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Friday, 25 January 2013

ARC January

Welcome to the January meeting of ARC , the Artful Reader's Club.

I can't believe we are almost at the end of the first month of the year already. I am so glad I started with a quick book, after not really reading for the past couple of years, it was a bit of a struggle to get back into it.

So let's get to it.

Book1.  Review of Proust's Overcoat ( Author- Lorenza Foschini)

This is a slim, 120 page, hard backed book;bought recently for just 20pence from a charity shop. It contains several black and white photos and illustrations.

The book is set in France;from the1920's onwards, and is a true story of prejudice and lies, loves and obsessions. One might, from the book title, be forgiven for thinking this is a book about Proust, or even his overcoat, it is neither.

The main character is Jacques Guerin, from an early age a prolific businessman, and eventual head of a famous perfume house. He finds out that his doctor was the brother to, the deceased ,Marcel Proust. Although never to meet the great man, Jacques was drawn to him and so began a lifelong mission to collect and preserve all manner of items that had once belonged to the late author.

I found the beginning of the book very slow, to the point I almost gave up, but I am glad I persevered. The pace was never quick, more of a gentle stroll. We are teased with the copious amounts of name dropping, of places and stars of the period. We never find out much about any of the supporting characters, merely glimpses of their lives. The focus is always on Jacques.
It is at times quite melancholy, but also moving and always compelling.

Before reading this book I knew nothing of Proust, and now I find I still know very little about him, other than relations with his family were never easy, and it seemed he lived a solitary life. After his death his remaining family members attempted to destroy all his belongings. This is where Jacques became a self titled saviour, ingratiating himself with the family he was able to save many items.
It seems that Jacques and Marcel shared many similarities, both passionate about their work, both had compulsive natures, and both homosexual.

The book title does not become clear until almost the end of the book, when Jacques acquires his final trophy.

Did I enjoy this book? Well that is hard to say. I am glad that I read it, it is neither deeply informative nor wildly entertaining. However it dripped enough little nuggets of information to leave me asking questions, wondering and wanting to know more about not just Proust, but also the places mentioned and the other characters. While the subject matter is not one that I would actively go looking for, I found it on the whole a lovely little book.


Here is my artwork. I decided to go with journal pages. I plan to keep adding to this journal even after the challenge year ends. 

As the book is set in the 20's I  looked to that time period for colours and patterns as inspiration. First I added a small envelope in the corner and then used spray inks, and also used an alpha stencil. (Stencil and sprays from Art from the Heart )


Next I drew,coloured  and cut out a green carnation. At one time there was a huge fashion for wearing different coloured flowers, all of which had different meanings. Oscar Wilde started wearing a green carnation, and it was assumed to symbolize his sexual preferences. I wanted to include something in the background which referenced that both main characters were gay without it being a prominent image. Their lifestyle choices are not prominent in the book, but for one of them it did cause a lot of hatred and sadness. 


I added it to the page ..


and then knocked back the colour with white acrylic...I also added a stamp of a man to the pocket. ( Stamp from PaperArtsy ) and some text stamp to the background. 


Next I added wall filler, through a stencil that is meant to be a peacock pattern. This pattern was used a lot in that time period. Once the wall filler was dry I painted it with acrylic paints. 


I then doodled around the wall filler textured pattern. I just love using wall filler, it dries so quick and gives great texture. 


I printed out my review and popped it into the envelope.


Finally I added images of perfume bottles and hat boxes, these are all referenced in the book. I also printed out a love poem that is in the book and used that as the journalling on the page. 

The title is 'travail d'amour'  which means a labour of love. The jobs and passions undertaken by both men in the book were definately a labour of love for them. 


SO THIS IS WHERE YOU LINK UP...

please add your name and the link to the specific blog post where your review and artwork can be found. then check back later as the list grows and go visit people. 

PLEASE ONLY LINK UP IF YOU ARE TAKING PART IN ARC...









41 comments:

  1. I like the way you have build layers of meaning into your journal page, and explained the thought processes behind the layers. It all adds up to a lovely page. Enjoyed the review - sometimes books that cover subjects we would never select, as you comment, are ones that inspire further research and stay in the mind.

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  2. Darcy - with my usual skills, I accidentally put the wrong blogpost on No 3 link up. Can't see a way to delete it, so are you able to delete it? No 4 is, I hope, the correct one.

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  3. Darcy this is just my most favorite ever! You have seamlessly merged your beautiful voice with your incredibly crafty creative artistic style....I am very inspired! Very sophisticated and top notch :) Well done!!!!

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  4. I love your journal page....the colors are my favorites. I hate it when I start a book and don't like how it starts out....slow going....usually glad when it is over. But again if I start reading and the books catches my interest right away, I don't want to put it down and rush to finish it.

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  5. I enjoyed your review, sounds like an interesting book. I love that you have shared all the stages of your artwork, it looks more amazing with each stage. A xx

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  6. That was fabulous Darcy,sounds an interesting book( I love collecting stuff too). The green carnation is a wonderful touch :D XXX

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  7. Just popping by to link up - girls lunchboxes are calling, I'll be back for a proper read when they've gone to school ;)

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  8. I love how you have portrayed the era of your book and added in all the special touches to make your page so beautiful. Your review is really interesting and certainly gives a flavour as to what the book is all about. Sometimes it is hard to get into some books but luckily perseverence can pay off and reveal a little gem of a book.
    Thanks for sharing all the stages of your journal page, it is good to see just how you acheived the final result.
    XXX

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  9. Oh fab review and the art work is amazing, I love all the layers and the meanings behind the same - fabulous stuff! Thanks for hosting this Darcy, I definitely would have given up on the challenge if it hadn't been for this challenge!

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  10. Great review Darcy... and love both the art journal page and the progress steps... am so loving this challenge... thank you so much xx

    Jenny ♥

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  11. I would have loved to be part of this one. But I found out too late *sniff, sniff*

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  12. Just to say I can't access either of the links that Jez has left - so unable to comment - sorry hun!

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  13. ......aaaaand we're off!! :) I enjoyed reading your review, must say that it doesn't sound like the book for me, but I'm glad you got more out of it as time went on. LOVE your journal page, thanks for sharing all the thought processes behind it and the different stages. I especially love your carnation, and the fact you had the courage to almost cover it up and leave it peeking through - if I did a gorgeous drawing like that I would want it to be centre stage!! :)

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  14. PS here is the link to Jez's as I can't get the ones on the linky list to work either: http://jezartjournal.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/artwork-and-review-for-january-artful.html

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  15. Well, that's kind of how my book left me feeling. I wasn't sure at the time if I was enjoying it but at the same time couldn't stop talking about the issues raised. And am literally getting shivers when issues raised are discussed on the news!

    Your journal; page is gorgeous - love what you did with that carnation - fab tip about the wall filler too :)

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  16. Awesome artwork! ♥
    I'm sorry the read was a bit of a struggle... It doesn't sound like my book either and I might have given up on it so Well done! :)

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  17. Good for you for pressing on...your art for the book is meaningful and beautiful. Would I read the book? Would have to pick it up and look through it first. Thanks for sharing, Darcy!

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  18. Love your page and that pocket. :) I find it in the books I read that the beginning can be quite awesome but then it goes down hill. If the beginning is stalled I often give up and move to another book so I wouldn't know if the rest is worth reading. :)

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  19. Fab review. I find the older books are hard to read too, too slow and difficult to read because of the use of language that differs from now to them.

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  20. Fabulous journal page. I have enjoyed looking at your creative process and the way you have built up the various layers into a wonderfully meaningful tribute.

    Janet xx

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  21. I loved your review, Darcy, so creative! And your journal page is stunning! I love all the meaning behind the items on the page.

    Wonderful job Darcy!

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  22. Jez, I cannot access either of the links you made :(

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  23. Darcy, what a beautiful art journal page. I love seeing the development of it with the various layers and the meaning behind each.

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  24. A good description of the book and it's too bad it was mixed for you, especially if you are just getting back into it. I've had a hard time when I read older books or ones set back in time because sometimes it's hard to keep my attention.

    Love the artwork. It's stuff like that I don't think I'd have the patience or ability to do. But I really like seeing what you came up with. The last pages (with pocket) are really cool. Great work!

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  25. Wonderful layering and symbolism on the page.

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  26. I really love your page, so much depth.

    Haven't read Proust either. Sounds like I'm not going to be racing to read this related book as I doubt I'd get the references.

    Would you believe I've been wracking my brain trying to remember who was doing a reading challenge. Totally spaced as my step-dad got sick/hospitalized on New Year's Eve and... well, you know the rest.

    All that is to say that thanks to my vague recollection of your challenge I read one of my book shelf books I had neglected and it was a wonderful experience. So thank you! Maybe I'll even make a page to remember it.

    Thank you for the inspiration. As always, your art journal pages are SO top notch. Great job.

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  27. Absolutely a "BEAUTIFUL" journal page! :]
    Love the colors & the techniques you applied, thank you for sharing! Wonderful work. ~xx

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  28. what a LOVELY wonderful colorful page haha sorry had to say it. Thanks for setting up it was great reading all the reviews

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  29. Great page and love this idea... found out about it after reading a few of the reviews and would love to join in for Feb??? Great review and printing it and putting it in the pocket is genius...xx

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  30. Aloha Darcy,
    Great review and FABulous journal page...loving all the layers and colors.

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  31. Sounds like an interesting read. Not my type of thing but nevertheless it was great to read your review. Interesting use of wall filler :) and I like the little pocket.

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  32. Phew I finally made it here. I am going to enjoy the trip to all the blogs linked. Reading your review is making me curious and wanting to know more about the book. What a great idea making the book and wonderful first entry.
    ManonX

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  33. Your book sounds interesting and enjoyed seeing how you built up your super journal page.
    Jen x

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  34. Great journal page and the book sounds quite interesting though not sure I'd ever get round to reading it! x

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  35. I'm with Mannon and 'phew I finally made it here! There have been a few dramas in my neck of the woods! Sounds like an interesting read. Your page is beautiful and I love the idea of including the printout of your review.....maybe next time!

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  36. That book sounds fascinating Darcy....great review.The main thing I remember about Proust is Madelaines (the cakes)..apparently the sight and taste of them brought back childhood memories.
    The art work is gorgeous..I love how you've incorporated so much texture and the colours and objects of the time.
    Hugs xx

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  37. Yeh! First one done... second one started!

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  38. I hate it when a book starts slow but perseverance obviously worked with this one. I've often put one back on the shelf because the first chapter is too boring. Love the journal page.

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  39. your page has so many elements - it seems to depict the book in all of its elements. i got a kick out the fact that the title really had little to do with the actual story. :-)

    i am a bit late with my own contribution and vow to do better this month. thank you so much for creating this forum for readers/artists.

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  40. Love the artwork as usual Darcy. You really are one talented lady!
    Not sure the book is for me but love the way you interpreted it into the art.
    Also loving this challenge and just made it round everyone's blogs ... Such amazing artwork everyone and my book list has got ridiculously long now and it's only month one!
    C xxx

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  41. I started late in bookclub so I'm posting the link for my January book review and artwork here:

    http://www.donnadavenportblog.com/2013/03/01/the-artful-readers-book-club-january-book-review/

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