A Year of Art in Historical Fiction! Announcement of author roster for the “Love of Art in Historical Fiction Series”

heartbookI’m thrilled to announce next Saturday begins the “Love of Art in Historical Fiction Series”, with an incredible roster of writers and their art-based books being featured throughout 2014 and into 2015. It is an august group of authors and a fascinating lineup of reads.

Again,the series (a continuation of the Historical Novel Society “Art in Historical Fiction Interview Series”) kicks off here next Saturday August 30!

Posting schedule for “Love of Art in Historical Fiction Series”

2014

August 30 Susan Vreeland, Lisette’s List (new release)
September 27 Anne Girard, Madame Picasso (new release)
October 25 Yves Fey, Floats the Dark Shadow
November 29 Mary F. Burns, The Spoils of Avalon (new release)
December 27 Kelly Jones, The Woman Who Heard Color

2015

January 31 Heather Webb, Rodin’s Lover (new release)
February 14 Lynn Cullen, Dear Mr. Washington (art/historical children’s book new release)
February 28 Alyson Richmond, The Mask Carver’s Son
March 28 Maureen Gibbon, Paris Red (new release)
April 25 Lisa Brukitt, The Memory of Scent
May 30 Lisa Barr, Fugitive Colors
June 27 Lynn Cullen, The Creation of Eve
July 25 Andromeda Romano-Lax, The Detour

If I may, I’d like to suggest that folks read the featured author’s book prior to or during the month the writer’s interview is posted, as it will deeply enrich the meaning of it, along with the selected artworks and images. Reading the novel before or during the author’s post month will also put one in a position to pose questions to the writer while their interview is highlighted: Take advantage of this contact!

(To receive the monthly post in your email inbox, sign-up for my blog, the subscribe box is near the top of the right hand side column here on my home page)

For the Love of Art in Historical Fiction!

For information about the series for readers and writers visit:  http://www.stephaniereneedossantos.com/about-art-in-fiction/

History of Portuguese Tile: the “Figura de Convite”

fdec stairway

Firstly, what is a “figura de convite“?

figura de convite is an invitation figure made of  *azulejos, tiles. They’re life-sized tile cut-out images of a finely dressed nobleman or lady, halberdiers or a footman that were affixed to walls at the entrances of palaces, on stair-landings, and patios to welcome visitors during the eighteenth century in Portugal and Brazil.

* “Azulejo” is the Portuguese term for a glazed tile. The word comes from Arabic الزليج  “al zulaycha” meaning little polished stone, and is not to be confused with “azul”, blue, which it is often mistaken. It is true that there are many blue azulejos, and that can explain the confusion, but, historically, the first glazed tiles that appeared on the Iberian peninsula, brought by the Muslim Moors in the thirteenth century, were glazed in mainly hunters green, burnt sienna, and mustard yellow.

coupleThe figura de convite appeared in Portugal around the year of 1720. The innovation was the first time in the history of tile fabrication that the medium deviated from the square composition and embraced the outline of the cut-out, thus opening up a new world of tile designs. Its creation is attributed to the master tile maker who went by the monogram PMP, and whose life story has been lost to history.There’s speculation that possibly the artist’s initials were those of Padre Manuel Pereira, a clergyman and patron to a large tile making workshop (shop name unknown) in Lisbon. His disciples are thought to have produced tiles for palaces and churches all over Portugal and Brazil. But there is no exacting evidence and secure proof that he really is or was the famous monogram PMP…it’s a mystery of art history.

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“Diamond Extraction” by Brazilian artist Carlos Julião 18th century watercolor

During the first part of the eighteenth century and up until “The Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755″, Portugal was at the pinnacle of its wealth and extravagance, arguably the richest European country during this time period, and all due to the gold and precious gem extraction from its colony, Brazil, and the slave trade from Africa.

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Around the year of 1730, yellow detail work began appearing in the figures, mimicking the use of gold thread being used in cloth embroidery work, demonstrating the vast amounts of gold coming into Portugal from Brazil. It was also around this time that the powdered wig hairstyles of the figures began to visibly shift to a less showy display, recording the period’s shifting tastes.

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Innovations of the figura de convite was ongoing with figures like this Roman centurion (left) and rare musical duo with a wiry dog (right).

"Enter My Lordship"

“Come in your Lordship”

Words of greeting were sometimes incorporated into the compositions, like this fellow whose beckoning:  “Come in your Lordship”. The art form of tile making flourished in Portugal during the eighteenth century with the country’s peerless affluence, and produced one of the greatest world-wide advancements in tile making: the figura de convite. 

two mock book jackets

Two “mock” book jacket ideas for CUT FROM THE EARTH

The figura de convite is one of the artwork highlights in my forthcoming art-based historical novel Cut From the Earth, a story of Portuguese tile and its surprising makers — The Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 — and the wisdom of nature to guide heal.

Art in Historical Fiction Interview Series featuring Alicia Foster

warpaintThis is week nine of the “Art in Historical Fiction Interview Series”, and the last post at the Historical Novel Society. From here on out the series will continue here on my blog.This week’s featured author is Alicia Foster of Warpaint, a story of secrets, subterfuge, betrayal, lies, manipulation, and the female artists that are called upon to outmaneuver the opposition in its many concealed forms during WWII in Britain. Enter the world of clandestine propaganda projects, and women painters working on the Home Front to rally the “bulldog spirit”…you’ll be surprised to learn what is really going on behind-the-scenes…  

Click here to read!

Call for Submissions: “Love of Art in Historical Fiction Series”

heartbookAll the author interviews have posted for the “Art in Historical Fiction Interview Series” at the Historical Novel Society website.The series has been hugely well-received by readers. Because of its popularity, and at the request from readers for its continuation, plus the fact there are so many excellent art-based books and authors who weren’t part of the two-month series and new releases yet to debut, I’ve decided to carry on the interviews here via my blog.

The last Sunday of each month I will feature an author with a succinct book review and interview, along with supporting artwork images.

If you have an already published or soon-to-be-released historical novel with an art tie-in that you’d like featured, please email me at stephaniereneedossantos@ gmail.com to learn how to become part of the continuing series.

Submissions are ongoing and open to all Indie, small press, and traditionally published novels and authors.

Again, this is a continuation of the June & July, 2014 “Art in Historical Fiction Interview Series” at the Historical Novel Society, running under the new name:

“Love of Art in Historical Fiction Series”

For the love of art in historical fiction!

Art in Historical Fiction Interview Series featuring Cathy Marie Buchanan

the painted girls USIt’s week eight of the “Art in Historical Fiction Interview Series”, with one more author interview to debut on the Historical Novel Society website. This week’s feature author is Cathy Marie Buchanan of the bestseller The Painted Girls. It is a story of struggle, sisterhood, art of Degas, and the Paris Opéra. Buchanan has brought to life the unexposed shadows of the glittering grand Belle Époque era in Paris, exposing a tarnished world hidden behind glamorous stages and exquisite works of art.

Click here to read!

Art in Historical Fiction Interview Series featuring Stephanie Cowell

paperback coverIt’s week seven of the “Art in Historical Fiction Interview Series”, with two more fascinating interviews waiting in the wings for the upcoming Saturdays. This week’s feature author is Stephanie Cowell of Claude & Camille, the deeply touching story of French painter Claude Monet, his lifelong love of Camille Doncieux, and the Impressionists. This novel is art, passion, obsession, struggle — life. Cowell’s writing is fluid and beautiful like Monet’s water lily paintings, this is an endearing read, a story that left me in tears.

Click here to read!

“Yoga for Writers” at the Historical Novel Society London 2014 Conference

kundalini-chakras

* As of 7/21/2014 the “Yoga for Writers” workshop has been replaced with a panel talk “Art and Artist in Historical Fiction” which I am also part of. If and when, a slot opens at the conference to resume the yoga workshop I’ll let everyone know. ~ Namaste!

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be leading an hour workshop “Yoga for Writers” on Sunday, September 7, from 11:00-12:00 am at the upcoming Historical Novel Society London 2014 Conference.

At the workshop, I’ll be sharing some of the obscure esoteric history of yoga, along with guiding writers through a sequence of poses to ease tensions in the body and mind, with the intention of creating the internal type of space that creativity likes to manifest into: calm, relaxed and centered.

Make sure to wear comfortable clothes, ones you can easily bend and move in. Also, bring your yoga mat if you have one or a towel.

Namaste. See you there!

Click here to see the conference program schedule.

 

Art in Historical Fiction Interview Series featuring Maryanne O’Hara

CWe are now in week six of our interview series at the Historical Novel Society. This week’s feature author is Maryanne O’Hara of the acclaimed novel Cascade. With tension on every page, this story of a 1930′s female painter who faces hard life choices to pursue her artistic dreams as her town faces extinction, stirs deeply one’s empathy and enlightens on the costs to create.

Click here to read

 

 

Cascade was just chosen as the Boston Globe’s 2014 Summer Book Club read! Join the disscusion: http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/books/book_club

 

Art in Historical Fiction Interview Series featuring Alana White

my_cover Alana coverIt’s already week five of the Historical Novel Society “Art in Historical Fiction Interview Series”! This week’s feature author is Alana White and her historical mystery, THE SIGN OF THE WEEPING VIRGIN. The novel is set during the Italian Renaissance with a weeping painting at the center of the intrigue!

Learn about a real hidden poem found recently in a fresco, and many more fascinating details!

Click here to read!

The Artist’s Call, the Writer’s Calling

art of books“The Artist’s Call, the Writer’s Calling” debuted in the Historical Novel Review, issue 68, May 2014. There is a online reprint of the story available at the Historical Novel Society website for society members. I was inspired to write this article after an engaging exchange between author Susan Vreeland and I on the subject of art in fiction in the fall of 2013. I had visited her author Goodreads page and was deeply moved by a post, “Art in Fiction Part I”. A must read.

We are now midway through the online follow-up series “Art in Historical Fiction Interview Series” at the Historical Novel Society,featuring each author who contributed to the print story.

For the love of Art in Fiction! Join Facebook group: Love of Art in Fiction