Books, Reading and Writing Blog

Since my previous post I’ve taken the step of creating a new blog:

The first few posts will be relevant articles copied from here and from my earlier “literary” blog. They will be posted over the next few days. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I write some new material for it, but at the moment I’m still trying to figure out WordPress so I can create the look and include the features I want.

The new blog will be entirely focused on “literature” in its various forms, taking into account my personal faith in Jesus and other less important interests.

I’ll still be posting here about non-literary things.

Anniversary! And Thoughts of a New Blog

I was going to make an announcement to mark the anniversary of the beginning of this blog – but I missed it! I thought I still had a week to go, but I’ve just checked the oldest of my posts and found it was dated at the beginning of February and not the end of the month as I thought.

Even after a year I’m no clearer of the blog’s direction. It retains a mixture of my various interests but overall it’s centre is my faith in Jesus.

For the immediate future I wont be making any changes. The only difference I’ve been considering is starting a separate blog about the books I’ve been reading – resurrecting my “out of shadows” blog (originally here: on WordPress.

While a separate blog will have its advantages (receiving review copies of books being one) I don’t like the feeling of always having to write about the things I’ve read. Obligatory reviews can be a chore to write, and if I can’t maintain my own interest when writing a review, what hope is there of interesting potential readers of my reviews?

In the Background

Here are some photos of the progress of my most recent project.

With my paintings I’ve usually been so carried away with the desired final image that I’m left with a flat, boring background that needs a lot of attention. Then it’s often not easy to fix up the background without compromising what I’ve already done. The division between the two can then seem contrived.

This time I tried to start with a background, building up layers of text and symbol in the beginning instead of trying to add something later.

I wanted to try this after seeing Heather Carr’s blog ( ).

Here are the first stages of the background:

While working on the background I played around with ideas suitable for the eventual subject of the painting: such as this small sketch:

This idea was later added to the canvas using diluted flesh colour paint, highlights of red and detailed with a shiny pearl-white. The result was quite impressive from a distance if seen in the right light, but up close looked featureless and insipid.

I’ve now done more work to fix the “insipidness” by adding darker flesh tones,  but haven’t yet been able to take a suitable photograph. Additional photos of progress will have to wait for another post.

Painting Influences (helpful blog)

I found an interesting blog.

The owner is a sculptor, and while I have no personal interest in sculpture, I found his articles have relevance for any kind of art form. He gives very wise and practical advice about the work of an artist.

Some of his articles confirm what I said in “painting influences (part 4) about inspiration coming from DOING the work. See in particular his article “Art is not a talent”