Not last week...but the week before (sounds like a jump-rope cadence ;) we were on vacation in Daytona Beach, Florida and as always, I bring along a few art supplies with me so that I can work in ANY of my art journals if I should feel INSPIRED...
Had a very busy weekend out of town, but I brought along the current book that I'm reading for The French Historical Reading Challenge, The Courtesan and my Book Review Journal to keep me occupied while riding in the car. This book is a very easy read, even with all the names that I cannot pronounce, which translates for me as CRS (can't remember $#!*). But what really makes it fun to read is that it is about REAL people and events in history. So this just makes me even more curious about the characters and I end up goggling them so that I can read a quick biography about these real "characters".
...Wasn't I surprised to find that the cover of this book was taken from an actual painting...
Indeed...this is the original portrait of the main character in this book, Diane de Poitiers, The Courtesan.
It is just so ironic because the reason I choose this book was because of the cover! I even noted that in my journaling notes...ha!
My reading was cut short though because I had an allergic reaction to something on Saturday and my entire head and face swelled like a mellon...not very pretty :} The hardest part is that I have been itching like crazy and so I've had to take a constant barrage of antihistamines. They stop the itch all right...they stop everything because they knock me right out! So...I've been trying to read and write in my journal but haven't gotten as much done as I'd like. My eyes are swollen so much that when I try to read, they weep and then I rub them and then they get be sore and on and on...so I gave up and put a cold cloth on my eyes. Which lent itself to my taking a lot of naps and watching "LAME" TV as my sister calls Lifetime for Women...lol
So far I've taken some journaling notes and painted a few pages with backgrounds and mounted a few photos on the pages where I want to add more notes. Here's a few pictures of those pages...
First I coated these two pages in a thick layer of white gesso so that I could scribe some marks into the wet gesso...hence the date 1533 when this story begins.
Once the gesso was dry, I painted on a wash of my base color, yellow oxide. Then when that was dry I added two more washes of different paint colors (red oxide and turquoise) and blended them with a baby wipe. This is a very easy and fast application and...more importantly...it gives the appearance of a fresco or of worn patina...love that especially for the time period of this book.
Then on this page, I added a photo of an original portraitof King Francis I...just love to goggle!
Once I can see better, I will add some personal notes from the book as I read along. I like the way the notebook paper still peaks through the color-wash so that I can write my journal notes...as always it's the little details that make me happy :}
Then on the next page I've added a photo of another main character in this book, Anne d'Heilly...and I scribed her name in the gesso at the bottom of the page.
At the time this story begins, she is the main mistress of King Francois I, although he had many lovers and conquests.
So when the King summons Diane de Poitiers, to return to the French court after the death of her husband, Anne fears that Diane is her replacement. Anne is young, hence her insecurities and paranoia, but she is ambitious and she will stop at nothing to remain the King's favorite.
Anne has nothing to fear really, because Diane is not interested in being the King's mistress, this time she wants to find true love.
History tells us that she does, in the arms of the Prince Henry. Talk about robbing the cradle...Diane is 35 and Henry is barely 15 when she returns to court...hmm...do not know if I would have picked this book up had I know those details...hmmm
I'll keep you posted :D
Right now I'd like you all to hop on over to Trisha Tack's blog, BOOK GROUPand check out her current book review of, Twylight Tower by Karen Harper. Trisha writes a great book review and, she has joined those of us who are participating in compiling Book Review Journals and, so she shares her journal pages with us...very inspiring!
Combine your love of books and participating in Reading Challenges, by making a journal of your own personal "book reviews" for all the books you read. Your "Book Reviews" can be a visual art or written journal. Or perhaps you would prefer to use index cards, alphabetized by author, in a recipe box. Or you could collage images that you find inspiring, or that reflect the story, onto shipping tags that you group together from a reading challenge that you are participating in. Either way, you complete your cards, tags or journal pages by writing your own personal "book review" on the back of your images or pages. Years ago, I read about this process in a Cloth-Paper-Scissors magazine where a reader wrote into the editors and told them about how she did this so that she could remember which books she had already read. After completing her "Card Catalog," as she called it, she collaged a box to hold with her cards with coordinating images of women reading and writing. Ever since I read that article, I have wanted to do some version of this...not only to "jog" my memory on the books that I've read, but also because I have been know to buy a book that I've already got at home...yikes! This journal will also be portable and I can take it to the bookstore with me. I could even make a list in the back of future books that I'd like to read, etc.
This year I am participating in a few reading challenges and I didn't want to wait any longer for the "perfect" application of a "card catalog" to get started! So, I discussed the idea with my friend, Lucy from Enchanted by Josephine, because I am participating in her French Historical Reading Challenge, and she encouraged me to post about my idea to create a "Book Review Journal". Lucy has an interest in illustrating her favorite heroines and the idea of creating her own journal for her favorite books and challenges was exciting to her as well. We also thought it would appeal to other readers participating in challenges if they could share in this process on-line with us.
So to get started, for my journal, I simply printed out Lucy's lovely blog button for her Oh La La! reading contest and adhered it to this black and white striped, "composition book"...it's just so very "french"... I like this type/size of journal also because it is portable and fits in my tote bag so I can take it everywhere with me. Even to the bookstore so I can keep a list, in the back, of future books that I'd like to read.
Another tool that I've put together are what I call "Book Review Journal Prompts" and it is simply a list of 13 (my lucky number) questions that I put together to help describe the book. You can answer these questions in any order that you like and you do not even have to answer all of them if you don't feel the need. Again, these are simply "prompts" to jog your journaling and you do not have to actually "write out the questions" when you are making your notes...just use the corresponding number if you need it as a reference...keep it simple sweetie! I have printed out these "prompts" and adhered them to the inside cover of my journal so that I have them handy.
You can also see in the above photo of my journal that I've printed and adhered a copy of the book cover of the current book that I'm reading...I love "visual aides". For those of you who would like to participate in completing a "Book Review Journal", then please leave me a comment with your blog post links. Please be sure that your posts have the following "Art Journal Collage" button and I'll post a link to your blog on my sidebar:
Please be sure to link any of your participating blog posts back to this main "Book Review Journal" post and not to my main page...thank you...we do not want to frustrate any of our blog followers :}
For those of you who are interested in using my journal prompts, please feel free to copy and paste the following into your own word document.
“Book Review” Journal Prompts:
Use these “prompts” as a resource for you to write a review about the books that you are reading.Keep in mind that this is to help you remember the details,
so make notes that are important to you!
Just print and place this card in the front of your journal, or use it as a bookmark,
where it will be handy as a quick reference guide.
Keep it simple by using the “number” for each prompt as you write down your reading notes, instead of actually writing out the questions/prompts.
This also means that you don’t have to go in any certain “order” or, that you have to answer every single prompt…just write down your notes in the order you feel inspired to as you read along.This way you will enjoy the process and not interrupt your flow of reading.
1.What made you pick up this particular book and start reading it?The picture on the cover...oh la la! The back cover summary?
2.Set the scene: describe where it takes place, when it occurs, etc.
3.Briefly, describe the main characters.
4.What historical "era" does this story portray?
5.Did the author write about a real historical figure(s) orembellish, invent the character(s)?
6.Did you learn anything new about the historical period from this story?
7.What's the general plot of the book?
8.Are there any surprises or twists in the story?
9.What is your favorite part of the entire story?
10.Were you sad that the story ended?Did you want it to keep going on because you loved the characters, the storyline, etc.?
11.Did this book "flow" easily for you? Or were there too many characters to remember or whose names you couldn't pronounce to connect to the characters?
12.Did the author bore you with too many details and historical references/facts so that the book read like a textbook?
13.Would you recommend this book and/or the author?
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I hope that you will follow along as I rant and rave about my passion for creating a blessed life with my family...no matter where the road may lead us.