Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Preview Shelf -- Jerry Smith's New Book

Art is a popular subject in Montgomery County, as a curriculum in our schools, practiced in businesses and studios, and produced by individuals in many ways. Jerry Smith, whose Green Street Gallery is a favorite destination in downtown Crawfordsville, has issued a new book called "Common Ground", dedicated to his children and grandchildren and to their love of nature and the land. He explains his lifelong love of art and shows his acrylics, watercolors, and oils in his chapters named Hoosier Roots, Water, Snow, Studies, Sketches and Small Paintings, Seacoast, Diversions and New Directions, Flowers, Still Life, Ireland's Dingle Peninsula, and England and Wales. You'll see how hard it is to settle on a favorite painting. This book exudes peace, beauty, and color. His "How To Paint Expressive Landscapes in Acrylic" issued in 2005, is also in the Crawfordsville District Public Library's collection. Other new books about art begin with Jonathan Lopez' "The Man Who Made Vermeers" the legend of master forger Han van Meegeren. "The Forger's Spell" by Edward Dolnick tells the story of Vermeer, Nazis, and the greatest art hoax of the twentieth century. "The Art and Colour of General Motors" provides essays edited by Jonathan Stein on the history of the company's design department from 1927 to the present, showing models including the Corvette, Camaro, and the once-ubiquitous tail fin, the final illustration (prophetic?) being a yellow 2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP. "The Complete Book of Woodcarving" by Everett Ellenwood begins with a history of the craft, followed by colored instructions for many kinds of shapes. Tony Dungy's "Uncommon" discusses what it takes to live a life of significance. In his book "Culture Making" Andy Crouch calls Christians to make culture instead of criticizing it or just consuming or condemning it. He describes the valuable life as one that participates in always-better ideas from the Bible. Thomas Howard's "Dove Descending" studies T. S. Eliot's "Four Quartets". "A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards", the brilliant Colonial theologian, missionary, college president, family man and philosopher, is research by George Marsden. Candy Harrington's "Barrier-Free Travel" is a full guide to going here and there when you need special physical help; it gives accurate and up-to-date advice about planes, trains, buses and ships. There are three significant biographies: Jim Mann's "The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan" a history of the end of the Cold War, "Flannery" Brad Gooch's life of Flannery O'Connor "whose books will live on and on in American literature", and "Let Me Stand Alone" the journal of Rachel Corrie, a charming, busy, State of Washington native and creative writer featuring her growing up years; she was killed at 23, trying to block the demolition of a Palestinian family's home in the Gaza Strip. There's new fiction. "World's Tallest Woman" by Rita Rose is a novel based on the real-life experiences of Sandy Allen, who graduated from Shelbyville High School. Earlene Fowler's "Love Mercy" explores "the knots in family ties" through the experiences of a grandmother estranged from her grandchildren. "While My Sister Sleeps" by Barbara Delinsky fastens on the unique and emotionally complex world of siblings when one of them suffers a life-threatening experience. A couple's supposedly safe adoption of a baby is threatened by the birth father in "Three Weeks to Say Goodbye" by C. J. Box.

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