Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What I've Read - 'All the Colours of Paradise' by Glenda Millard

This is the 4th instalment from the Kingdom of Silk.

Perry Angel is the newest Silk. 'He arrived on the ten-thirty express with a small and shabby suitcase embossed with five golden letters. It had taken him almost seven years to find the Kingdom of Silk.'

Perry loves drawing but something happens and he may never draw again. Perry may need all the colours of paradise to draw again.

Glenda Millard's books are sensitive and seriously beautiful. Stephen Michael Kings pen and ink washes are delightful but Glenda's writing paints the best pictures. Her words are vibrant and full of colour.

After reading 'All The Colours of Paradise' I still have to say that the first book in the series, ' The Namong of Tishkin Silk' is still my favourite just for the raw emotions it evoked. But this installment has all the hallmarks of Glenda's writing; simple, evocative and full of colour. It makes me want to move to Cameron' Creek. I'm glad that some of the Rainbow Girls have stepped out of the background in this book.

I have a confession, part of the reason I like this book as much as I do is that I can relate to this one personally through the character of Mr. Jenkins. Not because I tidy the local cemetery - although I do quite like cemeteries. Like Mr. Jenkins, I work at the school with children who need help to adjust and to understand. Being a School Learning Support Officer (Teacher's Aide) is my all-time favourite job that I have held. I have been blessed to work with some wonderful and challenging children.

Another brilliant part of 'All the Colours of Paradise' is that we get to see things through Perry Angels eyes. Even ordinary things become fresh and full of innocence. Did you know, laughter is the colour of watermelons and love is like chocolate melting in the quiet dark? Well you do now.

'All the Colours of Paradise' is a book that young girls will devour. I know a few boys who would enjoy the book, although they probably wouldn't admit it to their footy mates.

Highly recomended.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Paintings For Your Pocket

I have found that one of the first reactions I get from people looking at my leaf paintings is;

“How can you paint them so small?”

I didn’t think the paintings were all that small, not really. I was sure I could paint smaller.

Plus most people don’t have the wall space to display really large paintings, especially after they have them mounted and framed. This is one reason why many people buy paintings on the wrap-around canvases.

Next month, I’m going to set up a stall at the local Sunday Markets to sell my traditional and leaf art. I realise that not everyone can afford to buy original art. I started to think about how I could offer lower price alternatives to make the market stall more profitable. Obviously, prints of my work were the first thing to come to mind along with bookmarks displaying prints of my work. I can produce both quite cost effectively and sell them at a reasonable price that even kids with some pocket money can afford.

The next thought that came to mind was to shrink some of my paintings down to a size small enough to fit into those clear acrylic key-rings, the ones you can place photographs in.

I’m still thinking on that one, and I may do some to see how they go, but I last week I had an even better idea. I decided to put my money where my mouth is and prove I can paint even small than the gum leaf pictures.

I bought a box of key-rings and discovered that the smaller leaves from my two silver birch trees in the front yard are the perfect size to fit inside the key-ring. I’m talking a 35mm x 24mm space. I have decided to call them “Paintings For Your Pocket.” The main thing I wanted to do was make sure the paintings were still as realistic and detailed as my other work.

I started work on them last night and finished adding the details and highlights on the first four this morning. I’m having some serious fun painting these pictures and trying out new techniques.

If any of you would like a “Painting For Your Pocket”, or want to challenge me to paint something particular, just drop me a line.

I’ve decided to price the paintings at an even $10.00 each.