram’s debut novel will appeal to readers who enjoy a strong female lead who, against great odds, dares to follow a dream. The Towers of Tuscany includes a Reader’s Guide making it a perfect Book Club pick!
In honor of the Book Blast we are giving away three copies to three lucky readers, see below to enter.

The Towers of TuscanyPublication Date: January 23, 2014
New Arcadia Publishing
Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Genre: Historical Fiction

Set amid the twisting streets and sunlit piazzas of medieval Italy, the Towers of Tuscany tells the story of a woman who dares to follow her own path in the all-male domain of the painter’s workshop. Sofia Barducci is born into a world where a woman is only as good as the man who cares for her, but she still claims the right to make her own mistakes. Her first mistake is convincing her father to let her marry Giorgio Carelli, a wealthy saffron merchant in San Gimignano, the Tuscan city of towers. Trained in secret by her father to create the beautifully-crafted panels and altarpieces acclaimed today as masterpieces of late medieval art, Sofia’s desire for freedom from her father’s workshop leads her to betray her passion and sink into a life of loveless drudgery with a husband who comes to despise her when she does not produce a son.

In an attack motivated by vendetta, Sofia’s father is crushed by his own fresco, compelling Sofia to act or risk the death of her soul. The choice she makes takes her on a journey from misery to the heights of passion—both as a painter and as a woman. Sofia escapes to Siena where, disguised as a boy, she paints again. When her work attracts the notice of a nobleman who discovers the woman under the dirty smock, Sofia is faced with a choice that nearly destroys her.

The Towers of Tuscany unites a strong heroine with meticulously researched settings and compelling characters drawn from the rich tapestry of medieval Italy during one of Europe’s most turbulent centuries. The stylishly written plot is packed with enough twists and turns to keep readers up long past their bedtimes.

READ AN EXCERPT.

The Towers of Tuscany

 

Praise for The Towers of Tuscany

“The Towers of Tuscany is a delightful escape to the Siena we all love. Carol Cram has crafted a delicious story about a strong woman torn between her secret past, her love of painting and the forbidden charms of her rich patron. Hard to resist and highly recommended!” – Anne Fortier, Author of The Lost Sisterhood and the New York Times bestseller, Juliet

“Carol Cram’s lush descriptions and intriguing characters bring this dramatic tale of medieval Tuscany to life. If you love Italian art, a feisty heroine, and a page-turning plot, you will adore this novel.” – Deborah Swift, Author of A Divided Inheritance

“The Towers of Tuscany has all the elements of a wonderful historical novel?a talented, frustrated heroine, a treacherous, feckless husband, and a promise to a dying, much loved father who orders the heroine on a dangerous mission. Carol is a first rate storyteller. The research is well done. Every chapter displays a fine knowledge of painting technique of the 14th century, and customs and mores of the age. The details of dress, fabric, food, are flawless. The clever dialogue and fast pace make the novel zing along.” – Roberta Rich, Author of The Midwife of Venice and The Harem Midwife

“Sofia will set your heart racing as she attempts to find what we all, in our own ways, strive to seek: love, resolution, and artistic freedom. The legacy of this story will leave you yearning for more.” – Cathleen With, award-winning author of Having Faith in the Polar Girls’ Prison

Buy the Book

Amazon (Ebook)
Amazon (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
IndieBound

About the AuthorCarol Cram

Carol M. Cram has enjoyed a great career as an educator, teaching at Capilano University in North Vancouver for over twenty years and authoring forty-plus bestselling textbooks on business communications and software applications. She holds an MA in Drama from the University of Toronto and an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Carol is currently focusing as much of her attention as she can spare between walks in the woods on writing historical novels with an arts twist.

She and her husband, painter Gregg Simpson, share a life on beautiful Bowen Island near Vancouver, Canada.

Author Links

Website
Blog
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, April 7
Literary Chanteuse
Bibliophilia, Please
Cheryl’s Book Nook
A Bibliotaph’s Reviews
Confessions of an Avid Reader

Tuesday, April 8
Mari Reads
Peeking Between the Pages
History From a Woman’s Perspective

Wednesday, April 9
Reviews by Molly
Susan Heim on Writing
Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Thursday, April 10
Passages to the Past
Book Lovers Paradise
To Read or Not to Read
Curling Up With a Good Book

Friday, April 11
Words and Peace
The Mad Reviewer
Historical Fiction Obsession

Saturday, April 12
Book Nerd
Layered Pages
Princess of Eboli
Kelsey’s Book Corner

Sunday, April 13
West Metro Mommy
The True Book Addict
Caroline Wilson Writes

Giveaway

To enter to win one of 3 copies of The Towers of Tuscany please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open internationally.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on April 13th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter on April 14th and notified via email.
Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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