I'm pretty excited to start reading two new books that I just got. One of them is probably familiar to most painters: Oil Painting Techniques and Materials by Harold Speed, but the other one may be less familiar: Inspired by Light by Ken Howard. I'm going to start reading these tonight and will share my thoughts in a later post.
I recently discovered the work of Ken Howard and was interested in a book about his technique so I searched and found this one. When I purchased it, I wasn't sure if the book contained "technical" information about his process, materials, etc. but I'm happy to say that this book contains the technical information that I was seeking. There's sections on drawing, watercolor and oil painting. It feels similar to Everett Raymond Kinstler's, Painting Portraits and his other book, Painting Faces, Figures and Landscapes, both of which I enjoyed.
I'm happy to grow my library with these two additions and I can't wait to dive into them.
A few months ago, I was interviewed and photographed for an article which is now available online. The experience was great and I've gotten some great feedback about the interview.
Follow this link to read my interview article - Follow this link to read the full February 2022 issue.
Thank you again to Kris Pepper for the excellent interview and to Sarah Flannery for the beautiful photographs.
Last night, I finished reading the final book in the 12 book series, Poldark. I first became interested in the series after watching the PBS television version which was on from 2015 until 2019. For Christmas a few years ago, my Brother gave my Mom the complete series of 12 books. As she finished each book she passed them to me.
To give a brief overview: it centers around Ross Poldark who returns to Cornwall from the American War (what we call the Revolutionary War). He finds his home in disarray, his father dead and his girlfriend has married his cousin because they thought that Ross was dead. That's all I want to say because it's unfair to summarize the rest of the series into a bitesized portion.
The books were each a pleasure to read and really made me feel a part of Cornwall in the late 1790s. The books have great characters too and many badass moments. It feels like these characters are real and I still think about them even though the series is done. Although each book is quite long, it never felt like a chore to read; I stayed up until nearly 3am in order to finish the final book because it was such a page turner.
The TV series from 2015 was good, but very different from the books and ran up until book 7 of the book series; so there are 5 extra books of content that extend past the TV series. It's pointless to compare one medium with another, but obviously a book can transport you in ways that a TV show can never. Reading transports me into an immersive environment where I can smell the smells, hear the sounds and see the sights.
One of the cool things about reading the whole series is that you can see Graham develop as a writer and also as a man. It was written over the course of several decades so obviously there's a progression and a development of his personal philosophy. There were numerous moments when I had to stop reading and go write down a line or paragraph into my journal so I'd remember it.
The series had a lot of ups and downs, which made each book very exciting. My favorite books were the 5th book, titled: The Black Moon and the final book, titled: Bella Poldark. I enjoyed each book because Graham is such a great writer. I learned a ton of vocabulary, keeping a dictionary at hand whilst I was reading.
One of the best parts of reading the series was being able to discuss each part with my Mom. She enjoyed the books also and was eagerly waiting for me to finish them. I want to thank my Brother for gifting the series because we enjoyed it immensely. I've been reading these books for over a year so I'm pretty sad that I'm done now, but I plan to go back and read it again at some point; maybe when I'm an older man myself and after I've learned more about life.