22 December, 2013 at 12:09 am (art, blue-eyed crow, books, life, work) (, , , , , )

BF_fernbirds sketch underpainting a

Revisited an old composition this afternoon and started the underpainting in oils. The materials have that lovely ‘library smell’ and are nice because they dry slowly (the drawback also being that they dry slowly).

I listen to fluff mystery books while painting and picked the audio of Alexander McCall Smith’s ‘The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds’ because it doesn’t involve murder and I was surprised by some coincidences. In the book are musings on Georgian architecture, which I’ve been reading up on, the art expert in McCall Smith’s story is a controversial figure in a non-fiction book I’m also reading (about a set of possible forgeries), the family in the story lives in a country house in the exact area of Scotland that I’ve been researching for genealogy, and their ancestors were also Jacobites (I only recently found this out about my family).


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7 November, 2008 at 9:05 pm (books, work) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )


Even though a huge variety of bits and pieces covers the shelves and fills the drawers of my workspace, of course this morning I needed something that was not here.  And somehow whenever I have to run errands the whole day disappears.  I hate that.

I’m listening to ‘People of the Book‘ while I work and the narrator, Edwina Wren, is fantastic.  I love science and history (and books) in novels, and a map that reflects the story is always welcome, so I’m looking forward reading more of Geraldine Brooks‘s work. A few dramatic bits in this narrative are predictable, which makes those parts slightly less enjoyable, but she carefully, casually puts in unusual details to make the different historical and geographical scenes distinct which makes people’s motivations clearer.  The part that is playing now is painful, listening to wartime hardships and the awful choices people are forced to make is so difficult.

Another good, challenging story along those lines is ‘Still Life With Animated Dogs‘.  Fierlinger tells his story in an unusual and effective way.

Although it was sad hearing that Studs Terkel died last week, it has been great listening to clips of his stories and interviews on NPR.  What an interesting man – I love how open and aware he was, like in this StoryCorps recording.  ‘Hard Times‘ was the first book of ‘oral’ histories I ever read, I loved it.

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2 October, 2008 at 6:22 pm (family) (, , , , , , , , , )

Two shots of the market in my mom’s town, taken by a friend, Derek.  I was never really a dapple grey person, but I really like that horse.  My great-grandfather’s horses consistently took top awards, the ancient amulets I’ve seen from where our ancestors lived are suns or horses (or both), all my cousins had horses, but my mother is somehow immune to their charms (and that of any other animal).  I’ve been reading my great-grandmother’s journal where she writes about how she gets so absorbed by reading that she doesn’t want to eat or sleep until she finishes a good book, which I completely understand.  I have never read a book while riding a horse though.

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