Thursday, October 30, 2014

Book Spotlight: Hollywood

There's that old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. It's a cliché, but it's very accurate. Sometimes a picture can say more than words ever could. I think that pictures of people are the most intriguing, because for that moment in time we get a glimpse of who they are. Usually this is achieved in photographs, but sometimes other mediums can yield the same kind of result.

Hollywood by Don Bachardy, copyright © 2014, published by Glitterati Incorporated

In the new book, Hollywood by Don Bachardy, copyright © 2014, published by Glitterati Incorporated , readers are given an opportunity to enjoy an unguarded look at some of Hollywood's biggest stars of the past and present through a beautiful series of paintings and drawings. Portrait artist Don Bachardy is a life-long Hollywood native and has moved within a community of industry moves and shakers for over five decades. He has had access to some of the legends of Hollywood and in this book he presents many of them in portraits of vibrant color or in beautiful pencil and charcoal sketches.

Patrick Swayze - From Hollywood by Don Bachardy, copyright © 2014, published by Glitterati Incorporated

Each of his subjects are eager to have the chance to sit for him as he puts their very essence down on paper. The sittings can go on for hours, but the finished product is extraordinary.

There is also a foreword by writer Armistead Maupin who also sat for Bachardy. He speaks of the experience and the intimacy that it creates between the artist and the sitter and how not much can be hidden from Bachardy's intense artistic gaze.

Teri Garr - From Hollywood by Don Bachardy, copyright © 2014, published by Glitterati Incorporated

This intriguing collection of portraits includes Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth, Katharine Hepburn, Mia Farrow, Bette Davis, Patrick Swayze, and many more. Each painting or drawing is signed and dated by those sitting for Bachardy, so it's a wonderful trip through time as the you see when the portraits were done. I really loved how realistic all of the portraits were as I turned page after page. Don Bachardy is a very talented man indeed. He was able to make each drawing and painting look as if they were a photograph in some ways. The detail is astonishing. He truly captured the essence of every face. Along with the movie stars depicted in the portraits there are other influential figures in Hollywood featured as well.

Katharine Hepburn - From Hollywood by Don Bachardy, copyright © 2014, published by Glitterati Incorporated

Interspersed throughout the book there are also abstract paintings by Don Bachardy that are beautiful and vibrant. They marry perfectly with the free flowing nature of the entire book. This is definitely a book that art lovers and film buffs will love, but it's also just a gorgeous work of art that many will enjoy.

Hollywood by Don Bachardy can be purchased here.

*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fall Color Overhead

Hi :) 

I wanted to share this photo that I took a couple of days ago when I was in the town centre. I was walking along, I stopped, and looked up...and saw all of this loveliness. I do love fall!

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Book Spotlight: Kensington Gardens Treescapes

I love going to London and when I do, I have some favorite places that I enjoy visiting when I am there. One of those places is Kensington Gardens. It's truly one of the jewels of London.

Mark Zytynski's new book Kensington Gardens Treescapes is a breathtaking collection of photographs that beautifully illustrates how gorgeous the gardens are throughout every season.  Kensington Gardens is a photographer's dream with its tree-lined paths and amazing panoramic views.

Kensington Gardens has over 4,000 trees over a vast area of 240 acres of land. There are many wonderful old trees there that are strong foundations that help form the history of the gardens. Kensington Gardens is a peaceful, green space right in the heart of busy London. When you're walking within its borders you get the chance to block out the hustle and bustle of the city for a while. It is a wonderful experience.

In Kensington Gardens Treescapes, readers are given a chance to enjoy the wonderful things that the sun does year-round in the gardens. We are shown the leaves accented by the sunlight in all of their splendor. There are the tree branches which form varied shadows along the grass as they reach for the sky. One of the many things that I love are the photographs of the artistically beautiful tree trunks in winter. They stand like glorious statues of nature.

Within the book, readers are not only treated to beautiful photographs of the various trees, but also there are tree facts and notes interspersed here and there, along with maps and poetry.

This is a really lovely book that is full of vibrant photographs that make the gardens come alive for those who haven't visited yet. And for those like myself who have visited before, it's a wonderful keepsake to enjoy until we are able to visit again.

Kensington Gardens Treescapes is available at all good bookshops and online retailers, such as Amazon.

Find out more about the book here .

*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

Book Spotlight: Playground: Growing Up in the New York Underground

Playground / Book Cover

It's always interesting to read something or watch a film about a way of living life that is so different from your own. I think that this is one of the many strengths of creativity. We can be transported to another time or place with the turning of a page or as we watch the opening credits of a film. In those moments we can either find a bit of ourselves or we can bear witness to the lives of people who were just that little bit different than ourselves.

Author: Paul Zone
In Playground: Growing Up in the New York Underground by Paul Zone,© 2014, published by Glitterati Incorporated, , readers are treated to an intriguing photo memoir by Zone as he recounts his time in the early days of the New York punk scene. Paul Zone was the lead singer in a band called The Fast. Because of the circles that he traveled in, he had great insider access to big names in the punk scene, such as Blondie, T. Rex, The New York Dolls, and so many more. He also rubbed shoulders with others artists such as Alice Cooper and Patti Smith. 

Debbie Harry (Blondie) / Max’s Kansas City, 1975

Dee Dee Ramone (The Ramones) & Connie Gripp / Max's Kansas City’s kitchen, 1975

One thing that I found so brilliant about the photos in this book was the fact that Zone took them with a 110 Instamatic, a Brownie, and a Polaroid camera. He wasn't using top of the line equipment, but it didn't matter because he got some really amazing shots. He did an excellent job of documenting a slice of 70's New York City. There is such a truth to Zone's photos and it's the ultimate peek behind the scenes of an intriguing time.

 Tish & Snooky / Manic Panic, St. Marks Pl. 1978

David Johansen (New York Dolls) / Max's Kansas City, August 1973

In addition to the photos, Zone tells the stories from his own life with a realness that I totally respect. He doesn't sugar-coat anything and yet alongside the grittier things there is also evidence of fun times that Zone and his contemporaries all had in the New York underground.

Crayola / Max’s Kansas City 1977

Wayne County / Coventry, Queens NY 1973

I was enthralled throughout the book because as I mentioned in the beginning, it's so interesting to get a look into a world that you do not know. Everyone has a story and in telling our stories this is how we hopefully understand a bit more about each other.

Playground: Growing Up in the New York Underground can be purchased here.

*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.