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Protected: Roz and Her Library of Books

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Summer Reading Suggestions from the MCBA Visual Journal Collective

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Reading List: Alphonse Mucha

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Reading List: Nicolai Fechin

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An Interview with Roz Stendahl on “Create Mixed Media”

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A New Batch of Books, Part 3: The Final Four

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Two More Books With Inspiring Art (and Information)

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Blogging Has Changed My Life: Or How It Has Made Me an Even More Obnoxious Correspondent

Every so often I have dinner with 4 other women, ostensibly to have dinner and a chat and catch up. (I like to think of these meetings as opportunities to have dog time because there are dogs involved.) Originally we set out to have a book club—something I loathe, but one of the women makes great lasagna so I'm powerless to resist.

Perhaps I hate book groups because it brings to mind the parts of graduate school I didn't like, reports and pontification, instead of helpful information on how to assimilate "Jude the Obscure" into you thought process so you can continue on your happy trail!


Notan—What It Is and Why You Need to Know about It


Left: Spotting Notan, a diagram from Arthur Wesley Dow's book Composition: Understanding Line, Notan and Color, ©2007 Dover Publications. Click on the image to see an enlargement.

We learn and then forget things all our lives. Sometimes we learn things and they fall from the top ten useful things we think about everyday, but somehow they still impact us. Notan is one of those things for me. I grew up in a home where a mother with an artistic bent would bring in little bits of beauty (knick knacks, paintings, ceramics) and combine them with other objects to create tableaux of beauty. Because of proximity and travel many of the items that drew my mother’s attention were Japanese. My childhood immersion has created a life-long interest in line and compositional cropping which people might dismiss as, “well that’s just Roz, she designs books after all,” (images are always being cropped for cover design effect or to make interesting chapter opening pages in textbooks). It runs deeper than that. It has to do with notan.


Calligraphy: from Traditional to Funky


Visual journal keepers tend to do at least some writing along with their sketching. I'm not a calligrapher but I love looking at beautifully written script. I enjoy colorful, rich, and textured layouts of text, text, text, all handwritten with flair and gusto. Because of this I keep my eyes open for interesting books about calligraphy.

The other day at Barnes and Noble I came across Lisa Engelbrecht's Modern Mark Making: From Classic Calligraphy to Hip Hand-Lettering. Even though I have no intention of mastering the art of calligraphy I had to buy this book. It is filled with stunningly beautiful and visually intriguing samples by the author and other calligraphers. (Traci Bautista, Glen Epstein, Teesha Moore, and Stephen Rapp are just some of the talented letter artists whose work appears in this book.)

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