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-Master composition and value
-Become confident in any medium including oil painting, acrylic painting, watercolors, and other media
-Choose subjects wisely
-Stay fresh and loose
-Photograph, post, and sell your art online
-Become connected to the growing movement of daily painters around the world
Lifestyles: A fruitful effort
If you have any yard at all, you’ve encountered those unexpected moments of opportunity when a space clears and you can start planning for new growth. Maybe a tree had to be cut down. Or maybe you cleared out a swath of invasive privet. Whatever the reason, there it stands before you: a piece of earth crying out for something new to take root. Why not Grow a Little Fruit Tree? Ann Ralph lays out all the “Simple Pruning Techniques for Small-Space, Easy-Harvest Fruit Trees” for those with limited space and, perhaps more importantly, limited time. She draws on years of experience to present an encyclopedic array of options for maximizing your little area’s big potential. With techniques for pruning and optimizing growth, Ralph’s trees stay short enough to harvest without a ladder, require little maintenance yet yield exquisite fruit. Get ready to easily enjoy your own bounty of citrus, apples, peaches, pears, persimmons and more.
“Small” seems to be a good mantra for the cold, inward month of January. Artist Carol Marine wisely proposes that art can be made in tiny increments and become a daily practice, much akin to ritual or prayer. Her new guide, Daily Painting, will open up a plot of fertile ground in your artistic imagination. Marine begins with a sincere personal testimony on “How Daily Painting Changed My Life (and Can Change Yours Too!),” and encourages readers to put aside their fears and creative inhibition in order to establish a daily devotion to painting. The intensity of Marine’s self-expression is matched by the practicality of her instruction. Previous experience is unnecessary: Her book gives you all the tools you’ll need to become a daily painter, with well-organized and encouraging advice divided into chapters on: “Materials,” “Subject Matters,” “Color Mixing,” “Values,” “Drawing and Proportion,” “Composition” and more. Marine also offers suggestions on how to photograph and sell your work online. You might paint small, but you can still dream big.
TOP PICK IN LIFESTYLES
A guide to decorating your home using books as the centerpiece of your interior design—what else would this BookPage columnist choose as her Top Pick? In Novel Living, Lisa Occhipinti makes a moving case for embracing print books—now more than ever—as “a counterpoint to the swipe of a screen.” But Occhipinti incorporates the written word in surprising facets of her life, and she gives us a cartload of wisdom on using books for decor and crafting along with practical lessons on the art of book collecting. Occhipinti goes on to provide a gloriously old-school education in how to build a library in your home, with diverse storage strategies and tips on putting together your own card catalog. Her most fun, and slightly paradoxical, tips involve preserving your precious volumes and demolishing others to use in a host of lit-nerd crafting projects—including a ladder shelf, a lighted book box, a bed headboard constructed with tessellated book spines and linens printed with your favorite text passages.