This week at art group, Jim showed us a painting he’d done,of a snow covered lane with trees gradually disappearing into thedistance.  “I’m inspired by John AtkinsonGrimshaw, who used to paint Scarborough in a similar style”, he said.  Atkinson Grimshaw was a Victorian painter whowas well known for his depiction of light and detail.  Very little is known about his life, butseveral of his children went on to become artists.  Having looked at this article on Wikipedia,which tells you more about his work and gives two examples of his work, I haveto say that Jim’s painting was very much in Grimshaw’s style.

Elizabeth was painting some baby turtles she’d seen onholiday.  She told us how small groups ofvisitors were handed tiny, newly hatched turtles to release onto the beach andwatch as they waddled away into the sea to begin their new lives – or morelikely, be eaten by other animals. “Did you race them?” I asked - I would havewanted to bet on whose would be first to the sea.   Apparentlynot.   The turtles swim thousands of miles and onlyone in a thousand would return to the place where they hatched.  It’s a serious business – and according toElizabeth, a stirring sight, reducing some of the holidaymakers to tears, notgambling.
This article gives you more information about baby sea turtles :

The art group are gearing up for Christmas.  We won’t be meeting on Christmas Eve, andwill have our “fuddle” (a local dialect word for party) the weekendbefore.  I am wondering what culinarydelight to rustle up this time.  Pastaand rice dishes haven’t proved popular in the past, so it may have to be the reducedfat exhibition muffins, which were such a hit.  Also, some members like to give others a Christmas card that they havedesigned and produced themselves.   Lastyear, they had to make do with one from Wilkos, but this time, I am in themiddle of designing a small cartoon of our small but fast growing cat.  Perhaps I’ll do some for my son to give hisclassmates too as he quite liked it.  Youcan see it at the top of the page.

Just a quick update to announce a craft demonstration evening at Clowne Infant School, Ringer Lane, Clowne, on Tuesday 29th November at 7pm.  Wreath making, soap making and more.  Tickets £3 from the school office, open Mon-Fri, 9am-3pm.


Canadian Rockies and free printable

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I will be adding this to my selling website (link above) this week
Last week, I completed my Canadian Rockies painting and tookit along for the art group members to view and comment on.  As everyone seemed to like it, I am not goingto change it now.

At art group, Elizabeth completed a dramatic lookingmountain.  Her landscapes usually lookcool and calm so the strong colours of this painting were a departure from herusual style.
"I can help you say thank you"
Christmas preparations are probably well underway for mostpeople now, and in just over a month, the whole thing will be over and we will probablybe thinking about writing some thank you letters.  I recently designed my own thank you notewhen I ran out of them.  Now I’ve put itonto Flickr as a free printable, for everyone to download and use.  All you need is a sheet of A4 paper to printonto, then fold it to create a small “card”. Although it says on Flickr that it’s copyright, I haven’t changed it to “creativecommons” because I live in England and we have different copyright law toAmerica, so all I will say is that the design is mine and I am happy for you toprint it off and use this as much as you like, but if you use the design inanything you publish, please attribute it to me.  My Flickr widget is further down the page on the right, if you want to reach it this way, or follow this link:

I have included instructions on downloading and printing thecard, and would like to know whether people find these helpful to use.  If the card is popular, I might put otherones on in future.  So let me know, either by a comment on this blog, or on Flickr.

Tampa Review Poetry Chapbook Contest

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This is actually a legitimate venue. Sadly, I have been taken in by a few of the opposite.

What's new at Tampa Review . . . .
November 16th, 2011

Dear Reader,Can you believe it's been 30 days already? This month we've been quite busy finalizing several of our latest literary publications, the least of which is the next edition of the Tampa Review, as well as beginning the process to transplant the Tampa Book Arts Studio across campus to a bigger and better home. What an undertaking that has been, and you can check out more about the move down here.We are also happy to report an outstanding turnout of submissions to our annual Danahy Fiction Prize, which closed its submissions earlier this month. We'd like to thank everyone who entered and to let you know we are already quite impressed by the overall pool of talent that this year's contest has brought.For all poets, this next announcement is for you. We are currently accepting submissions to The Tampa Review Poetry Prize. The deadline for entry is December 31, 2011, and though waiting till the last minute would be an inspired way to bring in the new year, we look forward to reading your submissions as we get them. By the way, in case you don't know, the prize for this is $2,000 and having your manuscript published by us - you can also now submit online as well as by mail. Check out our guidelines page to get a full breakdown of the rules and how to submit.For our Florida natives, UT Press is going to be at the Miami Book Fair from November 18th- 20th. If you're around, stop by our table (shared with the University of Tampa Low-Res MFA in Creative Writing program) and check out our discounted issues of Tampa Review and other UT Press publications. We'll also have candy, so there's that . . .And with that dear writers, readers, and champions of the arts we thank you for your amazing support and wish you continued good news - and maybe just a little bit of luck.
EXPECTED TO BE READY THIS JANUARY for the start of the first residency of UT’s new Low-Res MFA in Creative Writing program, The Tampa Book Arts Studio (TBAS) has begun the transition to its new home on campus in the Edison Building, across the street from the Art Department studios and the Scarfone-Hartley Gallery. Transplanting the Book Arts Studio will be the result of several tedious months of planning between the University of Tampa, Dr. Richard Mathews, and Letterpress Coordinator Carl Mario Nudi.

For more information about the Books Arts Studio and for the latest about the move, please continue reading here.
"How do you know when what you have in your hands is nothing ordinary, but just possibly, a great book? Such decisions are always made by others when we are long gone.We can just wonder.But these poems have the right qualities, the ones that last: lines that each stand on their own, sentences like sonatas, a consciousness of hyper clarity, measuring itself by touchstones from the Adirondack backroads to the high cultures of America, Europe, and the world beyond . . . You won't find any better wisdom, or memorable music, in the back catalogues of your favorite songbooks. For my money, then Jordan Smith's The Light in the Film is great poetry." - Adrian Frazier, National University of Ireland, GalwayLight in the Film by Jordan Smith now available here.
In case you haven't noticed, we're now on Twitter and Facebook and from time to time we're going to use these to post offerings of goodies and discounts and maybe even some other fun stuff. So check those out, as well as our blog for the latest news.

NEXT DEADLINEDecember 31st• The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry • Reading period ends for submissions to Tampa Review 45/46
Quick Links: Tampa ReviewTampa PressSubmission GuidelinesTampa Book Arts StudioBlog (for the latest news)FacebookTwitter

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Poetry Contest and Chapbook Contest

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Slipstream eNewsletter
An occasional update about the press Issue #17CARS, BARS & STARS THEME ISSUE TAKING SHAPEThere's still plenty of time to submit poetry for our upcoming theme issue (#32) on "Cars, Bars, & Stars." A poem may include any combination of the subjects or only one. Creative interpretations are encouraged. Deadline is April 30, 2012. We suggest you refer to our submission guidelines at:
CHAPBOOK CONTEST DEADLINE APPROACHINGIf you are thinking of entering our poetry chapbook contest this year, you have about a month left to get it in. The winner receives $1,000 and 50 copies of the published chapbook. Up to 40 pages can be submitted along with the $20.00 reading fee. All entrants will receive a copy of the winner as well as a one-issue subscription to Slipstream magazine. You may enter by mailing your manuscript through the mail or electronically through our web site.
Details can to found at:

Slipstream #31 Slipstream’s e-Newsletter keeps you informed of upcoming events, releases, calls for manuscripts, and other items involving our press.
© 2011 Slipstream
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This week, I’ve tackled something I’ve often wanted to do but didn’t know where to begin.  I didn’t think I could do cartoons, until I was helping my small son draw something in a book he was making, and bingo! The pygmy mouse lemur that I drew happened to look a bit cartoony. That inspired me to have a go at doing our cat.

You can see more of the results over on my Kizzie Cat blog), but here’s a little picture I did at last art group, it still needs tidying up, but she looks quite sweet with her present.  I commented to the other members that doing cartoons is not for the faint hearted, you have to “go for it” and dare to put pen to paper.   I have also found that it’s best not to put too much detail in either.
At art group, Karen had been painting a snowy mountain top using a palette knife to good effect.  She had used light brush strokes to suggest detail on top of it.  Sue was working on a realistic looking scene from Wales, Maggie a few more elves or nymphs, and Kevin another watercolour landscape.  Gill had completed her garden painting, using a photograph of a real garden, photographed through an ornately carved window frame.  This gave an attractive “frame” to the painting.  It was one of her first goes at doing something that wasn’t still life, and had worked well for her.

John proudly showed us his framed picture of a group of apes he’d drawn in chalk pastel.  Next to it was a framed picture of the black poodle-like dog he’d been working on for the past few months.  Hayden was busy creating the colourful background of his next painting.

More next week.

Tree of Life

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I’ve put my Canadian Rockies painting on hold for now.  It still needs a bit more tweaking.  You’ll be able to see it once it’s done.
I have begun my Tenby project painting, inspired by a visit to Caldey Island, off the coast of Tenby, where there is a monastery and a“tree of life” stained glass window in the chapel. It is a round window, and I’ve got a round canvas to use for it. 

The paper is cut out in the shape of the tree, and I have begun to put the background colour on the canvas. As last time, I am using acrylic, because it dries more quickly than oils. My tree of life will have some darker colours around the edge, and perhaps be more dramatic than the Caldey Island one.
At our art group’s last Easter exhibition, I put some paintings on the laptop computer, on a continuous loop, in the refreshments area for visitors to look at while they have their cuppa. This year, I am planning to use a video of the exhibition with paintings from each of us on the end. The name of the painting will be on each one. I can then upload it to You Tube and the group’s new Face Book page for all to see. People have started bringing photos of their paintings in to add to it. I have also been considering what soundtrack to use. “Stairway to heaven”, said Sue, when I asked her if she had any requests. Well, she might just get that for her section, wait and see.


Tribute to Madge

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Regular readers will remember that Madge, one of our members at the art group, had been ill recently, and, sadly, I have to report that she passed away recently.  This week’s post is a tribute to her and her artwork.

Madge was a respected member of the art group for about five years, but had actually been painting much longer, as she began when she had a young family, as a way of keeping them occupied.
Years later, she found joining our group helped give her more confidence in her painting.  She helped out at all our exhibitions, even when in poor health, and offered her opinion on any subject under the sun, if asked.   She liked to paint landscapes and recently helped me with my Canadian Rockies picture when I was trying to depict the subtle colour tones of the mountains.  Our group will miss her but have happy memories of her.  Above is one of her paintings for you to enjoy.  Her daughter, Karen, also a group member, created a website for them both to show off their paintings - here's a link to it:

Any readers who would like to remember Madge are welcome to leave a comment on this post.

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