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art supplies#smileaday Scrap Exchange.

If you've never been to Scrap Exchange, it can be hard to understand what it is. Part recycling center, part thrift store, part artist's refuge, it's a store in Durham, North Carolina, USA. It's both chaotic and well organized. You never know what you're going to find there. Disparate objects are in bins and barrels and you sort through to find what you want to buy.

I was there with my daughters today, which is a triple delight: awesome store + two awesome daughters. The eldest needed some supplies for a project for her Interior Design class, things like fabric swatches, buttons, paint samples, etc. The youngest just loves to be there. A fourth bonus is that *both* my daughters love this place. It can be really hard to find one thing to do that genuinely pleases both an 11 year old and a 19 year old. But we could all wander the aisles digging through fascinating objects and letting our imaginations run wild for days.

http://scrapexchange.org/
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 #smileaday Fresh starts (new covers!)
 
If you've been following my publishing story, then you already know that I asked for and was granted the rights to my Menopausal Superhero novels from my previous publisher AND that I've signed with a new publisher: Falstaff Books. 
 
Today was a big day in that I got to see the latest iterations of my new covers. A cover can make or break a book's chances for sales, so this is no small thing. And I'm really really lucky in that this publisher is willing to listen to my opinions and give me a strong say in the final product. 
 
I did really like my old covers. They were vibrant, eye-catching, and simple (in a good way). They were, however, a little off-tone for the content, perhaps leading readers to expect a mostly comedic book instead of superheroic women's fiction with comedic moments. So, this move to a new publisher was the perfect time for a re-brand. 
 
We're not quite ready to show them yet, so I'm just going to give a sneak peek here, the bit of each cover that shows the title. I can't wait to unveil these babies to the world! 
new covers
samanthabryant: feeling purple (Default)
 I love spending time in an art museum, but I don't go as often as I'd like. The better art museum in my area is just far enough from home that it isn't a casual trip to go there. And there's always the struggle of timing and schedules to get someone to go with. 

But today was my day. My mom (art degree) and daughter (attended art school) were gung ho about the Georgia O'Keefe exhibit at North Carolina Museum of Art. I twisted my other daughter's arm a bit (she likes making art more than looking at it and talking about it). My husband, who doesn't always get to do these things with me thanks to work schedules, and my daughter's boyfriend rounded out the group. So much fun. Such a great show!

The exhibit showcased some of O'Keefe's pieces alongside work by other artists who were inspired in some way by her or by her work. They had at least one O'Keefe to represent most of her common motifs: flowers, bleached bones, skyscrapers, swirls. 

I found two new to me artists to admire. 

Cynthia Daignault

This piece took up an entire long wall. It was made of 360 smaller paintings. The effect was amazing, but I think I was even more impressed by the magnitude of the project. Cynthia Daignault traveled the entire border of the United States (around the whole thing), stopping every 25 miles to take a photograph. Then, she made a small scale painting of each stop. As I viewed the wall (and I sat in front of this one a good, long while), my eye bumped across randomly, catching patterns like blue houses, and also followed smoothly and tried to guess her path from views. Quite a view of America. 

The other one was Negar Ahkami. 

Negar Ahkami

These paintings were so layered, they almost felt like mosaics. The acryllic paint was applied thickly, in layers and things like nail polish and glitter were used in some, which pleased my younger daughter who also likes non traditional art supplies. The coloration in the one I left largest in my image reminded me of Asian vases you see in museums, those gorgeous blues swirling over white. At the same time, there was something of the tentacle in the swoops that form the island and something of Taj Mahal and the like in the round dome of the "building." The mixture of Muslim stars and Stars of David in the background brought me back to a cathedral I saw somewhere in Spain when I was younger.  And the whole things was so vibrant and alive. 

So glad I got to go while this show was still here. 

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Samantha J Bryant

March 2019

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