Saturday, June 12, 2021
Friday, June 11, 2021
Thursday, June 10, 2021
The book is divided into sections based on the parts of plants. There are chapters on drawing roots, stems, leaves, flowers and fruit. As is usual with these types of guide books the author has three introductory chapters on materials an artist can use, color theory, drawing from life and from photographs and the basic forms from which plants can be drawn. While there are color plates of completed drawings, there are more black and white drawings and they show the structures in more detail. Much seems to be lost when an artist uses color. Each chapter has a drawing class and a master class that the reader can follow to help them create more authentic drawings.
I had never given much thought before to the roots of plants. Seeing how they work, develop and spread only enhances the rest of the plants look in a drawing. How the root spreads changes what the rest of the plant looks like. At the end of the roots chapter there is a drawing class section that shows the artist how to use the negative space and create volume.
I have always thought that the stems and leaves in my drawings were pretty good. However, seeing microscopic photos of them shows that there are underlying colors present in them. I never noticed this before and I should probably be doing more layering of color to produce an accurate rendition of the plants. There are many forms of leaves shown in black and white drawings that I was not aware of and adding these to my drawings will enhance the diversity of my plant subjects. Seeing these drawings brings out my creativity and I want to get out my pencils and start drawing.
Botany For The Artist is a fantastic guide for the botanical artist. 5 out of 5 stars.
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
Friday, June 4, 2021
1928: In British-ruled India, headstrong Sita longs to choose her own path, but her only destiny is a good marriage. After a chance meeting with a Crown Prince leads to a match, her family's status seems secured and she moves into the palace, where peacocks fill the gardens and tapestries adorn the walls. But royal life is far from simple, and her failure to provide an heir makes her position fragile. Soon Sita is on the brink of losing everything, and the only way to save herself could mean betraying her oldest friend.2000: When Priya's marriage ends in heartbreak, she flees home to India and the palace where her grandmother, Sita, once reigned as Queen. But as grandmother and granddaughter grow closer, Priya has questions. Why is Sita so reluctant to accept her royal status ended with independence? And who is the mysterious woman who waits patiently at the palace gates day after day? Soon Priya uncovers a secret Sita has kept for years - and will change the shape of her life forever.
Thursday, June 3, 2021
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Empire of Pain details the Sackler family's pharmaceutical businesses. The Sacklers have given us librium, valium, oxycontin as well as the antiseptic betadine and the laxative senotkot. From the language that the author has used, it is obvious that this book was intended not just to ruin the family name (which they did a good job of themselves) but to show that the opioid epidemic in the U. S. was directly caused by the use of oxycontin. However, "gaps" in the meticulously researched expose speak loudly.
Another one of Arthur's ideas was to take a product and advertise it as not just being for the main purpose it was created for but also to broaden its functions so that more people would want to buy the product. Arthur was a master advertiser. He was taking over the advertising for companies when he was still in high school. With the Sacklers being involved in pharmaceuticals, they were steering people toward drugs that were created for patients with severe pain even though their pain might be considered slight or moderate. These company strategies were later determined to be criminal and resulted in the company's downfall.
The author performed meticulous research. He read every document in every lawsuit of which the family was a part. The author's premise that oxycontin was the sole cause of the opioid epidemic does not hold water. He shows how those people prone to addiction and those who were already addicted to other drugs became addicted to oxycontin. However, he does not cite any data that shows that all people with chronic pain became addicted. This was the family's defense. Many patients with chronic pain from identifiable conditions shown on x-rays and MRIs could not be shown to be addicted. Given that the author researched every single document on Purdue Pharma it is suspicious to me that there was no study showing this to be true. The author always refers to specific documents to prove his point. However, he sidetracked on this point and I can only surmise that is because there is no evidence to the contrary.
A big part why family members behaved the way they did was due to their overwhelming wealth. The second and third generations grew up with no boundaries and no real concern for how well they performed in school or how well they performed their jobs in the company. If a problem arose concerning reports of addiction from oxycontin use, they simply ignored it because it was not in their interest.
Empire of Pain is a great resource for readers who want to learn the details about the oxycontin problem. I highly recommend it. 5 out of 5 stars.