2015 Book List

The 2015 List of Possibilities
Updated November 2015

Stats: So far in 2015 I've read 19 books. My goal is 36, so I really need to push to get a decent count for the year! If you are new to Daisy Yellow, this blog post is an annual tradition. I update it once or twice each year and it serves as a status report, holds me accountable in my quest to read more! The list is not static. Books on my to-read list are added and deleted on a whim. I also don't hesitate to stop reading a boring book.

In 2014: 34 books. 2013: 37. 2012: 36. 2011: 20. 2010: 30.There are 166 books on my TO READ shelf at Goodreads plus 5 I'm currently reading. I always have a bunch of books going at once. This time last year, there were 142.


I read books and listen to books. It's about 50:50 at this point.

My favorite "listens" this year were Ian Fleming's "Casino Royale" and Gillian Flynn's "Dark Places" {I didn't care for Gone Girl, by the way}. To be a good listen, I've got to find both the story and the voice narration engaging, which can be tricky! My least favorite "listens" were "What Alice Forgot" and "Girl on a Train."

My favorite "reads" the past few years were basically anything Nordic Noir. Authors like Karin Fossum, Arnaldur Indriðason, Jussi Adler-Olsen, Jo Nesbø {although I only like the Harry Hole series, not the others}. These are very moody Nordic Noir police procedurals... murder-mysteries definitely not for the faint of heart. But very slow paced and methodical, located in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, etc.

If you are into art journaling, don't miss Dawn DeVries Sokol's A World of Artist Journal Pages with 1000+ art journal pages to savor.

Creative Books that I Recommend ♥︎

A World of Artist Journal Pages, Sokol
How to Be an Explorer of the World, Smith
4 A.M. Breakthrough: Unconventional Writing Exercises, Kiteley
Map Art Lab, Berry 
The Journal Junkies Workshop, Scott, Modler
The Creative License and An Illustrated Life and Everyday Matters, Gregory
Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists, Sonheim 
1,000 Artist Journal Pages, Sokol 
Spilling Open: The Art of Becoming Yourself, Harrison {try the library for this one}
Creative Illustration Workshop for Mixed-Media Artists, Dunn
Journal Spilling, Trout 
An Illustrated Life (Artist Journals + Sketchbooks), Gregory
The Art Journal Workshop, Bunkers
Color Mixing Bible, Sidaway 
Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art, Hinchcliff 
Personal Geographies, Berry
The Collage Workbook, Plowman

Creative Books on my "To Read" List for 2016

How to Make a Journal of Your Life, Price
Color: A Natural History of the Palette, Finlay

Two tips for reading more fiction books.

1. Goodreads. I set a goal each year - around 36 books - and keep track. I've been tracking books read since1995 when a friend at work who told me that she read more by keeping a list on on a spreadsheet. My daughters and I are avid Goodreads members! They write book quizzes and hang out in the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings forums and post reviews of all of the books they read.

2. Audio books. I am in the car so much! So I started listening to audio books {mostly crime novels} mid-2012 via Audible {follow link for free trial which includes 2 free books}. I plug in my phone and push play and off I go. I also listen to audio books when I am drawing or working on art journal pages. In 2014, I listened to 19 books.

Prompt60 #53

In this prompt, select one (1) magazine. Flip through and find an interesting image or a title. Cut it out and use it as a reference for a sketch. A sketch? Did I just hear a collective sigh out there in daisyyellowlandia?

Here's the thing. Lines have a mind of their own. They get wonky. They drive off in 2nd gear at awkward angles. They are smudgy when they should be crisp. Also: <enter your drawing stumbling block here>.

Here's the plan. If a line looks wrong, draw another. Yup, right on top. Or take a step to the right {insert obscure Rocky Horror reference}. You can even layer different types of writing instruments.

A lot of drawing is a matter of building your fine motor skills {finger| hand| arm}. When you use a reference image, it means that you REFER to the image while you work. It serves as your prompt and you can take it in any direction.

a) Sketch an image directly onto a crisp white page in your journal. Attach the reference image/words into your journal on the same or an adjacent page with washi tape.

b) Draw the image/words on an index card. Attach both the reference image/words and your drawing in your journal or tack them up to your inspiration wall. Yes, you can put your own art on your inspiration wall, why not?

Try to clear your mind and relax your muscles. I like to close my eyes and relax the tight muscles in the back of my neck. Ignore the subject matter and look at the shape. Consider the negative space around the image, pretend there was a spotlight behind the "thing" and that the thing was only visible by its outline. Scribble the "idea" or essence of the image without attempting to make it photographically accurate or to scale. Photographically accurate drawings are actually quite boring! The eye likes imperfection. You can also exaggerate details or add meticulous cross-hatching in the shadows. That's up to you and you alone. 

On the nature of making mistakes, Tufts website shares an excerpt from How Things Are... "This general technique of making a more-or-less educated guess, working out its implications, and using the result to make a correction for the next phase has found many applications. Navigators, for instance, determine their position at sea by first making a guess about where they are. They make a guess about exactly--to the nearest mile--what their latitude and longitude are, and then work out how high in the sky the sun would appear to be if that were (by an incredible coincidence) their actual position. Then they measure the actual elevation angle of the sun, and compare the two values. With a little more trivial calculation, this tells them how big a correction, and in what direction, to make to their initial guess. It is useful to make a good guess the first time, but it doesn't matter that it is bound to be mistaken; the important thing is to make the mistake, in glorious detail, so you have something serious to correct."

To see all of the prompts in the series, go to the Prompt60 Index.

The Noticing Journal Wrap-Up & Flip-Thru

The Noticing Journal Wrap-Up & Flip-Thru

Thought you might like to see a flip-through of The Noticing Journal, an altered book art journal project that took over 2 years and holds some of my favorite pages. The journal was finished this past spring, and I photographed the pages but then got caught up in other projects. Working on a journal for a few years means that your style changes from the earlier pages to the later pages that you create. I do not work chronologically, so you can't "see" the evolution as I page through the journal in the video.

This journal was such an intensive project and it has quite a story already!

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Beauty {Blue}: White Lettering

Beauty {Blue}: White Lettering

I made a quick video where I wrote with two different white pens on the background of hand-painted heavy body acrylics. I wrote one quote on the top left where I had intentionally left some space in the collage. I wrote the lyrics in the inner margin where I just squeezed them in without planning ahead. As for the selection of words, I don't plan that in advance, but I look for a quote on a particular topic or part of a song that pops into my mind. So there might be some hidden symbolism, but who knows!

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