Written in 1947, Slaves of Solitude crossed my path accidentally while out prowling the vast interwebs. Someone, somewhere described it as one of the best books they'd never heard of. Sold! Like the last novel I finished. It takes place during the Blitz in 1940's London. It centers around a cast of lonely displaced characters living in a boarding house.
The earth was muffled from the stars; the river and the pretty eighteenth century bridge were muffled from the people; the people were muffled from each other. This was war late in 1943.
My reading hasn't been limited to novels. For the new year I gifted myself with a digital subscription to The New Yorker magazine. Tonight I came home, flopped onto the couch, and buried myself in its digital cushion of pages where I was immediatly swept up into a world of saudi royalty, internet archiving, and french satire. Ahhhhh...just what I needed after 4 days of talking and being talked to - uninterrupted reading time. Both pieces below get high marks for their interestingness factor.
And to continue in my online magazine adventures, last week I read THIS. Which is where I found the quote below that I think is quite beautiful.
The kind of deep reading that a sequence of printed pages promotes is valuable not just for the knowledge we acquire from the author’s words but for the intellectual vibrations those words set off within our own minds. In the quiet spaces opened up by the sustained, undistracted reading of a book, or by any other act of contemplation, for that matter, we make our own associations, draw our own inferences and analogies, foster our own ideas. Deep reading, as Maryanne Wolf argues, is indistinguishable from deep thinking.
Adding to the January pile and my erratic reading habits...
Reading anything strange & delightful? Spill!
it's almost time for our 3rd annual winter art retreat in palm springs.
maybe this time pam won't wake up screaming in the middle of the night about an intruder in the house.
maybe i won't smell a fire.
maybe carol won't do a nude cannonball into the pool with her socks on and the neighbors watching.
i've been mixing up luscious darks with neutral tint. i love the tide marks made from a brush heavy with water. the neutral tint/burnt sienna mix above makes me ecstatic. it has a glow to it that i find irresistable. it's a mystery to me why many of the colors seem to glow when combined.
i think i already mentioned how i love granulating watercolors. some lovely examples below.
oops i misspelled piemontite.
jane blundell is like a watercolor scientist. you could spend hours at her blog learning about color.
i digest small bits of info at a time. look to her for highly detailed, methodical watercolor study.
anyone interested in watercolor would do well to bookmark her site.
these yellows below take on almost a metallic glow when mixed with the neutral tint. sigh.
i've taped my large watercolor palettes on the wall above my art table for easy reference. so much for punching a hole through the papers and putting them on a ring.
happy mixing playing learning exploring!
when i paint swatches with my watercolors they're usually on the small side.
i decided to make these ultra thick stripes so i could really get a closer look at the paint.
someone gave me the quin pink, but it's too close to permanent rose for me to justify buying.
the quin burnt scarlet & quin burnt orange are new.
i tried them for a few months and decided they'd be a good addition to my palette.
it's a good idea to share colors with friends for just that try-before-you-buy reason.
pyroll orange is a color i didn't try first. i knew i didn't have the paint needed to mix such a vibrant orange. same thing with the opera rose. both excellent purchases.
i may not buy the monte amiata again because it's too close to quin gold.
i think it's good to use roomy sheets of watercolor paper for a study of this kind. more room to play.
neat swatches in a sketchbook remind me of what my current palette holds, but they aren't the same as giant stripes of juicy color.
i might punch a hole in these sheets and keep them on a ring. wouldn't that be a good idea?
okay back to my watercolor playground. i've got some yellows & browns to explore!
i received an excellent question from monica enriquez de castillo (isn't that a beautiful name?) in mexico. here's her question & my answer. i repost them below because in case you wondered the same thing.
Q Hi Mary Ann...LOVE your blog and everything you make.
Please explain me the difference between a sketchbook and a visual journal...
A i can only tell you the difference between a sketchbook & visual journal from my perspective as everyone might have their own definitions. a sketchbook is a visual journal in that it contains sketches that form a narrative. a visual journal is the same, but to me a visual or art journal is a much broader term. i think of a sketchbook as more of an illustrated journal.
the key difference are the illustrations/sketches/drawings. i like my sketchbooks to contain MOSTLY things i have drawn & painted, but what i think of as my visual journals contain mostly non-representational doodling with paint/pattern making/mark making/collage/ paper that may or may not contain images that represent something specific from my life. sometimes however i do have drawings/sketches in my visual journal but MOSTLY they are a free-for-all/anything goes/mixed media playground.
i happen to have a brain that likes categories so i prefer to keep the 2 separate. when i look through my sketchbook i like for it to look like an illustrated journal of my life and/or a history of my experiments with drawing & painting. i’m much more focused on the quality of my lines and the behavior of my paint in my sketchbooks.