Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's


Last week I posted some lilies I painted freehand; that day I also painted these lilies but this one didn't work as well ... for one thing I painted a bud going off to the left at a weird angle.
I decided to try to salvage it today and painted over the out-of-place bud with bleed-proof white (though as you can see, it did bleed!) and added the red background.
Winsor & Newton wrote a short histopry of their reds that you can read here:

Finally, for Valentine's Day, I want to encourage everyone to read a book I just proofread: Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. It's being published by Knopf in September and you can preorder it at Amazon. I want to get two extra copies--one to send to Hillary Clinton and one to Michelle Obama.
I proofread and copyedit a lot of books every year, but this book I wanted to read out loud to every person I know and every person I don't know too!
This book will stun you both with its chronicle of women's suffering in poor rural areas throughout the world--Have you ever heard of fistulas? I hadn't! Do you know that a woman dies every minute in childbirth? I didn't--and with the tales of women, and men, who are doing something on the ground to alleviate suffering, provide education and health care, and generally promote the ideal that a woman is a human being too!
The last section of the book is titled "Four Things you Can Do in the Next Ten Minutes" and is a perfect antidote to despair.
I hope I'm not infringing on any copyright by at least passing on four websites that Kristof and WuDunn recommend here: Women's eNews and World Pulse for news and information and Global Giving and Kiva for information on contributing.

Happy Valentine's Day


Teri C said...

I love all these colors making a happy painting.

You should do the PR for this book-sounds great.

Ruth said...

Laura, thank you SO much for the book recommendation. There is a lot of goodwill going around, in spite of or because of these hard times. I will definitely get a copy, and I'll check out your links.

shicat said...

Hi Laura, I picked up a book the other day,Snowflower and the Secret Fan. For some reason, I thought it was a new Amy Tan book, tan, fan... I must have been tired.LOL Anyway I read it, It was a decent book,about chinese women and their lives,including having their feet bound. What a life of suffering these women endured and for what???? I looked up feet binding on the internet and oh my gosh, unbelievable.I am going to check out the book you recommended.

A Brush with Color said...

Wonderful information on the W&N reds--I'll have to save that! Thanks. Your painting is vibrant and reminds me of warm, island climes.

Thanks for the heads up on this book--it sounds powerful. I have heard of fistulas, actually--read about them this past year and was amazed...we women in America complain about things, but we are blessed just by having been born here. So many women in the world suffer so terribly. I will look at the links you sent--thank you!

A Brush with Color said...

I forgot to say--
Happy Valentine's Day! Your solutions to your painting dilemmas were so successful and lovely.

laura said...

Thanks, Teri. I don't think I'd have much of a future in publicity though!

It's an inspiring book, Ruth--wish it were being published sooner!

I read Snow Flower too, Cathy. Very interesting book; I liked reading about the women's secret way of communicating: writing on the fans. You should try any book by Gail Tsukiyama--they're all great!

laura said...

Thanks, Sue. I feel ashamed that I have been unaware of fistulas and other problems that we in the developed world no longer face to such a debilitating, if any, extent. Like worms, or having to stay from school every month for lack of sanitary supplies, or even iodine deficiency, which some studies show reduces IQ.
I guess the first step is to enlarge my view!

Don said...

Thank you for the Valentine greeting, your wonderful artwork and the information on this book. I looked around a little and am amazed at the suffering that goes on. We are so safe here, we need to share our safety.

Cathy Gatland said...

Happy Valentines Day! Your lilies are full of passion and good cheer!

We live in a continent where dreadful suffering and persecution of women still abounds - insulated here in a big city, but the problems sometimes seem overwhelming. It's heartening to know people around the world are working to help change conditions and attitudes. Ironically I learnt about fistulas on Oprah - will look out for this book.

Sharon said...

I'm adding the book to my "to read" list, Laura.


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