Category Archives: Guests

Guest Post: “Pygmalion and Galatea” by Jean-Léon Gérôme from The Joy of Museums


Thank you to The Joy of Museums for this guest article about Pygmalion and Galatea. What happens when a sculptor falls in love with his work?



Pygmalion and Galatea by Jean-Léon Gérôme

“Pygmalion and Galatea” by Jean-Léon Gérôme features the story from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, where the sculptor Pygmalion kisses his ivory statue Galatea, after the goddess, Aphrodite has brought her to life. In Ovid’s narrative, Pygmalion was a Cypriot sculptor who carved a woman out of ivory. Galatea  “she who is milk-white” is the name of the statue carved by Pygmalion. His figure was so beautiful and realistic that he fell in love with it. On Aphrodite’s festival day, Pygmalion made offerings at the altar of Aphrodite, and he made a wish. When he returned home, he kissed his ivory statue and found that its lips felt warm. Aphrodite had granted Pygmalion’s request; the ivory sculpture changed to a woman with Aphrodite’s (or Venus’ the Roman equivalent) blessing.

Jean-Léon Gérôme was a French painter and sculptor, and his oeuvre included historical paintings, Greek mythology, Orientalism and portraits in the academic painting tradition. In 1891 Gérôme made a marble sculpture of Pygmalion and Galatea, based on a plaster version he used as a model for the painting. He made several alternative versions of this painting, each presenting the subject from a different angle.


  • Have you seen sculpture so lifelike that it seemed about to move?
  • Is the Pinocchio story a variant of this theme?
  • Is Shaw’s play Pygmalion a modern variant of the myth with a subtle hint of feminism?
  • The Pygmalion story has been the subject of notable paintings and poems. Which is your favourite?

Pygmalion and Galatea

  • Title:                    Pygmalion and Galatea
  • Artist:                  Jean-Léon Gérôme
  • Year:                    1890
  • Type:                   Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:      35 x 27 in. (88.9 x 68.6 cm)
  • Museum:            Metropolitan Museum of Art – MET

Jean-Léon Gérôme

  • Artist:                Jean-Léon Gérôme
  • Born:                 1824 – Vesoul, Haute-Saône, France
  • Died:                  1904 (aged 79) – Paris, France
  • Nationality:      French
  • Movement:       Academicism, Orientalism
  • Notable works:


“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” Michelangelo


Guest Post: Using Amazon Categories to Sell More Books by Peggy Sansevieri

Guest Post: Using Amazon Categories to Sell More Books by Peggy Sansevieri

Thank you to Peggy Sansevieri for this fascinating book marketing article which previously appeared on Writers in the Storm.

By now most authors know the importance of choosing great keywords on Amazon, but Amazon’s categories are equally important. Choosing the right categories can boost your exposure. And exposure drives book sales.

So, while it’s good to spend a lot of time focusing on keywords, you should also focus on finding narrow categories on Amazon. The reason to look narrow is this: categories with fewer books have lower competition for the #1 spot. And the top ten is a great place to hit, not only because it creates more visibility for your book, but Amazon’s algorithms kick in as you start to spike within categories.

Books 3

The BIG Secret about Amazon Categories

When speaking to a contact at Amazon recently, she told me they had rolled out ten categories for each book. Which means that instead of just two categories, you can have up to ten for each of your titles. Why is this good? Well, the more categories your book has, the more places it will show up. And because you have more flexibility now, you can pick some super niche categories, along with less niche ones. This is especially good in markets where there aren’t a ton of niches. Business books often sit in this segment. Having more categories levels the playing field a bit more.

How to Choose the Right Categories

First, when I talk about Amazon categories (and in previous posts I’ve done for this blog), you’ve probably noticed that I always refer to the eBook side of Amazon. This is because the categories on the eBook side are more creative because there are more of them.

To continue reading this article, click here.

Guest Post: Why You Should Read About Writing by Kelsie Engen

Guest Post: Why You Should Read About Writing by Kelsie Engen

This article previously appeared on A Writer’s Path.

The moment you think you know everything about writing, that’s the moment your writing plateaus.

Last week I talked about why writers should read voraciously. But that was a post focused on fiction. You know, reading in the genre you write. For instance, if you write fantasy, you ought to be familiar with fantasy and read it near daily.

But writers are, first and foremost, readers, and while it’s useful to read any fiction we can get our hands on . . .

Shouldn’t writers also read about writing?



Surprisingly, there are some people who don’t think writers should read about writing. (Or maybe they just find it boring.)

I mean, isn’t it kind of like reading about work or talking shop? Well . . . yeah. But there’s a reason we’re assigned reading in school, and there’s a reason that people “talk shop”: it’s how we’re taught new skills, understand what we’re doing wrong, how others do it right (or wrong), and why we aren’t good enough–yet.

Many of us writers never went to school for writing. Sure, we may have written the required essays in high school English class, or wrote a required short story in elementary school, all that jazz. But most writers these days don’t take the educational route and go to college and get a creative writing degree or an MFA in literature. Instead, today’s authors may study “literature” naturally through their independent reading and learn quite a bit. But at some point in your writing journey, you need a teacher. And that’s what books on writing do.

Person reading on a kindle james-tarbotton-367

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” ― Ernest Hemingway, The Wild Years

1. You learn new skills.

Most obviously, the first reason you should read about writing is to learn something new. Even if you’ve been writing for twenty years, you may not have learned much about structure. Or you may not have learned exactly when to use a semi-colon, or you may not have learned how to write a short story.

All those things can strengthen whatever writing you do. Don’t assume you know it all–you never will.

“A person who won’t read has no advantage over one can’t read.” ― Mark Twain

Language is fluid, ever-changing. It’s something that we can always continue to learn, and always continue to improve.

To read the rest of the article, click here.


Guest Post: Happy Father’s Day by Kathy Temean

Guest Post: Happy Father’s Day by Kathy Temean

A big ARHtistic License thank you to Kathy Temean for this wonderful collection of illustrations of dads and kids, which appeared last Father’s Day on her website, Writing and Illustrating.


Hope you enjoy the illustrations and your day.

Christugeau Dad12

ANA OCHOA –  Represented by CATugeau:


Melissa Iwai – by CATugeau:




HOLLY HATAM – Represented by CATugeau:


Christugeau Dad13

PATRICE BARTON –  Represented by CATugeau:


Christugeau Dad4

NINA MATA – Represented by CATugeau:


Christugeau Dad5

CONSTANZE VON KITZING –  Represented by CATugeau:


Christugeau Dad14

ANN IOSA – Represented by CATugeau:


Christugeau Dad8

IRENE CHAN –  Represented by CATugeau:


Christugeau Dad3

LESLEY BREEN-WITHROW – Represented by CATugeau:



Francesca D’Ottavi – Represented by Chris Wilkinson:


Christugeau Dad7

PRISCILLA BURRIS – Represented by CATugeau:

Christugeau Dad11

SHEARRY MALONE –  Represented by CATugeau:


Christugeau Dad10

KELLY KENNEDY –  Represented by CATugeau:



Susan Batori –  Represented by Good Illustration:


dad walking to school no text

Roger Roth –  www,  Represented by Fiona Kenshole Transatlantic Agency:

MARIA MOLA – Represented by T2 Children’s Illustrators –

happy father's day2015-Kathy

ANA OCHOA –  Represented by CATugeau:

Enjoy your day, Dads!

Talk tomorrow,


Guest Post: Instructions for Painting a Watercolor Galaxy by Holly Mitchell


Thank you to Holly Mitchell for this terrific tutorial. You can see more of her work on her blog, ThreeSixFiveArt.

Holly Mitchell Galaxies

Paintings and photo by Holly Mitchell

I wanted to see how the EEM handmade paints work in galaxy paintings. I used Tia and Burnt Sienna for the centers, and used Daniel Smith’s indigo for the rest.

I started by taping my watercolor paper to a board and taping off the edges. I dipped a small (cheap) paintbrush in dishwashing liquid, wiped off the excess, then dipped it into masking fluid.  The soap protects the bristles… without that step, the masking fluid will ruin the brush. Don’t use a nice brush, as it may ruin it anyway. I then tapped it against my finger to spray tiny droplets of masking fluid across the paper.

To read the rest of this article, click here.

Guest Post: “The Sleeping Gypsy” by Henri Rousseau (from Joy of Museums)


Thank you to Joy of Museums for today’s guest post.
Henri Rousseau 010

“The Sleeping Gypsy” by Henri Rousseau

The Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau is a fantasy depiction of a lion musing over a sleeping woman on a moonlit night. Rousseau described his painting as:

“A wandering Negress, a mandolin player, lied down with her jar beside her and overcome by fatigue in a deep sleep. A lion chances to pass by picks up her scent yet does not devour her. There is a moonlight effect, very poetic.”

Henri Rousseau was self-taught and developed a style that lacked traditional training, with its absence of strict proportions, one-point perspective, and with the use of sharp, often unnatural colours. The result was art pieces that were imbued with a sense of mystery and eccentricity.

Rousseau started painting seriously in his early forties, and by age 49 he retired from his job to work on his art full-time. His primary employment before he retired was as the customs officer and tax collector. Ridiculed during his lifetime by critics, he came to be recognised as a self-taught genius whose work exerted an extensive influence on several generations of avant-garde artists.

The Sleeping Gypsy

  • Title:                            The Sleeping Gypsy
  • French:                        La Bohémienne endormie
  • Artist:                          Henri Rousseau
  • Date:                            1897
  • Medium:                     Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:               129.5 cm × 200.7 cm (51.0 in × 79.0 in)
  • Museum:                     Metropolitan Museum of Art – MET, New York, USA

Henri Rousseau

  • Name:                   Henri Julien Félix Rousseau
  • Born:                    1844 – Laval, Mayenne, France
  • Died:                     1910 (aged 66) – Paris, France
  • Nationality:         French
  • Movement:          Post-Impressionism, Naïve art, Primitivism
  • Notable works:


“Great events make me quiet and calm; it is only trifles that irritate my nerves.” Queen Victoria


Guest Post: The History of Rock by Donna of My OBT


Thank you to the incomparable Donna from My OBT, whose mission is to provide us with one beautiful thing every day.


A History of Rock in 15 minutes: 348 rockstars, 84 guitarists, 64 songs, 44 drummers, 1 mashup

Today’s beautiful thing is a brilliantly-done mashup offering up a (partial) history of rock and roll music. The brainchild of Ithaca Audio, the video uses an invented (and inventive) Facebook feed to tell the story.

Of course, we could argue endlessly about the inclusion – and exclusion – of certain songs and artists, but it’s a very tidy and intriguing package as is. Here’s the filmmakers’ very thoughtful response to viewers’ comments about the songs included:

To read the rest of the article and view the video, click here.

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