Review of “The Power of Broke” by Daymond John


 

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The Power of Broke couldn’t have come at a better or crazier time in my life. In the midst of my own entrepreneur journey and launching a business, I was neck deep in stress and self-doubt. I bought The Power of Broke with hopes that Daymond’s story would help inspire me in my own extrepeneur adventure. I was skeptical at first, as to whether I was just buying into this book because of the name and face that went with it, and whether it’s words would be of any true value. I have to say, this was the first in a long while that I actually found myself so positively impacted by a book. Daymond John’s book was every bit as inspiring as I was hoping it would be.

Although I have to agree with a few other reviewers on the point that this book sort of stops at “inspiring” and doesn’t really touch on the “how to’s” in building your business, I don’t think that this book was ever supposed to be a guide to reaching millionare status. There is no one answer, as every entrepreneur and business is very different. Most businesses hire business and financial advisors for just that sort of thing. That’s a whole other book in itself. What Daymond did instead was reach out to us as individuals and with his story, and the stories of the many other entrepenurs that you will find in this book, he focused on “inspiring” you as an extrepenur to find strength and power in you and your own abilities.

The biggest downfall of any company is a weak foundation, and what is that foundation? We are the foundation. And yet, too many times we doubt our own strengths because we’re too small, too poor, unqualified, or uneducated. We get caught up in the idea that we need college degrees and large sums of money in order to be successful in life. It’s the biggest lie we could ever tell ourselves. A short ways into reading The Power of Broke, Daymond gives a perfect example as to how being broke can actually be your greatest asset in building a strong foundation for your business. In the long run it can be even more valuable then money. You don’t agree? Just read up on the many examples Daymond gives in the following chapters.

You will find entrepreneurs from all walks of life that will teach and inspire you from their own journey from broke to thriving. Whether they had money or little to nothing to start with, each example proves just how little money effected their climb up the ladder of success, and proves just how valuable a lesson it can be to build a business using just the skills given you. When you’re forced to get creative with those skills, you’re building up a stronger foundation. You’re building yourself up in passion and drive, in confidence and character, in knowledge and understanding, (and so much more) but even better you’re more of a peoples people and an inspirations to the many others just like you.

Yes, many may have picked up this book hoping Daymond would give you the secret key to success, so you could open the door to all the answers you’ve been looking for, and finally launch your business into a multi million dollar standing. You may not have found that, but I feel what Daymond gave us in this book is so much more valuable.

 

 

I received this book for free through blogging for books in exchange for an honest review.

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Review- Lord, Have Mercy by Ellen Miller


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Lord, Have Mercy is a day by day pick me up for the “drowning” mother on her last nerve. As mothers, we all go through those rough patches in life where we feel like we’re climbing a rocky cliff, and with every step we take we slide down two or three feet. The stress just never lets up and the chores just never end. Peace and quiet can be found, but only after you’ve laid your head to rest on your pillow. At this point you have a million things you want to do with your quiet time, but you’re too exhausted to do anything. So you decide to just go to sleep, but the moment you close your eyes your mind starts reeling with all the things going wrong in your life. Sound familiar? Yes, it does, and that is how books like these get written.

 
It was for these reasons, and many more, that when I saw this book I knew I would be reviewing it. Lord, Have Mercy provides you with ninety days of stories to give help and hope to moms, through stories from a mom who’s been through it all before. Best of all, Ellen Miller is here to remind you that you are not alone, for God is with you, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant or how big and overwhelmingly impossibly your problems may be, He is here with you every step of the way.

 
What I love most about books such as this is that it takes you out of your own problems for a brief moment and puts you in the shoes of another who has been there before. I for one kept this book on my treadmill, and for a half hour out of my day I would walk, and read, and reflect on what I’ve read and how I could apply it to my own life. I was working through my problems both physical and mental. It’s always great to see that we aren’t the only women struggling to find perfection in all aspects of our lives, or feeling like we’re failing to reach our goals of achieving the “mother of the year” award. As a mom, you need to know you are not alone, and this is what Ellen Miller is here to tell you.

 

On a personal note:

 
As a reader, I go all in, and as a mother, I love my “Mom” books. I jumped right into the stories of this book, and I will say that I enjoyed each one of them. Unfortunately, I felt as though the stories were a little lacking, though it was hard to pinpoint where. Ellen Miller did go through some tough moments as a mother. She never lacked to open up about these moments in her life, whether they were heartfelt, funny, or some of a mother’s worst nightmares. I think part of it came down to the length of the stories. Each day’s thought was so short lived, about a page and a half, sometimes two. For a reader such as me, you are sort of left with a lot more questions then things to reflect on. I felt like Ellen had a lot to say, but the daily devotion style kept her from going too deep.

 
Lord, Have Mercy is a great book for the lighter readers who are looking for short pick-me-up moments. I personally am a heavy reader and I like feeling drawn into my stories. I didn’t have time during my daily reading to feel drawn in. Although this book does touch on a lot of motherly moments, and will have you giggling with a, “Oh yea, been there,” I felt I just had a hard time emotionally connecting with this book. Regardless, the stories were well written, and there are plenty of mothers/readers out there who would find this book a very pleasant read. Lord, Have Mercy is still a good book for the mother on her last nerve and I don’t regret getting the chance to review it.

 

I received this book for free through Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

Review of “When God Made You” by Matthew Paul Turner and illustrated by David Catrow


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When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner is a beautifully illustrated book that inspires children to be themselves, and to be genuine and true to who God created them to be. The poetic writings and vibrant colors bring each and every page to life, inspiring children to be true to their creative nature and whatever talents lies within each of them. It assures children that each and every one of them was made unique and special, and are loved for who they are.
Matthew Paul starts the book out describing how God created each and every aspect of our being, from our hair, to our toes,  to even our name. It helps them to understand that who they are now was planned from the beginning. What I rather enjoyed next was how they included the diverse culture of us all, how God made people of all different cultures, and races, from all different places. It goes on to encourage us to view each other as sisters and brothers, and to live by the words: love one another. I feel like we’re in a time and place when children need that encouragement to love one another regardless of our differences, be it physical, mental, or characteristic, and to remember that we were all created in God’s image.
As an artist, I’m always drawn to the illustrations almost immediately, sometimes before I even read the first page. The cover of this book definitely caught my attention, I found it beautifully done. David Catrow’s illustrations in this book start off simple, playful, and fun. I loved how part-way through the book they turn vibrant and exciting. The complexity of the colors, shapes, and designs used toward the end of this book will help awaken the imagination of young readers. Overall, it was a very adorable story, and I loved the message behind it.
-I received this book for free through Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and given in honest.

My review of The Beautiful Garden of Eden- written by Gary Bower – illustrated by Barbara Chotiner


Review of The Beautiful Garden of Eden
-written by Gary Bower and illustrated by Barbara Chotiner-
The BEAUTIFUL Garden of Eden takes the story of Adam and Eve to a fun, playful level by mimicking  the classic rhyming style of “The House that Jack Built”. Gary Bower did an impressive job turning this well known Bible story into a fun rhyming book that will have you and your kids smiling and giggling.
I’m always on the hunt for new children stories to review, and my kids LOVE when I get a new book in the mail and it’s for them instead of me! I was instantly drawn to Gary Bower’s book covers. The artwork is similar to that of Eric Carle’s books, of whom I am a big fan, as well as my kids. The illustrations, beautifully done by Barbara Chotiner, the childish font, and the rhyming of the story made this book very appealing for me and my kids.
I will say, the fact that this is a picture book with bold, colorful illustrations, definitely gave me the impression this would be a book my kindergartner would love. Some of the words themselves, though, were on a higher level of reading then most kids her age. So, though the artwork was fun and simple, the rhyming and the words themselves were a little more difficult for a young child. Words like “upheaval” and “calamitous” were a little over her head. It didn’t change her admiration for the book itself though, and she still loves reading it with me.
I then took the book to my third grader, who was able to sound out the words, but when you’re trying to read the rhyme in rhythm and song, those big words make it harder to find a smooth flow. That being said though, it did make it really fun when mom was reading, and started reading faster and faster. My son and I got good laughs out of it, and even though kids his age are more into chapter books, he did enjoy reviewing this book with me.
All in all, this was a very cute children’s book I would definitely recommend Gary Bower’s books.
-I received this book for free through Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review

My Review of ‘The Angel of Forest Hill’ by Cindy Woodsmall


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Review of The Angel of Forest Hill by Cindy Woodsmall
The Angel of Forest Hill by Cindy Woodsmall was a very real and yet very sweet Amish romance. One that will pull at your emotions, and yet leave you smiling and laughing at the turn of each page. It was a perfect read during these chilly days, where all you crave is a warm drink and a good book. I love when I can get my hands on these wintery Amish reads, and have yet to find myself disappointed, especially with Cindy Woodsmall’s Christmas romances.
Rose Kurtz grew up in an Old Order Amish household where she helped her mother tend to her father and eleven brothers. As back-breaking as her job was, and no matter how hard she worked, Rose was almost a ghost amongst her family. If she wanted to be noticed, she only need make a mistake and her mother would be there to scold her or put her in her place. Rose didn’t think things could get worse, but that was until she found herself being shipped away to Forest Hill, without even so much as a goodbye from her family.
Joel Dienner was in shock and unaware of the woman who was brought to help aide with the care of his children after the tragic loss of his wife. With a newborn to care for, a household to tend to, and a business to run, Joel was in over his head. When the proposal comes from his father to take in Rose and make her his wife, for the sake of his kids and their need for a mother, Joel finds himself with no choice but to agree to the partnership.
As the years pass, Joel and Rose find themselves content with their arrangement, so content they become unaware of the yearnings within themselves as their relationship starts to truly take root. Before either of them has the chance to explore these feelings further, a beautiful woman who was recently widowed shows up in Forest Hill and begins to stir things up between Rose and Joel.
With their favorite time of year fast approaching, Joel and Rose find themselves entangled in drama, and unable to free themselves from assumptions and misunderstandings that threaten to ruin their Christmas festivities. Will the ghosts of Joel an Rose’s past make it impossible for them to get past their insecurities and fears, or will they make the hard decision instead to face their problems head on?
This is a book that definitely grows on you the deeper you get into it. I found the emotional trials each character faces very relatable, especially Rose with her introverted manner of approach to everything. If you’re an introvert like me, you’ll totally relate to that inner voice that over-thinks too much, and that outer-voice that never says how it feels often enough. It makes the interactions between Rose and Joel adorably frustrating!
-I received this book for free through blogging for books in exchange for an honest review.

Review of The Acrylic Painter: Tools and Techniques for the Most Versatile Medium


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James Van Patten, a local to Seattle, Washington, graduated from the University of Washington in 1965 with a BA in art education. When I first picked up Patten’s book ‘the Acrylic Painter’ I didn’t know I’d be learning from such an amazing teacher, as well as one who once lived only a couple hours from myself. It’s no wonder Patten eventually became inspired by water and wetlands, as there is an abundance of that here in Oregon/Washington! Of course, I didn’t find out I was learning from a local until the end of his book. The reason I chose Patten’s book is all in the name, “the Acrylic Painter: Tools and techniques for the most versatile medium”. Acrylic paint was the first paint I ever touched, mostly due to it being the most commonly used paint for beginning painters. Unfortunately, without doing the research yourself, you won’t realize just how complex this paint can be. Looking back now, I don’t see how I could have gone any further into my career as an artist without this book.

 
I first thought of acrylics as the easy option for artists. I mean, you look at the price alone and you’re going to get more bang for your buck with acrylics. So that is where I started, before I began to learn the many frustrations that comes with working with acrylics. As a self-taught artist, I didn’t have the schooling and teachers to grow me in the art of working with acrylics. No one was there tell me that acrylics dry so fast, or that you shouldn’t pour more then you need to work with at that time, or that there are additives you can mix into it to slow the drying process. Books soon became my teachers, and believe me, I’ve read a lot. Up until Patten’s book, almost every book I picked up felt like a really boring art class. Reading through these books just wasn’t an option as much as I tried. Patten’s book was one of two books on acrylic’s that I fell in love with from the moment I turned the first page. For an entire summer it became my life source. His book answered so many questions about acrylics that I’ve had over the years, and taught me so many tricks of the trade that have opened new doors for me as a painter.

 
What I loved first about his book was how Patten doesn’t just speak about acrylic paints generically. As an artist, the first question that runs through my mind when I meet another artist is, “What brand of paint do you use?”. I get kinda nosy and want to learn which brand, body, and consistency they prefer. Patten touches on this subject from the get go. I was soon pleasantly surprised to find my paints of choice are right up there with Patten’s. Through his teachings I have become so much more familiar and comfortable working with my paints. I no longer look at paint additives like their foreign objects, or look at the more expensive brands of paint like they’re too far out of my league. Learning to use your paint right makes a difference in whether or not you will become a successful artist in both product and profit. (Better product and less waste.) With the proper palette and formula, my paint has come to last so much longer.

 
My second biggest curiosity when I meet an artist is their brushes. A brush to an artist is like an extension of their own hand. As a beginner, your standing in the paint isle at Michael’s and you’re staring at the brushes thinking, “What does it all mean!?!” The fibers, the shapes, the angles, and the brands! Even to this day, I mostly make my decision using my own imagination and observation. I basically run the brush across my hand and watch the movement of the fibers and say, “Yup! Looks about right…” Patten dedicates an entire chapter to palettes and brushes, and it’s just beautiful! The same benefit that comes from choosing a proper brand of paint comes when choosing a proper brush. Better product and a longer lifespan. You aren’t replacing brushes every couple weeks, or finding fibers glued to your canvas. You’re getting finer, straighter lines, and less unwanted lines.

 

Just the same, I could go on and on about each chapter following, but I think you get the gist. From painting surfaces, to learning what gesso really is and what it’s used for, to color theory and finding out that the color wheel doesn’t just consist of primary and secondary colors, and finally the proper way to finish and present your art, he literally touches on everything. James Van Patten makes the world of acrylics so much bigger, especially for a small artist like myself. I honestly can’t thank him enough for what this book did for me this summer. I have a lot more confidence in my knowledge and the choices I make as an artist, and it’s already showing in my work. I’ve ventured out to Michael’s (to my husbands dismay, ha!) and have slowly started adding products to my studio. I would honestly suggest this book to any artist, even if it’s just for the purpose of a great reference book. James Patten’s advice and experience alone makes it worth the read.

 

-I received this book for free through blogging for books in exchange for an honest review.

Review of 365 Pocket Morning Prayers: Strength and Joy to Begin Each Day by David R. Veerman


 

This is the second pocket devotional I have reviewed, and I was more then happy to be getting the chance to do so. I truly adored 365 Pocket Devotions. Not only did I love the color of it, but it felt as good as it looks. I know that sounds silly, but if you own a nice leather bible you know the feeling. The leather is sturdy yet soft and flexible. I found the 365 Pocket Morning Prayers to be just as pleasing, if not more so, for this leather not only looks soft but it is soft (like suede). The color pallet of the soft blue leather with the vibrant green interior and ribbon are beautiful. The embossed palm tree and birds just make this devotional so endearing, and the size of it makes it convenient to take anywhere. It’s easy to toss into a bag or suitcase, like my first pocket devotional which went with me on a trip to Hawaii. It fit into my carry-on bag and left plenty of room to spare (which was needed since I also had two other books and my kindle as well).

 
What I enjoy about these devotionals is how personal they are. When you’re reading them, whether you’re reading quietly to yourself or out loud, it feels like the words are your own. Each devotion or prayer speaks to you in one way or another, and if it happens that the prayer for that day isn’t speaking to you at the moment, you can look through the index for one that will. So, if you have a day where you feel you’re in need of strength, you can look up a prayer that speaks on strength, and use that to start your day. There are no rules as to how you utilize your devotional book, or how you spend your morning prayer time. Whether it sits beside your bed, on your coffee table, or you toss this little book into your bag and venture out into nature to spend some quiet time with God, these devotionals are great to have at hand anywhere.

 
For me, I enjoyed the sight of my pocket devotions so much I have it out where I can see it each day, and the same will be for my morning prayers book. These books are an eye catcher as well as a great reminder when you’re running around your house to stop and spend some time with God.

-I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

 

Review of Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal by Living Expressions Collection


 

Growing up I could always count on finding my mother writing in a journal,  a cup of coffee sitting beside her that had long since grown cold during the early, early morning hours. I admired her persistence in keeping to her routine of having her devotion time. Over the years I’ve tried following suit, but I’ve learned since I do not enjoy the wee hours of the morning, even after three cups of coffee. I also found, even though I thrive off the joy of writing fiction, I am not such a fan of writing in reflection to my own life. Still, it’s never stopped me from adoring a cute journal when I see one, or even occasionally buying one when I just can’t help myself. But something about those blank pages can be intimidating. I was far more comfortable bending to the artist in me and sketching my feelings onto paper. I may not have been putting my feelings into words, but I was still letting out those emotions that tend to bottle up inside of me. Just the feeling of putting pencil to paper without the obligation of thought helped relax my spirit. Little did I know there was a journal that could do just that.

 

When the opportunity arose to review Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal, I was actually very excited. Not only was its cardboard cover beautiful, but this journal also doubled as a coloring book! Each page turned opens up to beautiful designs and characters waiting to be filled with color. Within those beautiful black and white designs was a short devotional, and a page to journal your own thoughts.There’s even pages for those like me who enjoy sketching what they’re feelings. This is the perfect journal for a relaxing, carefree devotion time. How you spend your time in your journal is up to you. For me, when I first sat down with it, I pulled out my brush markers, found a page that intrigued my creative interest, and spent some time quietly coloring. The amount of time spent filling in the delicate empty spaces, and choosing which colors to put where, cleared away any train of thought i had going on, leaving me feeling peaceful, and in a way rather kiddish. I don’t believe God wants our devotion time to be a stressful time. He calls for us to be like the children. He wants us to come to him happily, and excited to be in his word, even if it means taking a few moments to color a picture.

 

-I received this book for free through Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Review of – Having a Martha Home the Mary Way: 31 Days to a Clean House and a Satisfied Soul by Sarah Mae


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Review of ‘Having a Martha Home the Mary Way’ by Sarah Mae
‘Having a Martha Home the Mary Way’ is your 31 day guide to a cleaner house and a more satisfied soul. In her book, Sarah Mae hopes to give you a renewed vision of what it is to have a clean home, and a calmer, more peaceful heart, starting’ when you set down that coffee cup and pick up your to-do list for the day. This 31-day plan is designed to teach you to not only care for your home but to also care for your heart. We all have that vision of the home we desire to welcome our friends and family into. How many of us often sacrifice our own peace and happiness in order to obtain that goal? Many of us struggle with the desire to give ourselves just an hour here or there to maintain our own peace of mind, but how often do you find your home suffers because of it. Sarah Mae’s book, Having a Martha Home the Mary Way is here to help you find that balance, but even more, neither you nor your home will have to suffer any longer.
Most people know the story of Mary and Martha found in the bible. Jesus was invited over for a visit by Martha. Upon Jesus’s arrival, Mary took to sitting at Jesus’s feet, while Martha went into host mode, busying herself with serving her guests. Martha and Mary laid a foundation for all women when it comes to housekeeping, and Sarah Mae kindly put that foundation into words we could all come to understand. Upon that understanding, you’ll come to find that neither Martha nor Mary were in the wrong on their approach to their evening with Jesus. You’ll see what I mean by following each day’s readings, where you will be given two challenges: a Mary challenge and a Martha challenge. The Mary challenges speak to your heart and the Martha challenges spur you into action. The purpose of these two examples is to get you moving and cleaning, but to also help you experience peace throughout the process. Sarah helps you to see that there is a place for both Martha’s and Mary’s approach, and that we should embrace a little of them both.
Sarah’s 31-Day challenge starts with ‘Prep Day!’. This one page chapter is basically a “get ready” read, alongside a supply list of things you will need to complete your challenges. Then, day by day, you will have a short devotional story and your Mary challenge, which consists of a verse for you to read and some questions for you to answer. Each question is designed to help you look deeper into yourself. Next, the Martha challenge where you will utilize that supply list we were excited to buy, but not so excited to use. Thankfully, this book was not designed to be a housekeeping boot camp. This book is designed to help you find peace in your day to day chores, and you will do just that. You will learn to take your chores day by day, not all at once. Day one leaves you with two simple chores to accomplish. Following your directions for the day, you will be given a few extra items to follow, as well as some extra tips, including a way for those of us with kids to help get them involved.
As well as teaching you to slow down and finding balance, this book is also designed to help you discover the type of housekeeper you are. In learning this, you will learn which cleaning styles work best for you, and how better to approach making your house into the home you long for. Sarah Mae does a really good job in helping us admit the type of housekeepers we are, as well as embracing ourselves for it. Some of us might be ashamed that we aren’t more organized, and that we don’t keep a strict schedule, and our house isn’t always dust free and guest ready. Others may spend so much time obsessing over cleaning and organizing that they forget there is a life outside those neatly decorated walls. No matter which category you fall into, there is always room to grow and something new to be learned. Even if all you take from this book is a better way to love yourself, it’s worth the read.
-This book was provided to me by Tyndale Blog Network for free in exchange for an honest review.

Review of “Pop Painting” by Camilla d’Errico


Pop Painting-Inspiration and Techniques from the Pop Surrealism Art Phenomenon
PopPainting
       Camilla d’Errico is a Pop Surrealist Artist who, in her book Pop Painting, has opened the door to her studio, and her mind, and given us all an up close look at the makings of her beautiful paintings. When you pick up this book, you aren’t just getting a step by step guide to painting, you are getting a personal one on one look at the process and techniques used by a wonderfully talented artist, Camilla d’Errico. You are getting a look at her studio environments, what inspires her, what started her with painting, her journey into the Pop Surrealism Art world, and how through it all she stayed true to herself as an artist.
         An artist myself, this book was so much more then I could have imagined it would be. It was as if Camilla herself was a close personal friend or mentor, her book is so laid back, and funny, as we as inspiring and encouraging. I’ve bought, borrowed, and checked out so many art books in my lifetime, looking for the one that would help me better myself as an artist. All had tips and tricks, the typical walk through/study guide, and how to’s. It’s easy to read a book that tells you how to paint with acrylics, but it’s not the same as actually seeing it done. Camilla gets down deep and personal, and delivers a complete step by step of her paintings.
        When I chose to review Camilla’s book, I hadn’t really spent the time to look into it, and upon receiving it I instantly became a huge fan of her work. I grew up a manga fan, and actually spent much of my childhood drawing manga, so there was no question I loved Camilla’s style. Within the first couple chapters you get to know Camilla more. Being an artist myself made it so easy to connect with her personality, and I literally found myself laughing and agreeing with every silly habit and artistic quirk she has. Again, it was like hanging with a good friend, she made reading her book so easy and so much fun.
      Camilla introduces you to Pop Surrealism, which was a first for me, as I knew art had it’s classifications, but I had never really read far into what art classified as what. Next you get to know Camilla a little more, and what it is to be an artist. Part of what I loved about her book, was amidst introducing herself, she manages to turn the focus on you, yourself, the reader. Next she starts walking you through inspiration, choosing color, creating titles for your work, and little tips and tricks to being a better artist.
       Her book is set up in two parts, Part 1, Chapter three is where she introduces you to the tools of the trade, her materials, or weapons of choice, when creating her masterpieces. Whenever I walk through a studios, fairs, or any place where I can get a up-close look at another artists work, the first thing that goes through my mind is; what brand of paint do they use? What brushes are their favorites? What surface is their canvas of choice? Do they free sketch their work first, or just put brush to canvas and hope for the best? Do they use water or a mixing medium? Literally, a million questions go through my mind. When I got to chapter three, my face was glued to her book like it was my bible. I was taking in every bit of detail I possibly could.
      When I got to the photos of her work station, or studio, I was all smiles. I love getting to see the work place of other artists. My dream is to one day have a real studio of my own, one I don’t have to clean off my living room or kitchen table when we have guests over, ha ha. Next, and I know this might sound silly, but I love studying another artists paint pallet. They way they arrange their pallet and mix their colors speaks to me in a sense. Art is just a beautiful process, and getting to read/see another artists process is just beautiful.
Camilla pretty much answered every question I would ask, all in a few chapters. She graciously opened up her studio to those silly, curious young artists like myself to admire. She covers everything from painting surfaces, to setting up and organizing your studio, to choosing the right place and/or lighting for your studio. Chapter five covers sketching, from sketching your inspirations into a book to getting it onto canvas. From there, chapter by chapter, Camilla walks you through building your work of art. Using her own paintings as a guide, she covers things such as, Composition, Blending, Light and Shadows, Depth, and So much more!
      Part 2 starts with Top Ten Questions people ask her, followed by Tips and Tricks, and then goes into Step-by-step examples. Now, I loved this part, of course. It really is the next best thing to watching an artist paint on You Tube. She goes through the entire process of painting her girls. She starts with their eyes, then the lips, their hair, and their skin, which, if you’ve ever tried it, is not as easy as it looks. Next she walks you through painting some of the animals you can find in her work, some special effects she uses, and some of her black and white work. Her book then finishes with her journey from Passion to Profession. She touches on how she learned to love painting, how she found a home in Pop Surrealism, and how she dealt with becoming a professional artist (as well as dealing with rejection).
      Camilla’s book now sits on my studio table at all times. It is definitely one of my favorite reads as of late. Most might think of artists as a special breed of human who can just put a brush to canvas and like the fairy stepmother’s wand just Bibbidi-Bobbidy-Boo, create a masterpiece. But it truly is hard work that takes loads of time and dedication. Painting is my passion, but some days I will find myself grumbling and pouting as I drag my feet, coffee in hand, and make myself sit down and work a piece. I have been up into the wee hours of the night, eyes held open by toothpicks, and my hand  barely able to hold a brush without cramping up.
     Then comes the nerves of delivering a piece you just spent hours upon hours pouring yourself into. Your heart is pounding, your palms are sweating, and part of you, a very delicate part of you, could break into tears any second as you wait to see what people will think of your work. Art is an emotional mess from beginning to end, a rollercoaster that takes you through inspiration, excitement, and ambition, to artist block, then frustration, want to throw your canvas out into the rain, or punch a hole through it, to I love it, it’s mine, it’s my baby, I could just stare at it for hours, followed by heartbreak, letting go, hoping, praying, trusting that those who adopt your work will love it, treasure it, and put as much care into it as you have. It’s a crazy ride, but we love it!
Thank you Camilla, for opening your heart, mind, and studio to an artist like myself, who has barely got her foot at the door, just waiting for an opportunity to open up so I might make a home in the art world for myself. You are an inspiration, and I am elated to have gotten the opportunity to review your book.
-I received this book for free through Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.