Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson’s great novel for young readers, sprang from a single sheet drawing he made while spending an afternoon with his stepson Lloyd in the summer of 1881. They were living in Scotland at the time, and a summer rain had confined Lloyd to the house. He spent that time in • Read More »
How can we know what something or some location looked like 200 or 300 years ago? If some master painter depicted someone or something and it hung in a museum, gallery, or collection, that would be one means. Usually, these works were done in oil and took much time and training to complete. Consequently, they • Read More »
Louisa May Alcott, The Times of London, Dostoyevsky, and a few presidents here and there: newsletter, June 1, 2018June 4, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: newsletter.
This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (3,086) on June 1, 2018 America’s Memorial Day weekend had us looking back for many good reasons this week. Those memories were mixed with some rain here in East Tennessee that has the garden growing like crazy. Beans, potatoes, okra, peas, and buckwheat. Thanks • Read More »
Farewell, Philip Roth; Mencken on the language; how we got Sherlock, and more: newsletter, May 25, 2018May 28, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, journalism, newsletter, writers, writing.
This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (3,081) on May 25, 2018 Thanks to all who wrote or commented on Facebook about the dulcimer that I made and showed off in last week’s newsletter. I am going to start on another one before long. Sadly, for the second week in a • Read More »
Tags: Arthur Conan Doyle, Claude Monet, dulcimer, Eugene Delacrois, Goodbye Columbus, H.L. Mencken, impressionists, J.M.W. Turner, Matthew Rosza, Philip Roth, Project Gutenberg, Saalon.com, Sherlock Holmes, The American Language, urban sketchers, watercolor, William H. Seward
The man who wanted every book; the quintessential English detective; and the first American crime novel; and morenewsletter May 18, 2018May 21, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: newsletter.
This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,644) on May 18, 2018 A summer head cold attacked me this week, making life miserable for a few days, but I tried not to let it slow me down too much. The major woodworking project that I mentioned last week was completed and • Read More »
Tags: dulcimer, Ernest Hemingway, Hernando Colon, Jack Whicher, Jean Ritchie, Kate Summerscale, LeRoy Lad Panek, libraries, Mary Wollstonecraft, Metta Victoria Fuller Victor, Rita Mae Brown, Saville Kent, The Dead Letter, The New Journalism, The Origins of the American Detective Story, The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, Tom Wolfe, watercolor, woodworking
Martin Luther, Isaac Asimov, and the value of libraries; 50-plus true-crime books; and more; newsletter, April 27, 2018April 30, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: newsletter.
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (4,067) on Friday, April 20, 2018. Finally, the crimson clover has started to bloom (about a month late, due mostly to cold weather). Agriculturally, that’s the big event in our lives this week. The bees have started to work the clover, and now, maybe, the • Read More »
Tags: A Higher Loyalty, Andrew Pettegree, Ann Rule, Blount County Public Library, Bookriot.com, Brand Luther, Fatal Vision, Isaac Asimov, James Comey, Joe McGinnis, Katie McLain, libraries, Library of Congress, Martin Luther, The Stranger Beside Me, Thomas Jefferson, watercolor, writer-in-residence
These drawings come from a watercolor class that I am taking at the local community college (Pellissippi State) this semester. They were executed in about an hour and a half. The main point of these drawings was for me to learn something about “hot press” paper. In watercolor there are three kinds of paper: • Read More »
Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;/ .
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;/ .
It pounded on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,/
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.
Buildings and structures are among my favorite subjects when I paint with watercolors. Part of the reason for that has to be that when I was learning watercolors, I was teaching at the University of Alabama (where I spent 25 years of my career). That campus has to be one of the prettiest in the • Read More »
New biography of Agatha Christie; loving alliteration; remembering the Sabbath; newsletter March 16, 2018March 19, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: newsletter.
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (4,088) on Friday, March 16, 2018. Hi, [FIRST NAME GOES HERE] Lots of readers have reacted to lots of different things in previous newsletters, and I include many of those reactions in this week’s missive. I have said this many times: I love hearing from you on • Read More »
Tags: Agatha Christie, Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life, Albert Einstein, alliteration, Blount County courthouse, Exodus, George Frederick Handel, Hallelujah Chorus, InkyFool.com, Laura Thompson, Mark Forsyth, Sabbath, The Elements of Eloquence, The First Family, The Gifts of the Jews, Thomas Cahill, Vaughn Meader, watercolor, William Shakespeare
Shakespeare’s appearance, Eleanor’s mastery, and Cronkite’s broadcast – plus a new book giveaway: newsletter, March 2, 2018March 5, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | 2 Comments | Filed in: journalism, newsletter, watercolor, writing.
One of the seminal events in America’s long involvement in Vietnam occurred 50 years ago this past week. CBS newscaster Walter Cronkite — often called “the most trusted man in America” — narrated a prime-time documentary that called into question the American government’s rosy predictions about the war’s progress. Cronkite did not come out against the war. Rather, he said:
Tags: Chandos portrait., Dec. 7 1941, Eleanor Roosevelt, First Family of Radio, Franklin Roosevelt, Hot Stove League, MacBeth, Mark Bowden, New York Times, portraits of Shakespeare, radio, Samuel Johnson, The Guardian, Vietnam, Walter Cronkite, watercolor, Wesbster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, William Shakespeare
A name for this newsletter; more on Shakespeare; the lost eloquence of the sports page: newsletter, Feb. 23, 2018February 26, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | 1 Comment | Filed in: newsletter.
Vince’s first novel is titled Paperboy, and it’s the story of a boy growing up in Memphis who has a stutter. Vince himself is a stutterer, and the story rings true on every page. The novel was a Newberry Honor Award winner, and the Washington Post said: “[Vawter’s] characterization of Little Man feels deeply authentic, with . . . his fierce desire to be ‘somebody instead of just a kid who couldn’t talk right.”
Tags: Betty Friedan, caricature, caricatures, Copyboy, Damon Runyon, Eleanor Roosevelt, Four Horsemen, Franklin Roosevelt, Grantland Rice, Jimmy Cannon, Maxine Wayman, Newberry Honor Award, Notre Dame, Paperboy, Point Spread, Ring Lardner, Shakespeare's effect on the language, sports journalism, sports page, sports writing, The Feminine Mystique, Thomas Paine, Vince Vawter, watercolor, William Shakespeare
Leonardo’s journals; eyewitness to the biggest event of the first century; football art and the First Amendment; newsletter Feb. 9, 2018February 12, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, newsletter, writing.
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (3,317) on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Hi, This has been The Week of Interesting Things for me. Most of my weeks could take that moniker, but this one seemed especially full. I try to put a lot of interesting things I find into the newsletter, but I • Read More »
Tags: A Word a Day, alphabet, Cades Cove, crimes against English, Daniel Moore, First Amendment, football, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Langston Hughes, Leonardo da Vinci, Leonardo's journals, lost letters, Mt. Vesuvius, Pliny the Younger, redundancy, University of Alabama, Walter Isaacson, watercolor
Painting a subject more than one, especially within a short span of time, is not my usual thing.
But this was different. I wanted to test out three color approaches, and I wanted to do it with a landscape that would not be too difficult to render. So here’s the result:
Moore discovered a gold mine for his artwork in 1979 when he produced “The Goal Line Stand,” a photo-realistic oil painting of the moments when Alabama prevented Penn State from scoring in the Sugar Bowl.
Another painting giveaway; Amazon gift cards; Pliny the Younger, Rome’s great eyewitness reporter; newsletter, Feb. 2, 2018February 5, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, newsletter, watercolor, writers, writing.
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (4,222) on Friday, February 2, 2018. Hi, I watched a super moon, a blood moon, and a lunar eclipse this week. Not as spectacular as the solar eclipse we saw last summer but still pretty phenomenal. Nature has its moments — many of them, in fact, if we would • Read More »
Tags: Amazon gift card, ancient Rome, Be Our Valentine gift card, blood moon, crimes against English, first century, first non-Jewish description of Christinaity, In the Dark, Jacob Wetterling, lunar eclipse, Madeleine Baran, Mount Vesuvius, painting giveaway, Pliny the Younger, Pliny the Younger beer, podcasts, real crime, redundancies, redundancy, science fiction, scoop, second century, Super Bowl, super moon, true crime podcasts, Ursula Le Guin, watercolor, We’ll need writers who can remember freedom
The first real-life private eye; Neil Sheehan; more crimes against English; newsletter, Jan. 26, 2018January 29, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: newsletter.
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email (4,302) list on Friday, January 26, 2018. Hi, Unseasonably warm weather in East Tennessee last weekend allowed us to check on the beehives, and I am happy to report that both of my hives have bees! This is good news. The biggest challenge a beekeeper has • Read More »
Tags: A Bright and Shining Lie, American Public Media, crimes against English, Dashiell Hammett, Edgar Allan Poe, Eugene Francois Vidocq, In the Dark, John Donne, Madeleine Baran, Murders at the Rue Morgue, Neil Sheehan, New York Times, paintings, Raymond Chandler, redundancies, redundancy, Robert Parker, Ross Macdonald, sketch artists, Sue Grafton, true crime, true crime podcasts, UMCOR, watercolor
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (4,379) on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. Hi, Winter has settled in in a big way in my part of the world. Plenty of time for indoor activities, the most important of which is reading. But that’s not the only one. Some writing and some painting • Read More »
Tags: caricatures, Charles McGrath, crimes against English, Dashiell Hammett, Dirty John, Lew Archer, Lincoln-Douglas debates, New York Times, Philip Roth, Phillip Marlowe, podcasts, private detective, private eye, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, Sam Spade, The Plot Against America, true crime podcasts, verbs, watercolor, writing life
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (4,500) on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. Special note: If you have unsubscribed to this list previously, I apologize for this email. I had some problems with the list over the past couple of weeks — due mainly to my incompetence — and some unsubscribers may have • Read More »
Tags: Alabama, Atlanta child murders, Atlanta Monster, baseball, Bear Bryant, crimes against English, detective fiction, English spellings, Georgia, J.D. Salinger, JPROF.com, lectern, libel, mystery, Noah Webster, Payne Lindsey, podium, private detective, private eye, public figure, Raymond Chandler, spelling, spring training, Sue Grafton, Tenderfoot TV, The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye, U.S. Supreme Court, Up and Vanished, Victoria Comella, Wally Butts, watercolor