Friday 22 February 2013

ARC February

Welcome to the second month of ARC, the Artful Reading Club.

last month we had 42 people take part, how awesome is that, I had so much fun reading all the reviews. I ended up adding 13 books to my wish list...I can see that growing into a monster list by the end of the year. All the artwork was wonderful, I know a few people worried about it, but there was no need.

So to this month. I had such a struggle, i pretty much hated my book early on, then I got really busy, and in just the last week I have had to force myself to read and get the artwork done.. So here is my review..

Book of the Patricia Cornwell

Charity shop £1.80

This is basically a murder/detective book.

I have read many Patricia Cornwell books, and have enjoyed every single one, except that is for the endings, they are always a bit rushed and don't seem as well thought out as the rest of the book. However, overall I do love her books, so I expected to love this book.

The intro does not disappoint, it immediately draws me in. It is deviant and dark. But from then on I rapidly lost interest. The familiar characters are tense and awkward with each other, there are to some extent the same in previous books, but somehow this is different, and uncomfortable.

The new characters, and there are many, are complicated, the chapters jump backwards and forwards from scene to scene. This gets annoying really quickly.

There is a lot of psycho-babble, it feels like being trapped in a mental patients brain. Everything is jumbled and disjointed. Nothing much makes sense, half sentences, half asked questions, implied thoughts..maybe this is all entirely deliberate on the part of the author. The killer has severe PTSD.

I had to force myself to read a few chapters each day just to get through it, and did not enjoy it at all. The worst being that it left me with no inspiration for my journal page at all.

Here is the journal page that I made.

The war in Iraq is important in this book, so I started with sand coloured dunes, around which I wrote out a poem called 'My wounds are not for you to see' by Frank Ochberg.

I then added ochre, red and grey paint. these are the colours used in Roman wall art, and the book is partly set in Rome. The main character, loves flowers, so I added those, stamped on book pages and coloured with Aquamarkers...

The number 1,2,3,4 are in the book, so I stencilled them on and outlined them. Then I added fingerprints. 

I printed out and glued on a Roman Arcade, again to symbolize the setting. I pushed wall filler thru flower stencils, and added a small envelope for my review. The title on the envelope is a quote from the book.

I coloured all the flowers with Aquamarkers..

For the left side I wanted to add a Bassett Hound, the very talented Jay drew one for me as I was running so short on time. I printed that puppy outline and then coloured it with markers.

Here is the finished journal page..

It's kind of a happy page which I am glad about, cos the book was depressing and annoying. The page doesn't tell you much about the book really, I just picked out some of the nicer elements. It does feel a bit jumbled, and way too busy, but the book felt that way too, so maybe it is a fitting representation. 

The next review will be due on FRIDAY 29TH MARCH...

Here is where you link up, please only link if you are taking part in the ARC challenge. 

please add your name and the link to the specific blog post where your review and artwork can be found. then check back later as the list grows and go visit people. 


  1. This is disappointing that you didn't like the Patricia Cornwall book. I have picked one of her books picked out to review, too, so now I'm a bit concerned. However, I adore the puppy and the rest of the journal spread. It is fantastic, even with so much going on.

  2. Guess I should read what I write before I hit send. Sorry, but I think you got the idea of what I was trying to say, even with the extra "picked" in the sentence!

  3. I always love seeing the build up of your artwork, and here again it is wonderful. Love the hound !! Sorry you didn't enjoy your book. I have one on my list that I am dreading reading, so it will be a few months off. Hope you enjoy your next one more. A x

  4. Awesome page! ♥
    I'm sorry you didn't like your book... Hope next month is a better read! It takes a true artist to create such a lovely page after such a disappointing read! :)

  5. Two good things about the book for you, paying the charity shop price and producing fabulous art work! It is so frustrating when you seem to be forcing yourself to read a book but well done for getting to the end. Love you pages though and how you built them up around the characters and story. Thanks for a great review and having this challenge to keep me on track with my reading list this year. X

  6. Love the page... A great rescue from what sounds like a bad book. As usual your method servals so much work.
    C xxx

  7. Amazing page you have created from a disappointing book. Love the fresco colours and watching how you have built up your page. Lots to learn from you! I also agree with your review by the way.

    Janet xx

  8. I really love the way you fill your artistic responses to the books with so many layers of meaning, and how every element to the page, even the ones that by the end are almost 100% covered up, are so well thought through.

    Sorry the book was a disappointment

  9. So interesting seeing all the stages your artwork went through, and what a great idea to focus on the pleasanter aspects. It's a great finished piece, and hidden in there is that thought provoking quote from the poem.
    I read the early cornwell books, but then in later books she got weirder and darker and I found her too much for me. Sadly I hated my March book and am stuck for what artwork I can do, so perhaps I'll look for something I did like in it as you did. Enjoyed the review.

  10. Shame you did not enjoy the book but you have produced a journal pages despite that.
    Jen x

  11. Well if this is what you come up with when you hate a book....can't wait for one you love :D XXX

  12. You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din... if I'm struggling with a book, I can't finish it! If there's some little thread of interest or curiosity, I do force myself...but that's rare. There are too many good books out there!! Great page...especially considering you didn't like the book, Darcy!

  13. I love your honest review. Nothing worse than a book that does not hold your interest. your pages are fantastic.

  14. Thank you for the review. The artwork is wonderful. just looking at the art I would not have guessed how difficult the book was to read.You seemed to have been able to pull some gems from the rubble.

  15. Oh Darcy I like this Idea I think I may join in this month I try to read alot but it's slowed down of late however I have just finished a book and I could use it. I love your page. I used to have a lot of PC books as well but I went off them in the end for the all to sudden endings etc

    I read a really good set of books by the same author Steven Dunne I loved them very good 'The Reaper, The Disciple & the Deity' same character detective very good fast pace murder thriller.

    Any way enough waffle see you again soon I am excited about trying to do a journal page about a book COOL!

    1. I forgot to say How wonderful your art work is. I love the Roman arch white contrast and adore the colours of the flowers (painted beautifully) The Basset is too cute. I really like the idea of adding an envelope with a review in. May have to pinch this idea lol Thanks again Darcy for a wonderful challenge I really am excited about the whole thing Dxx

  16. How disappointing Darcy... a book you have to force yourself to read is no fun at all... love your gorgeous art journal spread... and the Bassett Hound is adorable...

    Jenny ♥

  17. Oh I know how hard it is to read a book you don't want to, but at least mine was slightly coherent, this one sounds like a nightmare jumping back and forth! What a shame because you obviously were looking forward to reading it! However I love love love your page - simply gorgeous!

  18. Love the happy bright colors and the Basset Pup is adorable...Thanks for showing your FABulous creative process-layer by gorgeous layer. I have read many Cornwell books and have been disappointed by some of them. Her newest, Red Mist, is on my bookshelf and I hope it is a real thriller.

  19. I love seeing the steps you go through to create your page.

    I don't think i've read this book, but i have read a few by her. I also think a lot of detective novels have a rushed ending.


  20. I like how you took something dismal and uninteresting and created a beautiful piece of art despite the way you felt about the book! I enjoyed the photos of the process you went through - very detailed and inspiring.

    I am only one day late this month - ha! Thanks again for providing this fun opportunity.

  21. Hi Darcy...I too am a fan of the murder type mystery, but only in television..strangely aside from Sir Arthur Doyle...haven't read any others! So thank you for this. PTSD seems all the rage, oddly. I mean, I understand it's serious stuff but it seems very trendy these days. Even a lady I know, who was in a small fender bender seriously thinks she's got it...and then, I know those who have it from Iraq, which is clearly a real thing. I love how you turned this not so inspiring book into a very inspiring work of art! True mastery.

  22. Having read the bit about PTSD in your review somehow made me feel very interested about the story :) I guess reflecting on this I feel makes you a brilliant review writer Darcy! I was captivated but I am staying with your first words and won't bother putting it on my readers wish list!

  23. Oh I forgot to say I love the art work and I have used the markers I got when I met you :)

  24. Well you might not have liked the book but your artwork is really wonderful so at least something good came from it!
    Lynn x

  25. Wonderful colorful journal page. That puppy is just adorable! :)

  26. I love your's so colourful especially in the light of what you felt about the book. I'm so pleased I didn't add one of her books to my 12...I have three waiting to be read. I don't know why I keep buying them as I found "The Book of the Dead" heavy going too.
    Hugs xx
    p.s. love that dog... :)

  27. finally got my act together and got the post up... and I have to say I was relieved that you had the same reaction to this book that I did when i read it... not my favorite and IO haven't read another of her books since... mind you I love your artwork for it... it is fab and the steps were great to see...xx

  28. Thanks for sharing your process into the page creation. It's interesting to see how you went from the beginning to the end. I must also say it's too bad you didn't like the book, but I'm impressed you finished and created a beautiful page. Michelle V.

  29. Thanks for your review Darcy, it was very informative and I love your page! I just uploaded mine, better late than never....

  30. Yay! I got it done and linked before the end of the month! LOL

    I appreciate a reviewer that doesn't say everything was 'wonderful'. Thanks.

  31. Ha! Finally, I've started! I'm only a month behind now!

  32. Great journal page and enjoyed your review even though I'm not a fan of Patricia Cornwell myself (just not my kind of author). .

  33. Oh I love that you got such a happy page from the book. I've only read one of her books... nah - give e zombies. Least I know they aren't real (yet!) :)

  34. Running way behind this month but it's up now :)

  35. Shame you didn't really enjoy this book, I'm pretty sure I've read it... Like you I enjoy her books but the endings are always very diappointing, especially in her more recent books. I love that you managed to get such a great journal page out of the book though so not all bad!