Friday, June 28, 2013

ARC...Artful Reader's Club May Selection

Mahalo to all the Creative Ones who share their FABulous book reviews and art expressions each month...thanks to Darcy at for her inspiration.

I travelled to San Francisco in May and wasn't able to publish my May selection by David Mitchell The Cloud Atlas. My June book review is Moloka'i by Alan Brennert.  The book is read and the art interpretation is nearly completed...and will be shared soon.

I created layers around the Warrior (cave painting, India) that was on this altered book page

The Cloud Atlas (2004) contains 509 pages using six interrelated novellas to tell the story of life's trials and tribulations during different periods of time (1849, 1936, 1973, 2012, 2194, & 2349).  These novellas seem to be written by six independent authors.  It appears Mitchell's job was to weave the stories together with six colored fibers and create a detailed interconnected tapestry. The message of this creation is: 

"Everyone is connected--even the smallest things or actions from the past/present can impact someone in the future."

I photographed these clouds, added the map/atlas & photo of Mauna Kea observatories

At times this was a frustrating read...Mitchell would cut the story off in mid sentence and continue on to another time period.  I took notes and drew diagrams to try and decipher the messages and relationships.  The only clue woven through all time periods was a birth mark shaped like a comet on the shoulder & collarbone of one of the characters.  This was and endless cycle of birth, life, death & rebirth and at times I wanted to throw this one across the room...I persevered out of curiosity on how this tapestry would look when all was said and done.  Overall, I'm happy to say that my perseverance won out...the tapestry was thought-provoking...we are all connected...we are one.

O'ahu Cloud Photos Distressed & Layered

"One Drop in the Limitless Ocean"

I did not see the movie adaptation of Cloud Atlas with Tom Hanks, et al., however after reading the book, I'll get the DVD...the costumes and set design alone will be outstanding, 
I think!

Overall rating:  
3 out of 5

The Hawaiian phrase for this month's selection is:
kūkulu ka ʻike
 i ka ʻōpua
Knowledge is built in cloud billows  
(clouds were observed for signs)

We journey to Moloka'i for June and then on to India in 1922 for Barbara Cleverly's
The Palace Tiger...

Now please surf on over to Darcy and all the Creative Ones at

Aloha and Mahalo Nui Loa.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Day is Lei Day in Hawai'i Nei!

Celebrate Lei Day with Aloha!

Lei of Plumeria from Garden
Orchid, Tuberose, Carnation, & Ti Leaf

Friday, April 26, 2013

ARC...Artful Reader's Club April Selection

Thanks, Mahalo, Merci, Obrigado, Gracias, Grazi, Danke, Arigato & Shukriyaa (शुक्रिया) 
for all the gracious comments on my March Selection Dreaming in HindiI was so inspired by all the FABulous pieces of creativity from the ARC creative ones. Special Mahalo to Darcy at who continues to amaze!

My selection for April is RED MIST by Patricia Cornwell (A Scarpetta Novel).
This is Cornwell's 19th in the Scarpetta suspense series (2011, hardcover-512 pages)

Altered book art journal double page spread
Savannah Clues on Left...Prison Bars on Right
layers...layers...and even more layers!
I am a fan of the Scarpetta series and Cornwell's nonfiction offering Portrait of a Killer (2002).  RED MIST is a sequel to her previous novel Port Mortuary (2010)...the mist is her tie in. These are fast reads for me because I am familiar with the characters and their dysfunctional relationships. All the usual suspects are back in Red Mist...along with Kay, we welcome back Benton (FBI hubbie), Lucy (niece), Marino (homicide detective) & Jamie Berger (prosecutor).  

Close-up of Savannah, Georgia Clues & Textures
Dr. Kay Scarpetta (medical examiner) is lured to Savannah, Georgia to visit an inmate in the SG Prison for Women.  She soon discovers that this has not been a simple visit to Kathleen Lawler (a character from Scarpetta's past). Thirty-three years ago a connection set in motion a series of events that changed many lives. Scarpetta's goal has been to find justice for victims, however she  continues to be manipulated while investigating unexplained deaths of 'death row' inmates. Is there a prison conspiracy? 

This novel is told from Scarpetta's POV. Her dialogues are laced with insecurities, paranoias and self-doubt. Red Mist starts slow as Cornwell describes in detail the Savannah setting and prison characters.  The pace picks up in the second half as more bodies are discovered, but then the mystery wraps up too quickly in the last be continued in Cornwell's next book The Bone Bed... perhaps?

Letters veiled in white tissue & painted
Mini Spoiler Alert:  Quote from Page 479.
"evil alchemist who turns a drug meant to heal into a potion of suffering and death."  Did this 'alchemist' do the world a favor?

Rating: 4 out of 5
I embedded the grey moss like those hanging in Savannah Trees
on the left journal page.
The 'hinahina' or 'Pele's hair' grows in my garden.  

Hawaiian Phrase inspired by Red Mist.

He ʻōhuna nalo ʻole kāu i ka ʻike a kuʻu ʻohe nānā (song) 
yours is a secret that cannot be hidden from my telescope
(Pukui/Elbert 1986)

I will post reviews/art on 
Mitchell's Cloud Atlas (2004), Joanne Harris' Peaches for Father Francis (2012), Pavonne's The Expats (2012),  Morgenstern's The Night Circus (2011) and Strayed's Wild (2012)...a very eclectic selection indeed. Hope you will enjoy these as well as my ARC selections...
much aloha!

My May ARC selection is Alan Brennert's Moloka'i (2003). Now please surf over to to find more inspirational goodness.

North Shore Sunset

A Hui Hou...until we meet again.

Friday, March 29, 2013

ARC...Artful Reader's Club March Selection

 Mahalo to all the Creative Ones in the ARC who kindly commented on my February selection, Gone Girl.  Aloha to Darcy at for 
her Inspiration and FABulousness!

I invite you to relax with a cup of Chai as we journey to India.

My selection for March is Dreaming in Hindi...Coming Awake in Another Language(2009).
This is a memoir authored by Katherine Russell Rich.  I bought this 360 page 
hardcover book in the clearance section because the cover art caught my eye.  I choose books without reading the reviews and just 'go with my intuition'. I thought this was going to be an easy-read adventure travel book similar to Liz Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love. This was not the case. 
Rich's first award-winning book was The Red Devil: To Hell with Cancer--and Back(1999).

After suffering two bout's of cancer and the loss of employment in 2001, Kathy (45) decides to leave New York City and attend an intensive language learning program in Udaipur, Rajasthan.  She stated in the prologue, "my life no longer made any kind of sense to me."  She shares her range of interesting (at times humorous) experiences with her host family, teachers, students, and all the characters in her new community. 

Kathy set out to understand what learning a second language (SL) does to the brain. She had a fascination on how language is learned and how language influences one's world view.   As she discovers, "the process was frustrating and exhilarating and at times transcendent...I could only believe it was scrambling my brains" (pg. xv).  She adds, "At night, I dream in Hindi I can't understand" (pg. 41).  

Two Page Art Journal Spread
The chaos, colors & culture of India

I savored Rich's multi-sensory descriptions...the sights, sounds, scents of India.  However, her narrative felt disjointed with shifts back and forth between an enjoyable cultural experience and the "hard science" of second language acquisition (SLA). Her extensive research and interviews with neurolinguists are cited in the bibliography. 

The narrative takes many interesting detours that include the Hindu/Muslim conflicts following the terrorist attack on 9/11. Kathy departed NY only six days before. 

Stencils, Ink, Fibers & Tissue...Layers!

My intuition didn't disappoint.  I have studied SLA and brain development as an art therapist and have personally experienced the struggles learning French (at an immersion program in Annecy), Hawaiian, and bits of Hindi (to get by in India).

So...I enjoyed reading this selection even though the timeline & characters were confusing at times. 

Lotus napkins enhanced with Neo II's
Tissue, Fibers & Magazine Brain Images

Rating: 4 out of 5 

If you have an interest in the Science of Language Acquisition or the Brilliance of the Brain mixed in with culture this one is for you. Definitely not 
every one's cup of tea.

Hindi Devanagri Script &
How my brain feels when I'm trying
to Learn another language! 

I will be sharing mini reviews/art for other books I've read and various art journal pages I've created throughout the years.  

I hope you'll enjoy my weekly instead of monthly postings. I am also continuing where I left off with the 2012 PostCard Challenge...I have every intention in completing this fun & fabulous adventure.

I have selected Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell
for April.
Katherine Russell Rich
(November 17, 1955 - April 3, 2012)
Mahalo ke Akua Aloha

Looking at the World with a different perspective

North Shore of O'ahu 

My Hawaiian Phrase for 
Dreaming in Hindi                                                                

ʻo ke kanaka ke kuleana 
o ka moe 

(One's privilege is to Dream)

Now let's surf on over to to see other book reviews 
& art from the ARC.  Mahalo Nui Loa...thank you 
A Hui Hou...until we meet again

Saturday, February 23, 2013

ARC...Artful Reader's Club February Selection

January's book reviews and creative interpretations were FABulous...Mahalo Nui Loa to Darcy of for sharing her brilliance with all of us in the ARC.

My selection for February is GONE GIRL: a novel written by Gillian Flynn and published in 2012.  Sharp Objects (2006) and Dark Places (2009) were her previous offerings. This is a hardcover, 419 page psychological (with the emphasis on 'psycho') thriller.  

Amy Elliott Dunne disappears from her North Carthage, Missouri McMansion on the morning of her 5th wedding anniversary. Her husband, Nick Dunne becomes the prime suspect in her disappearance. 

In the first 215 pages of Part One: Boy Meets Girl, the reader's are introduced to Amy's marriage/life perspective through her secret Diary Entries.  We are then led through Nick's narrative and his alternate Point of View which was a slow read for me. However!  Part's Two and Three were definite page turners where twists and turns, manipulation, lies, deceit, betrayals, revenge, and suspicion's  are woven.  

The 'Game' starts...and we begin to see who the true 'game players' are. 

The local police are summoned and the media/social networks & neighbors judge Nick's every move. The eyes of suspicion are on Nick and his only support is his twin sister, Margo (..."everyone has seen too many true-crime shows where the husband is always, always the killer, so people automatically assume the husband's the bad guy.”  pg. 297 ) 

Overall, I enjoyed the roller coaster 

wild-ride thrill Flynn offered.

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars with a
Reader Advisory for Explicit Content & Language

I interpreted this Gone Girl ride through an art journal 2-page spread in my ARC altered book.  The torn layers represent the excavation of masks & illusion to find truth...not all things are as they first appear.

The outer layers are colored in a bright rosy tone and as the layers are torn deeper the colors darken to black.  

I used a rosy bright spray at the Start of the game.  The colors change as the game takes unexpected mysterious twists 
to the Finish. Readers will understand what Amy's blue 'love notes' envelope 

Two-page spread detailing the twists & turns with an uncertain finish

My March book selection will be 
Dreaming in Hindi: a memoir 
by Katherine Russell Rich (2009)

Mokoli’i Island, Kāneʻohe Bay, O'ahu 

My Hawaiian Word for Gone Girl characters                                                                       
ʻō.pule.pule (moronic, somewhat crazy, psychotic)

Now surf on over to to see other book reviews & art from the ARC............
Mahalo Nui Loa...thank you. A Hui Hou...until we meet again.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

ARC...Artful Reader's Club January Selection

Aloha and Mahalo (many thanks) to Darcy for creating the ARC that combines our love of art + books...please surf on over to her site and enjoy all the FABulous book reviews and creative art reflections.  

The book I selected this month is 
Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel...
432 pages published in May 2012 and is the second in Mantel's remarkable trilogy. Her first book Wolf Hall was published in 2009...with the third installment 
The Mirror & The Light currently being written.  Mantel is the first British woman to receive the Man Booker Prize for both Historical Fiction Novels.   

There have been many stories written and interpretations debated regarding King Henry VIII"s reign...especially in the recently produced DVD series "The Tudors" fascination for historical events led me to Mantel's extraordinary novels. Bring Up The Bodies is written through the eyes of Mr Secretary Thomas Cromwell from September 1535 during the year prior to the execution of Anne Boleyn & "the men she collects about her." 

Mantel takes artistic license with the historical accuracy of events and court life as perceived through Cromwell. However, I found her writing style...including her detailed descriptions of this tumultuous time, place, and characters intriguing.  She used the pronoun 'he' for Cromwell in order, I believe, to keep the reader focused on his particular point of view.  In this passage Mantel describes Cromwell's character..."he has a way of getting his way, he has a method; he will charm a man or bribe him, coax him or threaten him, he will explain to a man where his true interests lie, and he will introduce that same man to aspects of himself he didn't know existed."
And so it is...[a captivating 5-Star read]

I decided to create a Bring Up The Bodies two-page visual journal spread in a 1960's altered book that I will be using for this year's ARC entries.  In many layers of gesso, torn bits of printed tissue & map paper, paint, gelatos, stamps, ink & pumice medium (representing The Tower stones) are images of Cromwell and my interpretation of his tragic Game of Chess...the layers represent all Mantel's rich textures woven throughout the book.

My February book selection is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (2012)...
and I will be finishing Mantel's Wolf Hall (2009) just because!

Sunset on the North Shore, O'ahu
Hawaiian word of the day...

Monarch, noble, aristocrat, king, queen, commander; royal, regal, aristocratic, kingly; 

to rule or act as a chief, govern, reign