Friday, January 24, 2020

ENTERTAINMENT: The Aeronauts



Inspired by a true story, the Aeronauts tells the tale of a weather-forecasting scientist and a daredevil hot-air balloon pilot in their attempt to fly higher than ever before. I really enjoyed it. It's available on Amazon's Prime Video. 





Thursday, January 23, 2020

ART: John Michael Carter






John Michael Carter was born in Chicago and showed an interest in art from an early age, which pleased his artistically inclined family. His father, E. L. Carter, was a noted illustrator and well-known graphic designer. John Michael studied with his father in his 
earlier years.





After high school, John Michael continued his studies in Chicago and Los Angeles, where he obtained his degree.









He is best known for his figurative paintings, but I this his landscapes are equally stunning. These's a depth of quality in Italian Village and Shenandoah Valley that teases the best in yet to come, just down the road or around the corner.



This photo cracks me up! Oil painting in the living room. 

I wonder whether there's a Mrs. John Michael Carter and what she thinks about this activity. 

I get all cranky over coffee stains on the carpet. 



Can you imagine oil paint and the solutions used in the oil painting process.

But here is the final product.
And she is gorgeous.

I claim nothing here. Nothing is my own. All information was found online at his website and other art sites.





Wednesday, January 22, 2020

BOOK SERIES: The Cat Collier Mystery Short Story Series






The Cat Collier Mystery Series


Mary Catherine Collier, better known as Cat, wrote obituaries for the small-town local newspaper, the Heaton Valley Herald. She interviewed the senior citizens as to their accomplishments, likes, and hobbies. She kept these on file in case they won the lottery or the Nobel Peace Prize or something, or more likely, got involved in a scandal. She was also the sole member of the research department. She liked the quiet solitude of research work and was extremely tech savvy.




While she was in college, she dreamed of teaching in the local school system. Heaton Valley residents were wholesome, dedicated parents who valued a good education and the local schools were held in high esteem. The teachers were happy to go to work every day. The children were happy and safe in their school setting. And the community as a whole took pride in all the many varied accomplishments of the students.
















Then something happened. Schools lost their place of honor as bastions of education and safety. They became gripped with fear. Test-taking and building security measures replaced the absolute joys of learning and discover.




It was then Cat began to rethink her career decision. She decided that, if the Heaton Valley Herald ever went belly-up, she’d open her own investigation business. With her laptop, an internet connection, and a big cup of coffee, she could find out almost anything online. There was no longer the need for any actual physical investigation, no high speed chases, no tailing or stalking, nothing dangerous. Just quiet, simple clicks.


Then one day Cat was called to the penthouse apartment of the city’s very rich, most influential lawyer, Detrick Bittmor. He had a very personal assignment for her. It involved a mysterious young man who sat on a park bench every day at noon and stared up at Bittmor’s top floor apartment



Cat had a soft spot for this lawyer with a nasty reputation. There was something about this old man she liked, and even        found charming.


Detrick Bittmor thought the young man on the park bench resembled a younger version of himself. He thought this young man could possibly be his son from an affair he had many years ago with a beautiful New Year lawyer. This man could be his only heir.


And old man Bittmor wasn’t getting any younger.

And so began… the Cat Collier Mystery series. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

IN MEMORIUM: M.C. Beaton

Dear Gentle Readers, 
Sadly, my favorite author, M.C. Beaton, has passed away after a short illness. The internationally acclaimed author Beaton penned the Hamish MacBeth series, set in a small Scottish hamlet where the tall red-headed police chief solves crimes while keeping under the radar of the high-ups so he doesn’t get promoted to the big city.



My first M. C. Beaton book was Death of a Dustman. It was a library book. I was so taken with it, I went out and bought the hardback. I still have it. Dustman is the British term for garbage collector. Sounds so much better. Don’t you agree?


M. C. Beaton also wrote historical fiction under her maiden name, Marion Chesney.

Perhaps she is best known for her Agatha Raisin series that is now a BBC series. Agatha Raisin was a high-powered advertising agent in London. Upon retirement, she decided to move to a small but beautiful cottage in a small but beautiful village in the Cotswolds. She wanted to fix in, so she entered the village annual cooking auction. Agatha doesn't cook or bake, so she bought a quiche in London. The person who bought the quiche died of poisoning. And that's the beginning of Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death.












Marion was a fun-loving little Scottish dynamo, who was always straight forward and truthful. She will be sadly missed.


I'll look for you in the rainbows, Marion. I'll see you in the movement of the butterflies. I'll hear your words of honest wisdom in the rustle of the wind. 

Hugs,
Carol

Sunday, January 19, 2020

SCHEDULE: Jan. 20 - 24, 2020


Mon., Jan. 20 - BOOK REVIEW:
Marked Masters by Ritter Ames
Tues., Jan. 21 - IN MEMORIUM:
M.C. Beaton, Goodbye, Dear Marion
Wed., Jan. 22 -  BOOK:
The Cat Collier Short Story Mystery Series
by Carol Ann Kauffman 
Thurs., Jan. 23 - ART:
John Michael Carter
Fri., Jan. 24 - ENTERTAINMENT:
The Aeronauts

Friday, January 17, 2020

INTERVIEW: My Favorite Live French Artist Raphael Seygnovert


Raphael Seygnovert
French Artist

Dear Gentle Readers,

What a treat I have for you today! The wonderful French painter 
Raphael Seygnovert has taken time away from his easel to be with us 
this morning and I am thrilled to bits.

Good morning, Raphael and welcome to Vision and Verse, the place 
for Art and Authors. It is my pleasure to have you here with us. Tell us 
a little about your work.
When I realize a work, I try more to express a feeling than to follow 
strictly speaking a figurative approach with as a theme the landscape. 
I use an archaic graphic language impregnated with all my experience, 
all my musical and pictorial artistic influences. It is as if I were trying 
to express a distant memory that would not have root in our present 
life. As a vision the eyelids closed.




What is your favorite medium?
I love all the pictorial techniques. It is a real pleasure to apply and work the pastel with the fingers, I also like acrylic but I use it recently; 
I have a preference for oil, it is a very complete technique.



So what does our favorite Frenchman like to eat?
I appreciate French cuisine but as I am a vegetarian it is a bit 
complicated; I also love Asian, Indian and Japanese cuisine. 
Vegetables, cheeses ... And I love cooking too.

Coffee or tea?
I drink tea and coffee, but more coffee; In the north of France 
we drink a lot of coffee.

Pizza or ice cream?
The both!  Pizza "Sicilian" and Lemon ice cream.

Where would you like to visit? 
What piques your interest?
I love everything about ancient cultures, ancient civilizations, mysteries ...

Favorite kind of music?
I love acoustic guitar, folk music, mystical music, relaxation music, traditional music and Celtic music. I listen to many different things, I would hardly say my favorite artist.

What makes Raphael Seygnovert laugh?
I laugh easily, I like to laugh with my friends. The imitators make me laugh, the hidden 
cameras too.





This is my very favorite of all your works. You call it
bluebells, but in my part of the world, we have tiny pale violet clusters called bluettes, or Quaker Ladies, that only bloom in the wet, wet spring, only in the woods or parks. 
They are my favorite flower. You cannot buy them in a store. You can't order them online or by phone. You can't get them from a florist. You 
must tromp through the wet woods and get all muddy to find 
these beauties.


How old were you when you began creating art?
I started to paint very young, then being an adult I stopped for a 
long time to resume after. But painting, art, is not a craft strictly 
speaking, it is a way of life. It's not a choice one day makes saying 
"it's an interesting job", or "I can make a lot of money like that!" 
Or "I will be famous." This is necessary to us, for we need to create, 
to express ourselves in this way, because it is part of us. I need, as an autotherapeutic way, to paint, it is my medicine ... which heals my soul. 
I think the important thing is to be in agreement with ourselves.




We all like to draw, paint, glue rocks together, snap photos, etc., but we are well aware we couldn’t make a living doing it.  When did you know you made the right decision?
I am comforted in my choice by all positive feedback from the people I meet.


Where do you get your inspiration?
Nature is a constant source of inspiration, walking in the middle of the 
trees has always done me good, it is resource, we should try to preserve as many natural spaces as possible. My spirituality is also a source of inspiration.


What do you do when you get an artist block?
The artistic blockages I see more like moments of reflection that 
allow to take a new beginning, to have a new eye. We are all the time, internally, dying and reborn to evolve, to grow. Like the crysalid and 
the butterfly.



Favorite artist?
I like many different artists, I like the Impressionists, Monet, Van Gogh, Cross, Corot and 
also Modigliani ...


If you were not an artist, what would you do for a living?

If I was not a painter, I would have liked to be a professional guitarist, 
a singer, or a social job.

Who has influenced you most in your life?
The person who has influenced me most is hard to say; I have a 
thought for my father ... he was a great person ... courageous and much more, my mother too.. but I do not forget the others, all those people 
who cross your path and illuminate it even for a short time. 
I think we are all like sponges, every interaction, every encounter, 
changes our life in its own way.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be an artist?
I will tell him to paint more and more, it is by forging that one 
becomes a blacksmith.I would tell him to expose ever more, meetings 
and criticisms are always very useful to evolve.To have his own 
opinion about his work and that of others.And getting to know one self, 
is the best way to be authentic.

Links to follow our favorite Frenchman:

twitter: @seygnovert

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to be with us today. We at Vision and Verse wish you continued success in all your endeavors. Come back and see us again!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

ENTERTAINMENT: Wanted: Season 1

 I ran across this terrific Australia series on Netflix by accident on one of those many, many evenings when network television would have bored me into a semi-coma. The writing is fantastic! It gets your heart thumping! And the actors are wonderful. I love Lola and Chelsea. If you have a chance to watch WANTED on Netflix, I urge you to give it a chance.





Tuesday, January 14, 2020

BOOK: Red Sarah by Carol Ann Kauffman


Sarah is a beautiful redhead who works for a special agency that fixes broken timelines and rescues historically significant people who are in trouble. 

She has a special set of skills that allow her to 'tap' someone out of a dangerous situation. Her present assignment is to find and rescue a prince whose son eliminates hunger and disease on his island nation. 

“Save the Prince; save the King; and save the Reds. In doing so, Red Sarah may just save herself, who knows, but what might be the cost? Moving from modern day wisecrackery to a time of romance long ago, Carol Ann Kauffman’s tale is filled with majesty and bravery. This time travel story is a gift for all.” - Amazon Review 



“Sarah has one job and that is to rescue Crown Prince Lucas of Mist from captivity in a dungeon. Yet everything is not as it seems and will Sarah be able to stop an upcoming war? 
This was an interesting book about time travel and trying not to disrupt the time continuum. I liked Sarah and it was interesting on where her and Lucas ended up.” 
-Amazon Review  




Excerpt:


Chapter One

Look What I Found in the Dungeon



Sarah approached the lifeless figure huddled on the floor. The prisoner was shackled to the wall in the small, dark, damp cell. She reached down toward his throat to make sure he was still alive.
“No,” he growled as he pulled away from her.
“Shh,” whispered Sarah. “I come to help you, not to hurt you. But you must be quiet. I cannot be detected in here.”
“They will kill you… or worse,” he whispered, “for trying to help me. I am not some poor unfortunate soul. Do you have any idea who I am?”
“Yes, I do. You are Crown Prince Lucas of the Mist Kingdom in the highland of LaMere. Let me touch your neck.” 
He moved toward her as much as he could. 
She gently touched his bearded neck. “You are very warm, Prince Lucas. I fear you have the fever.”
“I am Prince Lucas, yes, but not the Crown Prince. My eldest brother Marcus is the Crown Prince and heir to the throne of the Mist Kingdom. I wield no power, here or in the highland. If you help me, I can do nothing for you in return. Leave this rotten stink hole at once. You only put yourself in extreme danger. There is nothing you can do for me.”
“Oh, really?” Sarah laughed as she put a small flask to his lips. He sipped, then swallowed and sighed.
“Ahh, good. Thank you,” he whispered. “What is that?”
“Herb and honey infused whiskey. It will induce a deep and heavy sleep. If you are chained to the wall in here, you may as well get some rest.” Sarah gave him more of the strong, sweet liquid. “Sleep now, Prince Lucas. I will return tomorrow night, when the guards are fast asleep. I will bring you bread and cheese. Is there something else you crave?”

“Freedom from these bloody chains. A bath. Warmth. Clothing. Sunshine. Strawberries.”

“Strawberries, I can do. And maybe something for the fever.”
“Why? Why do you chance danger to bring me real food and medicine?” Lucas eyed her warily.
“Because you need to regain your strength if I am to help you escape.”
“Escape?” squealed Lucas with a surprisingly hearty laugh for a man in his depleted condition. “Are you daft?”
“Shh,” whispered Sarah. “Be quiet.”
Lucas nodded.
“You have quite the sense of humor, lovely one,” whispered Lucas. “I am chained to the wall in a filthy dungeon in the miserable, hellish depths of Marlow Castle. There is no escape for me. And where would I go? I am too weak to even make it to the drawbridge, let alone up the rugged terrain of the mountainside. I am alone. My people have abandoned me. And, in case you did not notice, this cell is locked.”
“So then… how did I get in here?” Sarah smiled.
The prince looked around in confusion.
“Now, close your eyes.”
Lucas closed his eyes.
Sarah disappeared.

The next night, Sarah appeared in the locked cell once again. “Is there anyone in here who is hungry for real food?” she whispered to the sleepy prince.
“Ahh, there you are!” He smiled at her. “When I awoke refreshed from my deep and restful sleep, I was not sure if you were real or simply a lovely vision of my imagination.”
“I assure you, I am real. Here,” she handed him a small cloth pouch with berries and pieces of bread and cheese and a flask of water. 
“I am most grateful,” said Lucas, “although I do not know why you do this.” Lucas lifted the cloth pouch to his nose and inhaled. “Smells wonderful.” He picked a strawberry from the pouch and ate it. “This is the best thing I have tasted since...since…”


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RED SARAH!