Cover Crush: Finding Doro Maar by Brigitte Benkemoun

Finding Dora MaarFinding Dora Maar

An Artist, an Address Book, a Life

by Brigitte Benkemoun

Getty Publications

Arts & Photography, Biographies & Memoirs

Pub Date 05 May 2020

Description

In search of a replacement for his lost Hermès agenda, Brigitte Benkemoun’s husband buys a vintage diary on eBay. When it arrives, she opens it and finds inside private notes dating back to 1951—twenty pages of phone numbers and addresses for Balthus, Brassaï, André Breton, Jean Cocteau, Paul Éluard, Leonor Fini, Jacqueline Lamba, and other artistic luminaries of the European avant-garde.

After realizing that the address book belonged to Dora Maar—Picasso’s famous “Weeping Woman” and a brilliant artist in her own right—Benkemoun embarks on a two-year voyage of discovery to learn more about this provocative, passionate, and enigmatic woman, and the role that each of these figures played in her life.

Longlisted for the prestigious literary award Prix Renaudot, Finding Dora Maar is a fascinating and breathtaking portrait of the artist.

This work received support from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States through their publishing assistance program.

 My review of the cover: 

First of all, the subject matter interest me on several levels. Imagine buying a vintage diary on ebay to replace the one you lost and discover upon arrival that its contents contain contact information of acclaimed individuals. That extraordinary find is something dreams are made of for collectors, artists and history lovers.

The cover itself caught my eye because of the composition of the images of paper. I’m a lover of paper crafting you see and journals. Though I feel the background on the layout could be better. From seeing the cover, I went on an exploration about this book soon to be published and have added it to my wish-list.

Cover Crush banner

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated by Erin at Historical Fiction Reader 

Other book bloggers who participated in the great cover crushes series. 

Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Heather at The Maiden’s Court
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired

(All book reviews, interviews, guest posts and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

 

Layered Pages Monday Musings

On Saturday I posted about work life balance and talking about the balance really helped. On Sunday I took the day to rest and create.  This morning I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day.

There are two books I’m currently ready. Well, one I’m listening too and I’m really enjoying them both. I like the contracts of the two stories. Yet, they complement each other in an extraordinary way. Strange I say that, I know. The two books are DREMALAND by Nancy Bilyeau and The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. You can find them on Amazon.

Yesterday I worked on slow stitching and an art project by using a piece of canvas I painted and I decided to do more with. I really am enjoying the process of my art projects and how they make me feel. Getting back into daily art making was one of the best decisions for 2020 and I hope you all enjoy the journey with me as I continue to share them with you.

Lots of great posts coming up soon! I am working on two history post and they aren’t your typical history post I talk about so I am thrilled!

Textile obession banner

By the way…I’m totally obsessing over up-cycle textiles, if you haven’t already noticed. Have a wonderful day and see you all again soon.

Stephanie

Cover Crush: Where the Sun Will Rise Tomorrow by Rashi Rohatgi 

Where the Sun Will Rise TomorrowIt’s 1905, and the Japanese victory over the Russians has shocked the British and their imperial subjects. Sixteen-year-old Leela and her younger sister, Maya, are spurred on to wear homespun to show the British that the Indians won’t be oppressed for much longer, either, but when Leela’s betrothed, Nash, asks her to circulate a petition amongst her classmates to desegregate the girls’ school in Chadrapur, she’s wary. She needs to remind Maya that the old ways are not all bad, for soon Maya will have to join her own betrothed and his family in their quiet village. When she discovers that Maya has embarked on a forbidden romance, Leela’s response shocks her family, her town, and her country firmly into the new century.

 

My Thoughts On The Cover:

The layout design really stands out and that is what captured my attention to find out more about the story. Added this book to my watch-list! -Stephanie

*********

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated by Erin at Historical Fiction Reader 

Other book bloggers who participated in the great cover crushes series. 

Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Heather at The Maiden’s Court
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired

(All book reviews, interviews, guest posts and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

Cover Crush banner

Layered Pages: Creating With Cloth

MeI’ve always loved creating with cloth. There is something soothing about the feel of fabrics, slowly guiding needle through cloth, and layering pieces to create new textures and designs. Working with paper, drawing and painting has the same effect. Creating is my safe space. A time of rest, reflection and recovery-if you will. The act slows your mind down and brings you to present in this fast paced world we live in.

I love books and seeing what others are creating and this year I’m cataloging books in the mixed-media subject at Layered Pages. My wish is for you to be inspired and to find your peace through creating with your hands. There is deep satisfaction in hand work. -Stephanie Hopkins

The Textile ArtistThe Textile Artist: Layered Cloth by Ann Small

Ann Small’s imaginative use of cutting and manipulating techniques, and her layering and colouring tricks, makes this your ‘go-to’ guide for bringing form and texture to your fabric artwork. This book is a rich resource and reference for textile artists seeking new ideas and who want to experiment with reverse appliqué and related techniques such as layering, trapunto, stacks, puffs and fabric manipulation.

Packed with techniques suitable for quilting and other textile art

Three wearable step-by-step projects

Clear, close-up images make layering enjoyable and accessible.

Landscapes in Textile Mixed Media Painting on ClothLandscapes in Textile Mixed Media: Painting on Cloth by Cas Holmes

Combine the textural quality of stitchwork and the spontaneity of paint with this practical, beautiful guide to landscapes in mixed-media textile art. 
Renowned author Cas Holmes brings together the world of the stitcher and that of the painter as she demonstrates her technique known as “stitch-sketching” and shows how to develop your approach to textile art. Focusing on the common language between the two forms, she begins with basic advice on keeping a sketchbook, stitching on paper and fabric, and working digitally. Cas then looks at both urban and intimate spaces, capturing the changing seasons, the technical aspects of painting and dying cloth, experimenting with photos, creating stitchscapes, attaining inspiration from found objects, and so much more.

Stitched TextilesStitched Textiles: Nature by Stephanie Redfern

An inspiring step-by-step guide to creating contemporary textile artworks themed on nature.

Stitched Textiles: The Natural World is the fourth title in this successful theme-based series. It contains an extensive section on techniques, featuring step-by-step guides to machine- and hand-stitching, attaching embellishments and found objects to your work; painting and printing on fabrics including cotton, silk and Khadi paper; and using objects found in nature, such as leaves, to make unique and iconic prints.

The book includes four inspirational projects based on different facets of the natural world: Ocean, Rainforest, Botany, Birds and Animals. Stitched Textiles: The Natural World also features examples of the author, Steph Redfern’s own intricate and detailed works based on nature, exploring the means by which the pieces have been created, and the wonderful stories behind Steph’s journey as an artist.

The wealth of information and visual stimuli in Stitched Textiles: The Natural World is intended to inspire the reader to create their own works inspired by nature, beginning by exploring the use of sketchbooks and study pages, progressing to picking out iconic elements from sketches and photographs, and eventually assembling a stunning, personal piece of stitched textile work on fabric or on cotton-blend Khadi paper, applying handstitch in metallic threads, or machine stitch in whimsical and beautiful patterns, and embellishing with natural beads or found objects.

Another Relevant Post:

Stitch Mindspace

What Friends Are Reading

I’m always curious about what people are reading and on January 9th, I asked my friends on Facebook what books they are reading. Here are five of the many titles mentioned and I must say, I’m adding all of these to my wish-list! I love the book covers! What book are you reading at the moment? -Stephanie

********

The ScholarThe Scholar by Dervla McTiernan

When DS Cormac Reilly’s girlfriend Emma stumbles across the victim of a hit and run early one morning, he is first on the scene of a murder that would otherwise never have been assigned to him. The dead girl is carrying an ID, that of Carline Darcy, heir apparent to Darcy Therapeutics, Ireland’s most successful pharmaceutical company. Darcy Therapeutics has a finger in every pie, from sponsoring university research facilities to funding political parties to philanthropy – it has funded Emma’s own ground-breaking research. The investigation into Carline’s death promises to be high profile and high pressure.

As Cormac investigates, evidence mounts that the death is linked to a Darcy laboratory and, increasingly, to Emma herself. Cormac is sure she couldn’t be involved, but how well does he really know her? After all, this isn’t the first time Emma’s been accused of murder…

Becoming Mrs. LewisBecoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

In a most improbable friendship, she found love. In a world where women were silenced, she found her voice.

From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.” When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.

In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.

At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.

The Golden Yarn by Cornelia FunkeThe Golden Yarn (Mirrorworld #3) by Cornelia Funke

Jacob Reckless continues to travel the portal in his father’s abandoned study. His name has continued to be famous on the other side of the mirror, as a finder of enchanted items and buried secrets. His family and friends, from his brother, Will to the shape-shifting vixen, Fox, are on a collision course as the two worlds become connected. Who is driving these two worlds together and why is he always a step ahead?

This new force isn’t limiting its influence to just Jacob’s efforts – it has broadened the horizon within MirrorWorld. Jacob, Will and Fox travel east and into the Russian folklore, to the land of the Baba Yaga, pursued by a new type of being that knows our world all too well.

First LightFirst Light by Geoffrey Wellum

“In First Light, Geoffrey Wellum tells the inspiring, often terrifying true story of his coming of age amid the roaring, tumbling dogfights of the fiercest air war the world had ever seen.

It is the story of an idealistic schoolboy who couldn’t believe his luck when the RAF agreed to take him on as a “pupil pilot” at the minimum age of seventeen and a half in 1939. In his fervor to fly, he gave little thought to the coming war.”

“Writing with wit, compassion, and a great deal of technical expertise, Wellum relives his grueling months of flight training, during which two of his classmates crashed and died. He describes a hilarious scene during his first day in the prestigious 92nd Squadron when his commader discovered that Wellum had not only never flown a Spitfire, he’d never even seen one.”

A battle-hardened ace by the winter of 1941, though still not out of his teens, ‘Boy’ Wellum flew scores of missions as fighter escort on bombing missions over France. Yet the constant life-or-death stress of murderous combat and anguish over the loss of his closest friends sapped endurance. Tortured by fierce headaches, even in the midst of battle, he could not bear the thought of “not pulling your weight,” of letting the other pilots risk their lives in his place. Wellum’s frank account of his long, losing bout with battle fatigue is both moving and enlightening.

Home Work A Memoir of My Hollywood YearsHome Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years by Julie Andrews Edwards, Emma Walton Hamilton

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In this follow-up to her critically acclaimed memoir, Home, Julie Andrews shares reflections on her astonishing career, including such classics as Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and Victor/Victoria.

In Home, the number one New York Times international bestseller, Julie Andrews recounted her difficult childhood and her emergence as an acclaimed singer and performer on the stage.

With this second memoir, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, Andrews picks up the story with her arrival in Hollywood and her phenomenal rise to fame in her earliest films–Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. Andrews describes her years in the film industry — from the incredible highs to the challenging lows. Not only does she discuss her work in now-classic films and her collaborations with giants of cinema and television, she also unveils her personal story of adjusting to a new and often daunting world, dealing with the demands of unimaginable success, being a new mother, the end of her first marriage, embracing two stepchildren, adopting two more children, and falling in love with the brilliant and mercurial Blake Edwards. The pair worked together in numerous films, including Victor/Victoria, the gender-bending comedy that garnered multiple Oscar nominations.

Co-written with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, and told with Andrews’s trademark charm and candor, Home Work takes us on a rare and intimate journey into an extraordinary life that is funny, heartrending, and inspiring.

Layered Pages Book Art And Current Read

dreamland book artI’m having such a fabulous time reading Bilyeau’s latest stories. Not only that but creating art based off her book covers. There is definitely a blue theme going on with her last three books!

I took photos of my own art and created layers for the background to give it a dream like quality for the creation of the DREAMLAND Banner. My next art project for the cover layout will having slow stitching involved.

I’m currently reading DREAMLAND and loving the story! I’m hooked on a story whenever there is a circus and bookstore involved. Y’all, Bilyeau is one of my favorite writers and she is so engaging online. I highly recommend her stories and following her on social media.

By the way…her e-book, “Ghost of Madison Avenue” is currently 99 cents on Amazon! That is a steal!

-Stephanie Hopkins

Dreamland by Nancy BilyeauDREAMLAND by Nancy Bilyeau

The year is 1911 when twenty-year-old heiress Peggy Batternberg is invited to spend the summer in America’s Playground.

The invitation to the luxurious Oriental Hotel a mile from Coney Island is unwelcome. Despite hailing from one of America’s richest families, Peggy would much rather spend the summer working at the Moonrise Bookstore than keeping up appearances with New York City socialites and her snobbish, controlling family.

But soon it transpires that the hedonism of nearby Coney Island affords Peggy the freedom she has been yearning for, and it’s not long before she finds herself in love with a troubled pier-side artist of humble means, whom the Batternberg patriarchs would surely disapprove of.

Disapprove they may, but hidden behind their pomposity lurks a web of deceit, betrayal and deadly secrets. And as bodies begin to mount up amidst the sweltering clamour of Coney Island, it seems the powerful Batternbergs can get away with anything…even murder.

Extravagant, intoxicating and thumping with suspense, bestselling Nancy Bilyeau’s magnificent Dreamland is a story of corruption, class and dangerous obsession.

Relevant Links: 

Read about The Secrets of J.P. Morgan’s Private Library

The Morgan Library & Museum 

Nancy Bilyeau’s Amazon Page 

Saturday Sunday Book Review

Stitch Mindspace: Knit Stitch/Embroidery Books

Layered Pages Journal BannerPart I:

My main focus this year on mix media projects are adding stitching, knitting and embroidery so I thought, “Why not create an online catalog of the books I want to acquire on the subject?” This blog post is part one of my catalog and I hope this will be a great source for my fellow mix media artists to follow. Down below I will add the links to my other books in this series are that relevant to this blogging journey. If you have any book recommendations on this subject, please leave a comment in the comment area. I hope you all have a great week and I hope to see y’all back tomorrow here at Layered Pages! -Stephanie

Stitch Dictionary by Lucinda GandertonStitch Dictionary by Lucinda Ganderton

Four Star Review on Goodreads:

‘The art of embroidery has been defined simply as the ornamentation of textiles with decorative stitchery.’

In this book, Lucinda Ganderton provides a clearly illustrated, step by step guide to over 200 decorative and practical stitches. A copy of this book has been part of my reference library for almost ten years, and I refer to it whenever I am looking for a decorative stitch for a particular purpose or when I need to remind myself exactly how to work a particular stitch.

‘It is an ancient craft which encompasses a wealth of history, and the same stiches are used by embroiderers throughout the world.’

After a section entitled ‘How to Use This Book’, this book contains six chapters. The first chapter covers the equipment, threads and fabrics used for stitchery, and the different techniques involved. This is followed by a library of the 234 stitches featured within the book, with the page reference to the instructions for each particular stitch.

For example: Back Stitch Rings (p102). Turn to page 102 for pictures of how to work the stitch, advice on what it is useful for and the method used and materials required to work this intermediate level stitch. I could have really used this book when I was attempting my first French knots!

The stitches are organised into four categories:
Line and Border Stitches
Filling Stitches
Openwork Stitches
Needlepoint Stitches

The colour illustrations for each stitch are clear and uncluttered, and there is an illustration of the completed stitch as well.
I most recently referred to this book for decorative border stitches for some applique I’m attempting. The only problem I have is that there are so many different stitches to choose from: an entire world of possibilities.”

-Jennifer Cameron-Smith

AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary 200 Modern Knitting MotifsAlterKnit Stitch Dictionary: 200 Modern Knitting Motifs

Break the rules–knit outside the lines!

AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary takes an unexpected look at stranded colorwork with 200 new motifs. These non-traditional colorwork charts are perfect for the creative knitter looking to break away from the ordinary. Derived from graphic design elements, these fresh motifs include everything from geometric mountains, waves, and spirals to modern bikes, skulls, and sheep.

Dive into stranded colorwork with confidence with a section on reading charts, working floats, and choosing colors. Learn how stranded colorwork can be used in design with five accompanying projects including mitts, cowls, and sweaters. Plus, use your imagination to modify, deconstruct, and combine the unique motifs to create your own designs.

Be inspired to break the rules and use charts in creative ways with AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary.

Embroidery A Step-by-Step Guide to More than 200 StitchesEmbroidery: A Step-by-Step Guide to More than 200 Stitches

Embroidery is the ultimate stitch dictionary and the ideal guide to embroidery, whatever your level of expertise.

The perfect reference guide to needlework, Embroidery is a comprehensive guide to inspire and inform sewers of all levels. Find advice on which thread, needles, or fabrics work with which techniques, and take a look at an incredible 200 stitches — with levels of difficulty, step-by-step instructions, and ideas on where and how to use them.

This practical guide covers sewing tips for dressmaking, needlepoint, and embroidery stitches, with detailed information simply presented in illustration-rich pages. With Embroidery it’s easy to find exactly which stitch is right for your next sewing project.

Other Relevant posts:

Book Wish-List: Visible Mending