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Month in review

The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers by Jan and Stan Berenstain
The Best Christmas Ever by James Patrick Kelley
The City by Allen J. Scott and Edward W. Soja
Commander Toad and the Voyage Home by Jane Yolen
The Dame in the Kimono by Leonard J. Leff by Jerold L. Simmons
Down to a Sunless Sea by Mathias B. Freese
Dragonite's Christmas by Akihito Toda and Kagemaru Himeno
The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit
The Fattening of America by Eric A. Finkelstein and Laurie Zuckerman
The Halloween Play by Felicia Bond
Heavens to Betsy & Other Curious Sayings by Charles Earle Funk
How Do Dinosaurs Clean Their Rooms? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
Hungry Hill by Carol O'Malley Gaunt
Imaginative Still Life by Moira Huntly
In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje
A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains by Isabella L. Bird
The Mariah Delany Lending Library Disaster by Sheila Greenwald
Maxine an the Ghost Dog by Linda Pack Butler
Midnight Sun by Elwood Reid
Monkey See, Monkey Do by Marc Gave and Jacqueline Rogers
Murder in the Place of Anubis by Lynda S. Robinson
Olivia Counts by Ian Falconer
Rusty's Train Ride by Heather Amery and Stephen Cartwright
Ship Fever by Anrea Barrett
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Pam Adams
The Toontown Players Present Chicken Little by Margaret Snyder
The Voluntary State by Christopher Rowe
The Winter of the Birds by Helen Cresswell
Witch Week by Diana Wynn Jones
Yours Turly, Shirley by Ann M. Martin

FSF Reviews:
If Angels Fight by John Bowes
Philologos, Or a Murder in Bistrita by Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for Imaginative Still Life

Imaginative Still LifeImaginative Still Life: 02/22/08

Imaginative Still Life (1983) is one of the more upbeat how-to paint books I've read in a while. These books walk a fine line between dot-to-dot instructions and building fundamentals while still allowing room for creative growth.

Moira Huntly places her emphasis on the fun of painting an on creative experimentation. Of course she does include the basics of shading, composition, and color but her tutorials don't expect readers to copy her pieces as part of the learning process. Moira's enthusiasm for art and the still life is infective. Moira, by the way, is still actively painting and seems to still be having fun.

The book's biggest weakness though, is its lack of full color illustrations. Full color printing hasn't really become affordable until recent years so like most older art illustrations, Imaginative Still Life is mostly illustrated in black and white with some limited color prints.

When I showed the book to some non-artist friends, they were taken aback with how ugly the paintings looked in the book. The color plates do not do Moira Huntly's talent justice but this is just a fact of where printing was in 1980. Ignore the plates and enjoy Moira's many pen drawings which are excellent. Pay attention to her words and her enthusiasm. Sure the book isn't as colorful as modern how-to paint books but it is just as valuable a resource.

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