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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Golden Forest

I attended the local community association meeting on Monday where the speaker was a local historian with a wealth of knowledge about this area.  She brought along a map that showed the early colonial land grants.  The area where I live was called Golden Forest.  It's currently just that but not because of the chestnut trees which were the climax forest in the late 1700s.  The climax forest is now beech trees, but even they are not the reason it's golden.  It's the tulip poplars and the understory spice bushes that are so golden.  See ...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Artist in the House

My husband, Dan is taking another oil painting class; one of many he has taken over the past couple of years.  The current assignment has brought him into the house from his shop/studio to paint a living space.  He chose the front hall as viewed from the great room.

Charcoal sketch

Scene he's painting.

He sets the painting in process on the mantle to view it from afar.

Here it is next to class work.

Here it is next to his last homework assignment.

His set up in the great room and below at work.

He's not the only artist in the family.  His painting will include this painting below by daughter, Sarah for her oil painting class final 5 or more years ago.  

It hangs in the front hall.  I think of it as "on loan" since once she is married in December and has the wall space, she may want it back.

My mother was also an artist and this painting of the lake at Blackwater Falls State Park, WV hangs in the front hall too.  Dan has it in his painting as well.

Daughter, Emily is also an artist.

Now she works with fabric to create her art. This hangs in my study so it won't factor into Dan's painting.

Dan has completed the value study for his homework.  Next step on Saturday will be to start the actual colors.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Book Recommendation

I just finished reading an incredibly moving novel Neverhome by Laird Hunt.  I had heard an interview with him on the radio and noted down the title.  Went looking for it online at my library and requested it, only to find there was a list of others who wanted to read it.  Well, my turn finally came and it was well worth the wait.  While I waited I also read another of his books "Kind One", also set in the 1800s.  It was an interesting story but not as good as Neverhome.

Here's the synopsis from the book flap.

"A dazzling novel about a young woman who disguises herself as a man and goes off to fight in the Civil War.  She calls herself Ash, but that's not her real name.  She is a farmer's faithful wife, but she has left her husband and donned the uniform of a Union soldier in the Civil War.  Neverhome tells the harrowing story of Ash Thompson during the battle for the South.  Through bloodshed and hysteria and heartbreak, she becomes a hero, a traitor, a madwoman, and a legend.

"Laird Hunt's enthralling new novel throws a light on the adventurous women who chose to fight instead of stay behind.  It is also a mystery story: Why did Ash leave and her husband stay?  Why can she not return?  How does she conceal her identity, and will she be discovered?  Will she ever make it back home?"

This book's premise is based on true stories of women who went to war for both sides dressed as men.  When I taught 4th grade my students read the story of a woman who did that in the Revolutionary War.  Her name escapes me now, but it was a true story.  She was only discovered when she got wounded.  The women who serve now in our Armed Forces no longer have to don a disguise.  How times have changed.

If you're looking for something to read look for this book!

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