Books: fabric and other art

Where books and reading are concerned, this is one of those split-personality times. On my dad's oak drafting stool, where I usually keep my library books, is a pile of quilting books, a couple of books on handcrafted fabric gifts, and the big thick Martha Stewart book on fabric arts. I had such fun sewing and quilting our Christmas gifts this past year, I'm already looking for inspiration for next year.

On top of the stack is the next novel on my list, John Sandford's "Storm Front." I'll get to it soon. I got a little sidetracked by the autobiography of Ann and Nancy Wilson, called "Kicking and Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll." I picked it up off the Choice Reads shelves at the library, and I'm completely hooked.

My other pile of books is on the floor, leaning up against the mission oak cabinet, anchored by my dad's stool. It's a collection of a dozen books on watercolor painting. I've yet to put brush to paper, but I've browsed through dozens of books, and have identified the style of watercolor I most admire (and hope to master one day). My favorite landscape painters are both British: Geoff Kersey and David Bellamy. Their books are wonderful, and they both have websites (and both have painting tutorials, to help inspire other would-be painters.

Besides these artists, I also take inspiration from my friend, Linda. She picked up a brush a couple of years ago and jumped right into acrylics, and has painted some beautiful landscapes. Each time I visit her, I come home ready to try. Lately I've been carrying a sketchbook with me, and although drawing isn't my strong suit, the practice is giving me confidence to think there might actually be an artist somewhere inside me.

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