Category Archives: Books

Book of the week on Google Play – Veronica Henry

Veronica Henry’s latest best selling novel ‘A Night on the Orient Express’ is the book of the week on Google Play


The Orient Express. Luxury. Mystery. Romance.

For one group of passengers settling in to their seats and taking their first sips of champagne, the journey from London to Venice is more than the trip of a lifetime.

A mysterious errand; a promise made to a dying friend; an unexpected proposal; a secret reaching back a lifetime…As the train sweeps on, revelations, confessions and assignations unfold against the most romantic and infamous setting in the world.

 

A Night on the Orient Express – Writer in Residence

The Orient Express. Luxury. Mystery. Romance

For one group of passengers settling in to their seats and taking their first sips of champagne, the journey from London to Venice is more than the trip of a lifetime.

A mysterious errand; a promise made to a dying friend; an unexpected proposal; a secret reaching back a generation…As the train sweeps on, revelations, confessions and assignations unfold against the most romantic and infamous setting in the world.

Arriving from Orion Books on 4th July 2013

 


Writer in Residence – Web content stolen from veronicahenry.co.uk

While I was writing this novel I was lucky enough to be made Writer in Residence for the Venice Simplon Orient Express, travelling in splendour from Victoria to Venice, then staying at the Hotel Cipriani on the island of Giudecca. How could I fail to be inspired? My characters came to life en route, and the story unfolded.


View from the window – Cipriani Hotel Venice The images below are taken from a bedroom window of Palazzo Vendramin Palazzo Vendramin is a 15th-century residence linked to the Hotel Cipriani through an ancient courtyard and a passageway lined with flowers. It houses 16 suites and rooms with sweeping vistas over the gardens and across to St Mark’s Square. These views have been [more]

Francis Bacon and Nazi Propaganda – BOZAR – Francis Bacon’s Studio

There are books that bring new perspectives to painting and the lives / methodologies of artists. Unfortunately Francis Bacon and Nazi Propaganda brings nothing new to the party.

The work and times of Francis Bacon are well documented. The use and origins of Bacon’s source material are well-known, some of which are even preserved. This book is a shortcut, a narrow, tunnel visioned, easy access pass to the imagery that helped to inspire his art – a snapshot and lightweight introduction from a contemporary point of view.

This over emphasis on Nazi imagery is an attempt by the author to shock and imply a tenuous connection between Bacon and the Nazi regime. This book clouds the issue of how artists draw inspiration from the sources around them. These images of Nazi propaganda were (probably) simply metaphors for violence, death and persecution – had Hitler conquered Britain Bacon’s legacy would not exist. They still are powerful photographic and graphic images that send a shudder down your spine but they were only a part of Bacon’s bigger picture.

Does one methodology fit all? – painting is more complicated than that.

It would make more sense to see some of the imagery for yourself. BOZAR fine arts museum in Brussels has an exhibition of Bacon bits. The contents from his studio are part of a show running until May 2013. “Changing States: Contemporary Irish Art & Francis Bacon’s Studio”includes photographs of friends and lovers, medical books, wildlife and sport are jumbled together with classical references and artists monographs as well as unfinished paintings.


The Gilded Gutter Life of Francis Bacon

The paintings of Francis Bacon have always stood out in the crowded museums and galleries that are stuffed full of mediocre British paintings. Daniel Farson gives a personal view of his (if only in his own mind) ‘friend’s’ chaotic debauched … Continue reading →

Ross Bleckner’s Book – clippings of New York Times articles – ‘My Life in the New York Times’

Ross Bleckner is an American artist and the current Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations.

In 1995, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum had a major retrospective of his works from the last two decades of exhibitions at acclaimed institutions such as San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Stockholm Moderna Museet, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. Through his philanthropic efforts, Ross Bleckner has enabled many community organizations to perform their vital work. He is on the board of AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA), a non-profit community-based AIDS research and treatment education center. Bleckner is currently a Clinical Professor of Studio Art at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. In May 2009 he was awarded the title of Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations. He was the first fine artist to receive the position. Later that year Ross Bleckner travelled to Gulu, Uganda to work with former children soldiers and abductees. Together the children and Bleckner created portraits and paintings, which were sold at a United Nations benefit and through his exhibition, Welcome to Gulu, at Lehmann Maupin Gallery. Proceeds raised were used to aid to UN’s effort to stop human trafficking in Uganda. Ross Bleckner currently lives in New York City.

Filmmakers Derek Britt and Gerald Seroy are shooting a feature length documentary about artist Ross Bleckner. To crowdfund this effort, they are utilizing Kickstarter to offer exclusive pledge rewards rarely available to the public. Pledge rewards include:

1.  A limited edition, autographed copy of Ross’s newly revised and expanded journal, My Life in the New York Times (Allworth Press, October 2012).  Ross has not had a book signing tour so this is an exclusive opportunity to be the proud owner (or gifter) of an autographed copy of his book ($60).
2.  An artist signed, limited edition print of one of Ross’s sought after hummingbird series. This is a beautiful 11”x14” pigment print on archival paper and it’s a Kickstarter exclusive ($350).
3.  An original painting by Ross Bleckner from his hummingbird series.  There is only one original painting offered. It’s an acrylic on linen, signed by the artist.

For more information, visit the filmmakers Kickstarter project click here.

About Ross Bleckner’s Book:  American artist Ross Bleckner comes this stunning and thought-provoking collection of more than one hundred collages assembled from clippings of New York Times articles which is newly revised and expanded. Chosen for its personal significance to Bleckner and for the ways in which they later affected his work, the fragments of text and image in some pieces are unadorned; in others, the artist has painted around the clippings in watercolour and then photographed them in order to create a meaningful work of art. In My Life in the New York Times these pieces—each of them accompanied by the artist’s commentary—are brought together in hardback for the first time.

Ross Bleckner. (2012, June 3). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 10:08, February 8, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ross_Bleckner&oldid=495757824

 

New releases by top authors for only £1.00 #books

If you can read this you are lucky

The Internet is driven by words, keywords and phrases, images and various types of embedded media or apps, to be part of this information and entertainment stream you have to be able to read. If you can’t read then you have a limited experience.

Here is a great initiative – try to support and help with this mission: Quick Reads, which has a huge impact on helping thousands of adults improve their literacy, will be encouraging adults to ‘start a new chapter’ in 2013.

These books are bite-sized novels which are clearly printed and presented.

Since its launch in 2006, Quick Reads has sold and distributed over 4 million books through supermarkets, bookshops, workplaces and prisons. NIACE has led the outreach work since the start of the initiative and continues to work with employers and workplaces to encourage adults to read more and improve their skills.

Jenna is known as The Ice Cream Girl. She doesn’t mind the name one bit. After all, it’s a happy name, and there are far worse jobs than selling ice creams on Everdene beach.

Craig spends as much time as he can at the beach hut in Everdene he rents with a few of his mates. As a policeman, it is a restful change from his daily life, and he’s surfing mad. One weekend he’s down there on his own when he notices a girl on the beach. He’s young, free and single and she catches his eye. But on this particular summer weekend, both Jenna and Craig’s lives are about to change . . .

This year World Book Day falls on Thursday 7 March, plans for UK events have now been revealed… Read more

In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, World Book Day is held annually on the first Thursday in March, to avoid the established international 23 April date due to clashes with Easter school holidays, and the fact that it is also the National Saint’s Day of England, St George’s Day.

The connection between 23 April and books was first made in 1923 by booksellers in Spain as a way to honour the author Miguel de Cervantes who died on that day.

In 1995, UNESCO decided that the World Book and Copyright Day would be celebrated on this date because of the Catalonian festival and because the date is also the anniversary of the birth and death of William Shakespeare, the death of Miguel de Cervantes, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega and Josep Pla, and the birth of Maurice Druon, Manuel Mejía Vallejo and Halldór Laxness.

World Book Day (United Kingdom). (2012, September 21). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 09:28, February 7, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=World_Book_Day_(United_Kingdom)&oldid=513833166

Get people to read more

Still life with cans and glass 

New books by top authors for only £1.00 – to encourage more people to read.

Here is a great initiative – try to support and help with this mission: Quick Reads, which has a huge impact on helping thousands of adults improve their literacy, will be encouraging adults to ‘start a new chapter’ in 2013. A new website is expected to launch at the end of October, where full details of the six new titles will be available:

These books are bite-sized novels which are clearly printed and presented.

Since its launch in 2006, Quick Reads has sold and distributed over 4 million books through supermarkets, bookshops, workplaces and prisons. NIACE has led the outreach work since the start of the initiative and continues to work with employers and workplaces to encourage adults to read more and improve their skills.

 


Jenna is known as The Ice Cream Girl. She doesn’t mind the name one bit. After all, it’s a happy name, and there are far worse jobs than selling ice creams on Everdene beach.

Craig spends as much time as he can at the beach hut in Everdene he rents with a few of his mates. As a policeman, it is a restful change from his daily life, and he’s surfing mad. One weekend he’s down there on his own when he notices a girl on the beach. He’s young, free and single and she catches his eye. But on this particular summer weekend, both Jenna and Craig’s lives are about to change . . .

I apologies for being British

#chicklitisnotdead

Interesting reading in the UK press about the demise of ‘Women’s Commercial Fiction’ – why does the UK (press) always criticize successful industries and people? The publishing industry still generates massive tax revenues for the government (either directly or indirectly). Is this a smart move in times of crippling recession?

The beauty of the Internet, art (including the book industry) is that we can all lose ourselves in fantasy and dream worlds – surely this is a tonic not a crime?

Leave the arts alone! – after all we have little funding!

Get real! We are all taking a hit on sales, houses, pay packets etc. and any profit is a bonus for the National Debt.


via veronica_henry

As the figures prove. Women’s commercial fiction still huge despite downturn.


Mavericks are prone to under achieving

The word Maverick comes from a 19th century Texas land baron. Sam Maverick decided not to brand his stock; therefore any newborn or unbranded cattle wandering around on the free range could belong to him. Needless to say he was not a popular man.

A ‘Maverick’ is a person who is constantly having ideas and chasing their tails. Beginning projects with an energy that is uncontrollable. Staying up, working through the night. Forgetting to eat, forgetting to have a bath. Generally being self-absorbed in their own little world. ‘Mavericks fly beneath the radar. They possess the freedom to detect the creative vision that can lead to new products or businesses. But no one – in business …..from the chief executive to middle managers …… really wants to acknowledge their existence.’ Mavericks consider their projects to be different and new. ‘By their nature, they are not people who want to be noticed. Their ability to function as mavericks is to have a great deal of independence. They don’t want to get locked into anything.’ However they could revolutionize the Art World, make a computer loop the loop, make air travel safer or maybe run rings around the latest search engine optimization guidelines, getting web pages to number one by bending the rules (without breaking them). Mavericks are generally lateral thinkers and innovators. Mavericks very rarely finish or complete anything and as a result they usually get fired; that’s not really too bothersome, the next innovation/idea is far more interesting. This means that Mavericks are prone to under achieving if left to their own devices.

This definition of a Maverick could quiet easily be the definition of an Artist, Writer or Performer and is a definitional description of a top Search Engine Optimizer. The principal definition of a Maverick is being able to look at things from a different perspective see the other alternative possibilities, use this when planing your website strategy or planning your next work of art.

Who buys Art online?
Do people make impulse ART purchases on the Internet? If you have your paintings hanging in a gallery, shop etc then you can encourage people to look, touch even smell your works of art. High Street shopping and gallery purchases … Continue reading →

The Hare with Amber Eyes

Cover of "The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Fam...

Cover via Amazon

The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance, is a book about ‘the history of objects’ or in this case a collection of objects, an inherited collection of Japanese netsuke.

Objects take on a life of their own when they leave the creators hands. They are no longer the responsibility of the artist (craftsman) – they move through history, out surviving their custodians, moving on through history and catastrophe.

 Tiny and tactile the netsuke are “small, tough explosions of exactitude.” Their story spans cultures and continents. They are the possessions of the Ephrussis, wealthy Jewish grain traders who spread from Russia to the important, wealthy capitals of Europe whose empire is finally destroyed by the Nazis.

These objects tell a fascinating story about the way the world has been molded by the need for commodities and trade, greed, war and jealousy.

Art is a commodity, a product of capitalism.


Woodcuts – Printmaking – Nude

Nude (woodcut print) This series of woodcuts is still available to purchase with a few more remaining. Originally  exhibited in the 150 Building at West Buckland School in North Devon during June and July 2011. This woodcut is printed over … Continue reading →

The Gilded Gutter Life of Francis Bacon

The paintings of Francis Bacon have always stood out in the crowded museums and galleries that are stuffed full of mediocre British paintings.

Daniel Farson gives a personal view of his (if only in his own mind) ‘friend’s’ chaotic debauched life, gay lovers, masochistic beatings and ‘bits of rough’. This is in no way a proper critical view of this painter’s life, it is merely a tabloid’s view, scandalous, shallow and sometimes pathetic. It is a fantastic read!

The storytelling is random and underscored with Farson’s  deep bitterness – I think he wanted to be a bigger player in this game.

Bacon’s early life, which sounds positively hideous, the days in Berlin, Paris and the buggering about on the coast. The deep depression and the sex driven, drink driven highs are all in The Gilded Gutter Life of Francis Bacon. Well worth reading.

From the mid 1960s, Bacon mainly produced portrait heads of friends. He often said in interviews that he saw images “in series”, and his artistic output often saw him focus on single themes for sustained periods including his crucifixion, Papal heads, and later single and triptych heads series. He began by painting variations on the Crucifixion and later focused on half human-half grotesque heads, best exemplified by the 1949 “Heads in a Room” series. Following the 1971 suicide of his lover George Dyer, Bacon’s art became more personal, inward looking and preoccupied with themes and motifs of death. The climax of this late period came with his 1982 “Study for Self-Portrait”, and his late masterpiece Study for a Self Portrait -Triptych, 1985-86. Despite his seemingly existentialist outlook on life, Bacon appeared to be a bon vivant, spending much of his middle and later life eating, drinking and gambling in London’s Soho with Lucian Freud, John Deakin, Daniel Farson, Patrick Swift, Jeffrey Bernard, Muriel Belcher and Henrietta Moraes, among others. Following Dyer’s death he distanced himself from this circle and became less involved with rough trade to settle in a platonic relationship with his eventual heir, John Edwards.


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