Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rejected 60 Times

You may have seen this story, but in case you didn't, it is really inspirational to artists of any type, or any other endeavor you care about: The author of "The Help" says her book was rejected 60 times before it was finally accepted for publication.

Yahoo Shine's blog post: Kathryn Stockett's "The Help"

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Art Studio Joys

For the first time ever, I got to experience what the joys of being in an art studio, or art commune, or whatever, might be. Instead of being a teacher or lecturer or a student, as I have many times, or laboring alone in my room, for a day I was an equal, a partner in a relaxed, casual art setting. It was wonderful.

To start the ball rolling, I approached a young lady I have known since she was in kindergarten with an oil painting illustration job. She has some painting experience and a knack for it. I told her that I would help her get started on the project and guarantee that she would meet the client's needs. My client was happy with the arrangement and agreed to give her a reduced fee for the work. The young lady came to my home studio today and we spent a very relaxed, happy four hours, she blocking in the colors on my easel while I worked on a Christmas book I wrote and am illustrating on the computer. Family members came in every so often to add comments.

I had a great time. The lady and I joked, told stories, caught up on news about friends, listened to some Weird Al Yankovic songs, and ended the day watching Youtube videos by the jazz band Jive Aces. We each made some great progress on our projects, and with all the jazz tunes we played, by the end of the day I was dancing on the ceiling. Still running the tunes through my head.

I was really impressed with this lady's skills; she says she's not a people painter, but her work belies that. She admitted that she was nervous and intimidated at first but she jumped right in anyway. I give her great credit for chutzpah.

As usual, I won't be able to work in my studio again until next weekend, but I gave her permission to continue the project even if I'm not there. She's an ice dancer and just got her EMT certification. Whatever she puts her mind to, she can do. I wish her very well.

If that's what the collegial atmosphere in an art studio is like, I'm all for it.

Jive Aces on Youtube.
Weird Al Yankovic on Youtube.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Battle: Los Angeles

While I'm recommending things, check out "Battle: Los Angeles". I saw it three times and have the soundtrack. My youngest son just joined the Marines, and this movie really grabbed me. It shows the ultimate use of the military: To protect the weak even in the face of overwhelming odds. A squad goes into a war zone to extract some trapped civilians and gives everything to save them. Shock and awe, this time from our perspective. Intense, powerful.


Those interested in stories of survival, determination, overcoming impossible odds, and redemption should check out Laura Hillenbrand's book Unbroken. It is a powerful story, very well told, and very moving. If you enjoyed Corrie Ten Boom's "The Hiding Place", this book will move you. My wife and I raced through it, she through the book, I the audio version. When she was busy I read portions to her, which was a treat because I got to see how some of the Japanese names were spelled and she got to hear how they were pronounced. Very good stuff.

Joseph Smith Movie

Last night I took my wife and a person interested in our church to see the movie "The Joseph Smith Movie - Volume 1" ( during its East Coast pre-release run. Got to meet Dustin Harding, the man who played Joseph. Wonderfully done. Powerful impressions. I learned a lot about the man. I loved the inclusion of so much of Emma's perspective and influence during these very formative events.

Dustin's testimony before and after the movie was a powerful spiritual experience. Our guest cried. I also very much enjoyed learning historical details of Joseph's life in the question and answer session afterward. Go to the web site to check out local screenings.