Eye on Art / 17

Hi friends!

Eye on ArtHappy Wednesday! This week is zipping right along, but with the end of the first semester a mere two weeks away, I’m not surprised. Things are busy, but I’m having a blast; if my friends who have since graduated are correct, senior year only gets better from here! Before I work on my homework assignments and obsess over This is Us {did you catch last night’s episode?}, I’d thought I pop in with a new post. I last wrote an Eye on Art in September – a wait far too long for my liking – and so, I wanted to share an edition to highlight the work of three talented artists: one who specializes in screen-printing, another in illustration, and the last in photography. Have you been crushing on any artwork as of late? How are things on your end?

boyoun-kimFirst on my list is Boyoun Kim, an illustrator based in New York whose portfolio extends across numerous publications, including The New Yorker and The Washington Post. Boyoun uses the process of screen-printing to produce such vibrant pieces as the ones above, which may explain why I was so taken with her portfolio; her bright and colorful palette is hard to ignore!

Naturally, her skill set is suited well to landscape prints, be it a snowy ski village dotted with pink and brown houses or the pyramids in Egypt, the sky a brilliant blue against the saturated sand. My personal favorite, however, is her city skyline, complete with a person flying overhead with a balloon. Needless to say, her eye for color and pattern is unmatched. {website}

nina-cosfordNina Cosford’s work too evokes a sense of playfulness, a thread that runs throughout her lengthy portfolio of prints, paintings, and patterns. With a penchant for charming characters and architecture, she’s known for her distinct style of illustration and sense of humor {her social media feeds are not only appealing to the eye, they make me laugh too!}.

Nina is perhaps best known for her collaboration with HBO for the television show Girls, where she illustrated a number of quotes and characters from the program, but I myself am partial to her contributions to the Life Portraits book series {it’s the Jane Austen fan in me}, even if I’ve yet to grab an example from the library. I’ll have to change that soon, for her newest book My Name is Girl, both written and illustrated by her, sounds right up my alley. {website}

amy-friendFinally, one glance at Amy Friend’s work, and I was in love. And how could I not? At once ethereal and honest, dark and light, her portfolio of photographs and paintings is captivating online – I can only imagine their power in person! As she herself has said, art is a means for her to explore “the relationship between what is visible and non-visible.”

Amy has a number of collections, all of which I’d be happy to buy a piece from, but after reading through the inspiration behind the Dare Alla Luce pieces, I’ve mulled over the photographs for days; in them, she’s uses pinpricks of light to reinvent a number of vintage photographs. If you ask me, there’s nothing better than art like this that makes you think. {website}

Have a lovely day!

High Five / 11

Hi!

high-five-11Happy Friday! How are things? I myself am excited that the weekend has arrived – I was just discussing with my family that the school week was shorter, but getting back into the swing of things made it feel far longer. Thankfully, with a calculus test moved to Monday and no other assessments on the agenda, I’m easing right into the weekend: I’m seeing friends in a production of 13; I plan to wrap up the wonderful The Upside of Unrequited; and I hope to catch the next installment of Sherlock after watching The Golden Globes.

All that said, it’s been far too long since I last shared a High Five, so I figured no better time than the new year to start the feature up again! What made your week?

[1] First, while I have been devouring quite a few novels off my bookshelf over the past week or so, I also have slowly been savoring the interviews included in In the Company of Women, a collection compiled by the founder of Design*Sponge, Grace Bonney. I’ve been crushing on the book for months, and so, I was over the moon with excitement when one of my best friends gifted it to me for Christmas, and, fortunately, it didn’t disappoint. Featuring over one hundred different entrepreneurs, artists, and designers {including some of my personal favorites like blogger Joy Cho, illustrator Julia Rothman, and the one miss Tavi Gevinson} of various backgrounds, races, and ages, the book touches upon a number of topics, everything from insight on the creative process to early business advice. I’m only about halfway through right now, but I have a feeling this is a book I’ll be turning to again and again. Have you read In the Company of Women?

[2] I love me a day trip, so I jumped at the chance to fit one in before my sister and I returned to school earlier this week. My family and I decided to visit Colt State Park, a gorgeous – and large! – park in Bristol, Rhode Island. As we’ve only previously gone to it in warmer weather {it’s where, in fact, my sister Lulu snapped my senior photos}, it was a refreshing change of pace – and gave us good reason to stop into the Beehive Cafe for a brownie and hot chocolate afterwards. I’ve decided to forgo the resolution making this year beyond choosing my annual word, but if 2017 brings more frequent, fun trips like this one, I’ll be a happy camper.

[3] Thirdly, friends, believe the hype: La La Land is as wonderful as promised. Set against the loud and vivid backdrop of Los Angeles, the film follows two artists: Mia, played by Emma Stone, who works on the Warner Bros. set while dreaming of starring in a movie of her own, and Sebastian, Ryan Gosling’s character, whose dreams of owning a jazz club have not yet met reality. My sister, my mom, and I caught it on Christmas day, and I was mesmerized from beginning, where it opens in song and dance on the highway, to the end, a testament to not only the work of the actors, but the director, composer, cinematographer, and production designer as well. I’d happily see it again, but in the meantime, I’ve been listening to the soundtrack on repeat and have been on the search for a copy of Damien Chazelle’s first movie, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench. Do you want to see La La Land?

[4] If there’s one thing to love about the winter weather {in addition to snow days, of course}, it’s the opportunity to hold many a movie night and television show marathon. Over my holiday break, my sister and I watched and caught up on a number of shows – This is Us or The Fosters, anyone? – but one of my new favorites is The Good Place, which first premiered on NBC in the fall. Starring Ted Danson and Kristen Bell, the show is whimsical and humorous take on the afterlife, in which you land in the “good” or “bad” place based on the sum of the actions you take in life. The stellar cast is supported by a team of brilliant writers, and after watching all ten episodes available in a matter of days, my sister and I have come to the same conclusion: if you need a laugh, The Good Place is the show to watch. Episodes only just yesterday started airing again, so if you too are looking to catch up, this weekend would be the perfect time.

[5] Finally, it’s from one holiday to the next at Boden, but I’m not one to complain: I adore so many pieces in their new spring line! Rolled out earlier this week, the collection plays well with color and pattern {for examples, I particularly like this swan-dotted dress and this quirky Breton} and, in many pieces, evokes a retro vibe {I think this sweater would look so cute with jeans come spring}. I won’t be purchasing anything so soon after Christmas, but I’ll have a few things to put my tutoring money towards later in the year :) Are you ready for a wardrobe change, or are you content with sweaters and layers for the next few months?

Have the most wonderful Friday!
Bella

Top Fifteen Debuts of 2017

Hello, and happy Tuesday!

Top Ten TuesdayI’m a broken record at this point, but The Top Ten Tuesdays around the new year are some of my favorites, as they provide an opportunity to look ahead to some of the year’s best releases, a chance I’ll gladly take advantage of, any time of year. I won’t dilly-dally much longer, as you surely know the drill by now: this week’s prompt is Top Debuts of 2017, this fun feature is hosted by the lovely bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish, and I’m curious: what debuts are you excited for?

one-of-us-is-lyingThe Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars? Karen M. McManus’ debut already had me interested with that comparison, a fact that held true as I read over the synopsis. One of Us is Lying sounds like the a perfect read for this mystery fan, with an unexpected murder, unreliable narrators, and juicy motives. Its May release date begs the question: what better graduation present than a new book? {out May 30}

how-to-break-a-boyComplex characters are my jam, and it sounds like the protagonist of Laurie Devore’s How to Break a Boy is a prime example. Olivia is a self-proclaimed “mean girl,” using manipulation – as in, have a fake boyfriend manipulation – in an effort to get back at her former best friend. I’ve already have this one on hold at my local library, because any revenge book makes an excellent snow day read. {out January 31}

youre-welcome-universeI’d read Whitney Gardner’s You’re Welcome Universe on its synopsis alone – there’s not nearly enough deaf representation in young adult books, and I’m not one to resist a story of a graffiti war – but that the author included illustrations throughout the book sealed the deal. Gardner’s art is lovely {pop over here for a perfect example} which means that we readers are in for a treat. {out March 7}

juniper-lemons-happiness-indexJulie Israel’s novel had me sold as soon as I heard the title, and that confetti-dotted, well-designed cover only added to my excitement. I have reason, however, to look forward to its release; the story follows Juniper on her search for a mysterious “you” after her sister dies, leading her to many a memorable character. In other words? It’s all the elements of a perfect contemporary novel. Sign me up. {out June 27}

the-education-of-margot-sanchezI like to think that coming-of-age novels are a Bella literary staple; I turn to them again and again, only because I find them so fun to read. The debut The Education of Margot Sanchez is one to add to the bunch this year, and the story sounds like a winner: Margot is grounded after stealing her father’s credit card and is forced to work in her family’s grocery store to pay back the money. Bonus points for the eye-catching cover. {out February 21}

speak-of-me-as-i-amLoss seems to be a recurring trend in this year’s batch of debuts, but I have no complaints: narratives that deal with the delicate subjects of death and grief provide emotionally-packed storylines like no other. Case in point: Sonia Belasco’s debut, Speak of Me as I Am, in which main characters Melanie and Damon bond over their respective losses and their roles in their school’s production of Othello. Yes and yes. {out April 4}

the-heartbeats-of-wing-jonesThere’s a number of areas in which the YA world is lacking, but one notable topic is sports. Where are the stories about teenage athletes? Katherine Webber’s The Heartbeats of Wing Jones aims to fill the void, its main character, Wing, joining her school’s track team after a tragic accident involving her brother. Who can say no to family dynamics and a healthy blend of heart and humor? Not me, that’s for sure. {out March 14}

rollAs for middle grade publications, there’s one novel I have my eye on: Roll, a sweet summer-set story about competitive pigeon rolling. Didn’t know such a hobby existed? Me either. Thankfully, first time author Darcy Miller has a description handy: it’s “a strange but awesome hobby that involves training a kit of birds to simultaneously somersault backward through the air while flying.” Color me intrigued. {out May 25}

girl-out-of-waterIt was only after I followed Laura Silverman on Twitter {she’s a gem, if you’d like to as well} that I realized her first novel, Girl Out of Water, was coming out this year. It’s a good thing, because my excitement over it – a story that blends first love, family troubles, and surfing – is growing by the day. It comes out in May, which I take to mean that a pre-order may be in order. {out May 1}

american-streetI can count on one hand the number of YA novels I’ve read that directly deal with immigration, a number far too small for an issue that is central to so many teenagers’ lives. Perhaps this is why I’m looking forward to the release of Ibi Zoboi’s American Street, a novel about a Haitian teen as she adjusts to America without the guidance of her mother. The premise alone has me thinking Zoboi will be an author to watch. (out February 14}

if-birds-fly-backHere in New England, I’m facing a few more months of snow and chilly weather, but Carlie Sorosiak’s debut, If Birds Fly Back, already has me thinking of summer. Realistic fiction at its finest, the novel follows main characters Linny and Sebastian as they fall for one another over their shared obsession for novelist and filmmaker Alvaro Herrera. It hits shelves in June, and needless to say, I can’t wait to grab my own copy. {out June 27}

done-dirt-cheapIt’s not everyday that you see a book, a debut no less, with as high and consistent of early praise as Sarah Nicole Lemon’s first book, Done Dirt Cheap, a fierce and gritty story that brings alive its southern landscape with main characters Tourmaline and Virginia. With reviewers promising lyrical prose and swoon worthy romance, you can be sure that this novel already has a place on my bookshelf. {out March 7}

city-of-saints-and-thievesI’m not as active on Twitter as I used to be, nor am I browsing as many blogs, but I still haven’t seen much chatter over Natalie C. Anderson’s debut. It’s a shame, because City of Saints & Thieves, a YA mystery set in Kenya, sounds incredible, taking its protagonist deep into her family history and plans for revenge. Its publication is mere weeks away, which means I’m all the closer to reading it myself. {out January 24}

when-dimple-met-rishiIf the cover of Sandhya Menon’s first book, When Dimple Met Rishi, doesn’t make you smile, I’m not sure what will. And if the premise doesn’t have you counting down the days until May, we need to chat. In all seriousness, Menon’s romantic contemporary, in which the main characters have been arranged to be married by their parents, has been  praised as “charming and sweet and funny.” What better combination than that? {out May 30}

the-hate-u-giveFinally, if there’s any one new release I – and others! – will be reading this year, it’s Angie Thomas’ highly-anticipated debut, The Hate U Give. The buzz is understandable: inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, it follows Starr after the murder of her best friend by the police in what is sure to be a powerful and compelling story. My only wish? That February didn’t feel so far away. {out February 28}

Have a terrific Tuesday!
Bella