Friday, 31 May 2013

Artful Readers - May

If you saw my post for ARC April then you'll know that my book for April became my book for May :)

So, my book for Darcy's Artful Readers Club for May was "Bring Up the Bodies" by Hilary Mantel.

The synopsis...

"By 1535 Thomas Cromwell is Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes having risen with those of Anne Boleyn, the king's new wife. But Anne has failed to give the king an heir, and Cromwell watches as Henry falls for plain Jane Seymour. Cromwell must find a solution that will satisfy Henry, safeguard the nation and secure his own career. But neither minister or king will emerge unscathed from the bloody theatre of Anne's final days."

The review...

You can gather by the fact that this took me over a month to read that I didn't really enjoy it. I've read some "historical fiction" before but mainly Conn Iggulden which is a bit more...sensationalist? Anyway, I really struggled with the style of writing and the language used, which is obviously meant to reflect the period it is set in and although the story itself is interesting, the book never really drew me in. Not the book for me and I don't think I would read any more books by her.

The art...

I actually took some work in progress pics this month - feel free to skip ahead to the finished piece!

All of my pages are being done in an old hardback childrens book which I picked up in a charity shop. I don't feel too bad about covering up the pages as a lot of them have been scribbled on with crayon!

The page I worked on this month is the other side of my World War Z page and as you can see at the bottom some black had seeped through the page. The text is quite big in this book so I decided to cover it up with some smaller book print and some tissue paper, which I crumpled to add a bit of texture.

I then painted over it all with a mix of brown, red, yellow and gold paints.

I drew a Tudor Rose and coloured it with ProMarkers.

And then attempted to copy a portrait of Anne Boleyn.

I doodled a border around the page and added the Tudor Rose and Anne.The page was then completed with some gilding flakes so that the tudor rose didn't seem to be "floating" on the page quite so much and, of course, a quote from the book.

My book for next month is "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett.


  1. I'm always impressed when someone can draw, and someone who draws as well as you should be commended. Your interpretation of Anne Boleyn is fantastic. She is just as I picture her. And the Tudor Rose is fantastic. I'm truly impressed with your art and sorry you were disappointed in your book, especially after it took you two months to get through.

  2. Ooooh I am a real sucker for the Tudor period and I love your artwork - your tudor rose is much better than the one I drew for my January ARC page :) :) :) This is a book I have had on my Amazon wishlist for a while, am sorry to read that you didn't enjoy it as much as you hoped you would.

  3. I just finished reading Bless Me, Ultima, and it took me way too long. I doubt I would finished it if it wasn't because I was reading it for a challenge. So I celebrate your endurance ;-)

    Lovely journal page. And the quote? Perfect!

  4. Great artwork, Maz...sorry you struggled through your book. THE HELP is an amazing book...I loved it! Looking forward to your review. Enjoy!!

  5. Everything about your artwork hangs so well and I think it's a terrific piece of inspired artwork. The Tudor rose is such a good drawing and background emblem and your vision of Anne is perfect.
    A pity the book was poor - using language 'of the period' so often interferes with the reading of the story. Another problem with this period is that it has been written about so much that there is little new to say of it. You did well to soldier on, and your artwork is lovely.

  6. I love your journal page! I can't read historical fiction. It's just not for me. And if the language is from that era it has to be written by the author of that era not a modern one. I read some ridiculous books that tried to imitate that era but mixed it with modern and it was a disaster.

  7. WOW You did a fabulous page here, the individual elements are great but it pulls together perfectly. Personally I loved the 2nd photo of the background, so yummy. x

  8. This is such stunning art work! I love your Anne Boleyn and the tudor rose really comes off the page. I read H.M's 'Bring up the Bodies' and I have to say I hated it!!! I know tudor times were cruel, but this was one of the coldest, most cynical books I've ever read; I didn't like anyone in it and I had to make myself carry on with it. I want to read 'The Help' too - hope you enjoy it more than H.M.

  9. Shame you didn't like the book but your artwork is amazing! Fabulous portrait of Anne Boleyn and tudor rose. A very apt quotation too. Wonderful drawing.

    Janet xx

  10. Aloha Maz...loved your interpretation of the have such a talent...historical fiction does take some patience at times...I read and enjoyed this selection because it was written through Cromwell's point of view.

  11. Sorry the book was such a struggle but the resulting art work is wonderful. Great drawing and the gilding and quote just petfect.
    Jen x

  12. It is hard to carry on reading when a book is not ticking all the boxes for you. Well done on getting through it.
    Your artwork however is fabulous. Love your completed page.

  13. Seems like a few of us were in the same boat this month your journal page though, wonderful layering and likeness :D XXX

  14. So sad you didn't like your book... But it did inspire a great piece of Art!!!! ♥
    I'm sure you like The Help, I did! Looking forward to your review!

  15. So much work love your drawings and review. This book reminded me that, I have read some historical fiction before I will have to revisit them I think. Thanks for your review & art :) Dxx

  16. You made the best of a book you didn't enjoy; therefore, congratulations are in order! Way to go! It sounds like an intriguing story. Too bad the writing style/language made it arduous task instead of a fun escape. Great artwork! I love the book quote.


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