Thursday, May 28, 2015

Review: Daily Painting: Paint Small and Often to Become a More Creative, Productive, and Successful Artist by Carol Marine

Review: Daily Painting: Paint Small and Often to Become a More Creative, Productive, and Successful Artist
Carol Marine
Watson-Guptill Publications

MY INSTRUCTIONAL BOOKJust what I needed!  There’s all sorts of good information here.  Some I knew already, and had filed away somewhere, but then I found the idea of “island and ocean”.  There’s much more in this book too, but that example was one of my favorite “aha” moments.  Yes, I’m an amateur looking to improve.  So why not read what a pro has to say?

The author gives her readers a short course in drawing and painting in this book.  A peek at the table of contents gives you the outline, but the content is what sets this one apart from the others I’ve read.  It’s much more personable, relaxed, and helpful.  The illustrations show precisely what the narrative explains, little numbers and circles and all.  It’s not hugely technical and assumes some experience.  The exercises to try are simple, but I can see how they would be effective.  Best of all there’s loads of encouragement.

Want to photograph and sell your work on line? Marine has you covered there too, along with some good tips on making a blog work for you.  

In one of those times where nothing is happening, the dreaded block?  The author devoted a whole chapter to working through those times written by Marine and a few of her friends.  They represent several different personality types and I imagine one of them will fit yours.  I found mine.  

For a refreshing review of some of the basics and lots of tips that Marine has discovered along the way, get this book.  

This was provided by the publisher in exchange for a review.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Review: A Fellowship of Differents by Scot McKnight

Review: A Fellowship of Differents: Showing the World God's Design for Life Together
Scot McKnight

“Everything I learned about Christian life I learned from my church.”  Most of us can agree with McKnight on this quote, but is what we learned the way the church was supposed to be?  And for that matter bringing down to the personal level, the way Christian life was supposed to be?  McKnight looks at those questions in this book.  As the title hints at his answers call for some adjustments in church as usual.

McKnight has taught for a number of years and I think that is what makes this book so readable. It’s deeper thought-wise than several I’ve read lately, but not pedantic.  It has some fun asides and anecdotes mixed into the text at appropriate moments that help make the point without bludgeoning the reader.  Basically, he thinks that the days of the rugged individual Christian and the assemblies of people that resemble that individual are over.  It has become time for unity in diversity in the assembly. 

He is not na├»ve about the difficulties involved though.  It’ll be hard, messy, challenging, and maybe cause a few moments of pain.  McKnight looks to Paul’s example (Jesus’ too, since Paul was following Jesus) and sees the trials and the joys in A Fellowship of Differents.   One chapter in particular addresses probably the most realistic way forward related to same sex attraction that I have read.  He meets the challenge face on not quibbling and not compromising Biblical standards, but in a way that maintains the dignity of the person, remembering we are all made in the image of God.  There’s much more than this particular topic, but this one is one that remains a major source of discussion.

What didn’t I like?  It’s a phrase that kind of got under my skin that he uses--- God’s world changing social experiment.  Nit picking? Probably, but God ain’t into experiments in my opinion.  But, there’s too much that is worthwhile in this book to let that spoil it. 

I do recommend this book.  It is not difficult to read and best of all it is significantly shorter than the author originally intended according to his afterword.  End notes are included for those that want to follow up on any of his references.

This book was provided for me by the publisher in exchange for a review.