Art and Fear

That’s the title of the little (122 pages total) book I just read by authors David Bayles and Ted Orland, 1995, Image Continuum Press. They really hit the nail on the head when it comes to being an artist and all that means. If it hadn’t been a library book I would have underlined just about every sentence. The authors have a wonderfully lively writing style – it was like being in the same room with them as they were writing the book and hearing their banter back and forth to each other. I think I’ll have to get my own copy…

Another ‘read’

Just finished an audio book while working on some journal covers. Very interesting! The author, Arturo Perez-Reverte (missing a thingee above the first ‘e’ in his last name), is Spanish. The novel, The Painter of Battles, has been translated and is read by Simon Vance. Sort of a mix between a human interest story, a mystery and an art education text.

The jacket info says the author “has earned a distinguished reputation as a master of the literary thriller” – I certainly agree with that! Will have to look up his other work now.

The Virgin…

of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard, Balantine Books, NY, 2006.

Just finished the above book – a quick read but pulls you in immediately. Calls itself a novel of suspense and I have to agree.

I actually read the book, with it in my hands, using my eyes – no  audio-recording this time!  My sons would be so proud…

Sewing, Gut and pH

First, I want to thank Dave for his concern over my finishing the sewing project the other day. I DID get it finished – the machine soldiered on. Had to slow the pace, but made it through.

In fact, I made two prototypes and let the former PCV decide which would work best. She chose the one which utilized the width of the traditional strip weaving in the shoulder strap and had a drawstring closure (thanks, Mary, for your ideas!). It is in Mali right now, but I don’t think it will find its way to the proper co-op until later in the month, towards the end of her visit. If nothing else, maybe it will give them some ideas for items to sell.

The last couple days have been spent with my hands wet with gut working on some smaller wall grids out of willow and gut. The weather has been great – not too hot or humid – for working outside and drying the finished work. Listened to two more Fforde books while working: The Eyre Affair and The Fourth Bear. Love the irony and puns!

I’m anxiously awaiting some pH test strips that I ordered – they will show all levels of alkalinity. I’ve got a spot of experimenting to do as soon as they come in – I want to check pH levels while testing my water vs distilled and muds vs pigments and soda ash in the mud vs on the cloth first. I know my water is really alkaline due to our hot tub experience; now to find out just how much so.

I hope the students I have this weekend doing mudcloth are as excited as I am about finding alternative ways of making this work!


I’m usually really bad about remembering authors. Just recently I was telling a friend about an audio book I was ‘reading’ – this time I remembered the author but couldn’t come up with the title and then made a mess of describing the whole thing. I’m sure she thought I was on something as I stumbled and tripped over myself trying to describe what it was I liked so much.

Anyway, the author is Jasper Fforde. He has a series of books whose star, time traveling detective Thursday Next, works for the Jurisfiction Department of Spec Ops in England in the second book in the series, Something Rotten. Fforde shows off his incredible knowledge of books and authors as he puns and plays his way through normal sounding adventures with abnormal and other-normal twists and turns. How does his mind work that way?!?!?

If you have any fondness for Douglas Adams and Monty Python you will be delighted with Jasper Fforde. I’m now into the first of the series, The Eyre Affair, discovering the basis of a lot that happens in Something Rotten. Great fun!