Friday 26 July 2013

ARC July 2013

Welcome to the July meeting of ARC, the Artful Readers Club.

It's been a crazy month for me with so many projects to get finished. if you haven't seen my PaperArtsy projects then  please scroll down and take a look.

Go to the PAPERARTSY BLOG... and leave a comment with a name suggestion in that post and you could win a huge box of goodies from PaperArtsy.

So onto this months book review..

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.

I bought this book mainly because of the odd title, and the cheap price. I had no clue what it was about.

It is not just an odd title, but an odd little book. A little sad, a little frustrating and a little funny. It is about a 15yr old boy who has Aspergers. The story takes us on a quest to find the killer of a local dog, though this quickly becomes a back story to the everyday trials and tribulations of living with this syndrome. The bulk of the book focusses on the quite intense behavioural quirks and problems of this boy. Written in a diary style by the boy, the details are a little overwhelming, that is to say the reader is bombarded with information,much of it mathematical. I guess the intention is to give the reader an idea of how even ordinary situations and occurrences are extremely difficult for someone with Aspergers. We are taken through the minutiae of how he deals with anything 'different', mostly this involves doing mathematical equations, all of which are in the book..and I have to say I skipped all of them. Maths holds no interest for me.

The death of the dog is a shocking start to the book, but it is then a little more light-hearted. At this point I imagined it to be an easy to read, but quirky detective story. However it turns darker as the boy's world is turned upside down, and he is thrown into unfamiliar situations. His fear and anxiety is all too apparent on the page. There is no 'happy' ending, and not really any good conclusion to the book, though we do find out who killed the dog.

I am not entirely sure I enjoyed the book, it was certainly a quick read with only 268 pages of large text. I have known people with Aspergers and Autism and recognised so many of the traits, but it was still an insight into the enormous effort needed by the boy just to get through each day.

More than anything I think this book is informative, not in a text book way but certainly enough to introduce you to this syndrome.

So onto my journal page. 

The next pages in my book already had leftover paint on them, so I sponged on some white acrylic to knock back the colours. This gave me a good base to work on with faint traces of a layer underneath.

The boy in my book likes to count red cars, so that was my starting point. Then i added random numbers, as he uses Maths an awful lot. 

On the right side i added some translucent blue paint, and then added stars in white paint. 

and then I completely forgot to take photos...

So my steps were this..
1. I decided the white starts weren't enough so I stamped lots of starts in black, and coloured some of them white. 
2.I drew,cut out and painted a childs rocket, I left  hinge on one side so the rocket would open.
3. I added a key die cut
4. i used a lid to make circles of paint and added facial expressions in each one, this is also in the book.

On the left side, I stamped a rodent all around the edge, as the boy has a pet rat. I then stamped more number for the centre. He carries red paper clips so they went on there too. then I added some silhouette images from the book. A railway sign, an underground sign and Sherlock Holmes.

I  then printed out my review and tucked it into the back of the rocket. 

finally I added the title, which is a quote from the book. Not my best page ever but i kind of like it. I wanted it to have a child-like/primary colours theme going on and I think i achieved that. 

here is where you link up if you are taking part in ARC. leave a link to your review and artwork. 


  1. I've actually never known anyone who was diagnosed with Aspergers or Autism, but I know a lot of families seem to have children with this syndrome. Of course, I LOVE MATH, but I suspect the rest of it would have gotten to me.

    The idea that there is no happy ending makes it rather appropriate for your ARC entry. I loved the idea of the faces. I've seen those on various shows that discuss emotions and you did an excellent job of recreating them. And the counting cars was great. I probably would have stopped there, but I'm kind of wimpy when it comes to covering or painting over my backgrounds. Great art, though.

  2. After too long a break, I'm back with a review.

  3. the world of those in autistic spectrum is an interesting and sad thing. sounds like an fascinating read.

  4. Very meaningful art for a meaningful book, Darcy. I'd be interested to read something that isn't "dry" on Aspergers. I'll check ot out...
    Thanks! xox

  5. I love this book, I bought it when it first came out as the Swindon press made a fuss about it , being set here. I think I enjoyed it more than you did but I do love maths.... Your art covers so many key elements from the story, genius! PS I love your giraffe :-)

  6. I loved this book too. Little did I know that when I first read it my son would be diagnosed with Aspergers! The last few months have been tough, as this diagnosis came in April. Remember the apron you made for PA based on a quote 'Make good art'? Well, don't know if the art I've made has been any good, but it's got me through this time! Creating has become my therapy. I liked the honesty of your review and I loved your illustration. I really like the Sherlock Holmes silhouette, as I think this strand is important in the book. Sherlock is undoubtedly an 'aspie' character! What we've discovered - as you say in your review - is how hard it is for people to understand living with Aspergers. You're right that this book certainly does this. Thanks, Darcy, for all the inspiration your creativity gives! Julie Ann x

  7. OMG...I so need this book!!! I will read it then sit and make all my sons secondary school teachers read it!!! Where the F*** do they find all these paper clips??? ..and rubber bands!!!! I have to tell his teachers not to give them to him! ...and the maths!(I don't do maths either), but i do know he is obsessed with prime numbers. If I had done that journal page all the random" numbers would have to be prime numbers...and in specific groups of prime numbers lol. AND the biggest problem is getting people to understand the immense amount of emotional energy these kids burn up just doing the basic day to day things, especially while trying to "fit in". My (nearly 15) boy is always most upset when people accuse him of over reacting to something...I tell them "no...he is just reacting" ...Love your review <3 XXX

  8. Oh I need to find our copy of this book now. It sounds like quite a tough subject. Isn't it a play in London too now ? Love your artwork. A xx

  9. slipped into my basket at Amazon...I bought it lol

  10. Excellent review. I have read this book and as an ex teacher of special students some of whom were diagnosed with Asperger's it helped me so much. I taught Maths so that was not so off putting.I like your pages. The facial expressions are a clever touch, the students with Asperger's have such difficulty reading those.
    Jen x

  11. I remember enjoying reading this book for the mixture of discomfort and the informative nature it had, alongside the weird and wonderful story. Love the journal page... As usual so detailed and layered.
    C xxx

  12. I really like fiction that deals with real issues in an unlikely setting. And when the characters have unexpected traits, I like the tale even more.

    I love the quote on your journal. The possibilities...

    1. I forgot to say, that I think the "odd" tittle totally ROCKS!

  13. I'm so glad more and more people learn about aspergers and I hope we can all be a little more thoughtful to other people. No matter what they are like, it would be awesome if we could just accept them for who they are! ♥
    I love your art-page! It's great to step out of your comfort-zone and I love the colors and bold rocket. You rock! ♥

  14. I forgot to mention when here earlier, that I was told by a friend whose son has Autism, that Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world, has Asperger's.

  15. Sounds an interesting but difficult book, but very 'eye-opening' for anyone who has no experience of autism. It's so interesting to see the layers of the story building up in your artwork to make the finished image. Such a good representation of the story. I've read reviews od the book in the past, but didn't read it, and your review confirms my decision. Enjoyed the review though.

  16. I've read this book and have to agree with you. Not a book that has made me want to read more by the author but was insightful and eye opening but hard going with all the maths (which is like another language to me.)

  17. And I love your pages - they capture the feel of the book very well.

  18. I found this book a very informative read and it helped me in my work as I often came across people who displayed similar attributes. Your journal pages are great, I particularly like the detail of the numbers and paperclips.

    Janet xx

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  20. The books sounds like something I would like to read as I have worked with children with Asperger's Syndrome and have a very close family member with it. Great artwork, Darcy; clever way to incorporate the review with your art journal spread. Love it!
    ♥ Angi

  21. I read this book a long time ago and as someone who has children on the autistic spectrum (other end) and who also worked with children and adults with Asperger's Syndrome, I think it's really good and helpful. I had forgotten the maths part but it's probably another reason I liked it :) I really like your page, I love the background and how you added your review to the page. You've made me think I want to re-read this at some point x