Friday, May 26, 2017

Treasures of art depicting history

Author of War Songs, Grady Harp is an artist representative, gallery owner, writer of essays and articles on figurative and all Representational art for museum catalogues and for travelling exhibitions, and an Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer. He describes himself as being ever on the alert for the new and promising geniuses of tomorrow. So I am deeply honored that he has posted this five-star review for my art book, Inspired by Art: Rise to Power:

Uvi Poznansky dons another Technicolor coat in this latest series of books, always raising the bar for her high standard previous achievements. Originally from Israel where she studied Architecture and Town Planning then moving to the US where she studied Computer Science and became an expert in Software Engineering, Poznansky managed to combine the design elements of two studies into unique formats. And she has accomplished the same with the other side of her brain - making visual her ideas (she is an accomplished painter, drawer, and sculptor who has enjoyed exhibitions both in Israel and in California, her present base) and making words in poetry and in short stories and children's books.

Uvi has published an absorbing book series – The David Chronicles – and now is curating art collections to enhance the pleasure of her books’ stories. This volume, RISE TO POWER - focusing on the decline of the House of Saul and the rise of David – follows her previous installments THE EDGE OF REVOLT, FIGHTING GOLIATH, A PEEK OF BATHSHEBA and FALL OF A GIANT and is again one of the most complete collections of art from ancient through renaissance to contemporary in drawings, paintings, sculptures, etchings – works by Rembrandt, Taschcar Pictures, Bernardo Cavallino, James Tissot, Julius Kronberg, Ivan Schwebel, Vallotton, Boris Laurentiev, William Wetmore Story, Ernst Josephson, Erasmus Quellinus II, Gustave DorĂ©, Guercino, He Qi, Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, George Tinworth, Johann Christoph Weigel, Chagall, Cima da Conegliano, Lord Frederic Leighton, Aert de Gelder, Hans (Jan) Collaert, the Maciejowski Bible, Matthaeus Merian the Elder, Rubens, von Lambert Lombard, Simon de Vos, Antonio Molinari, Guido Reni, Jacobsz Lambert, Hans Fronius, John Singer Sargent, Oskar Kokoschka, Richard Dadd, Matthias Scheits, Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen, William Blake, Henry Fuseli, Benjamin West, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Jean Fouquet, Gerard Hoet and Salvadore Dali - some well known, others – discoveries. The art is arranged neither by artist nor by artistic style or era, but rater by the story the art tells. It is a majestic, learned, beautifully designed book that carries a lot of instruction, entertainment, as well as visual pleasure. But then that is what Uvi is all about! Grady Harp, May 17

Promo tour: Love in Times of War


Promo tour: A Touch of Passion

(boxed set romance bundle)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Truly Inspirational

I am thrilled to find this review, written by an author who loves and lives to write, Dellani Oakes. She is also a former A.P. English teacher and a photo journalist. This is what she says about my art book, Inspired by Art: The Last Concubine:

on May 21, 2017
Inspired by Art: The Last Concubine (The David Chronicles Book 9) is another stunning and amazing collection of art which inspired Uvi Poznanski to write about Abishag, the last concubine of King David of Israel. Woodcuts, stained glass windows, oil paintings, etchings, illuminated texts, coins, carvings.... Some are by famous artists like Salvador Dali or Rembrandt. Others are by nameless, forgotten monks or metal workers. Though their identities are lost, their lovingly created work lives on for us to share.
Immerse yourself in the art that inspired the book. It will delight and, with luck, inspire you as well. Then, read The Last Concubine by Uvi Poznansky, or listen to the wonderful audio presentation, as I am.
I highly recommend this book for those who love fine art and history. It's a truly incredible collection showing many different facets of the story of the last days of King David's life.

Five Golden Acorns
© Dellani Oakes 2017

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Let her voice be heard

I sigh. “No one should learn the sordid facts of that horrible thing, that assault.”
“Why shouldn’t they?”
“Because,” say I. “That would be like violating my daughter all over again.”
“About that,” says Bathsheba, “you’re quite mistaken.”
“Am I?”
“Yes,” she says. “You are. In your mind, history belongs to the victor. Triumphs should be glorified, failures—glossed over.”
“But of course! That’s the way it’s always been.”
“It’s been that way, perhaps too long.”
“What d’you mean, perhaps too long?” 
“I mean, the way it’s always been isn’t necessarily the right way.”
“What other way is there?” I ask, and without waiting for an answer I press on, with great ardor. “Every day I dedicate myself, with everything I have in me, to one project: committing my story—or at least, the better parts of it—to the books, for the sake of the House of David, for the sake of my descendants and the entire nation. My version of events, setting up a model of a shining hero, will live on, in our times and for posterity.”
“For what purpose?”
“To excite the mind for greatness.”
“A valiant effort,” she says. “You are a victor among victors, and without a doubt, yours is a story to be remembered, in all its parts. But why not allow the victim her voice?”
“By which you mean what?”
“Look, if history belongs to the victor, it follows that cruelty is lionized, and that the names of villains, murderers, robbers, and rapists are hailed, in war and peace alike, at the expense of silencing the names of the conquered.”
“I get it, I do.”
“Do you, really?”
“Yes,” I say. “With a little less luck, my name could’ve been stricken off the books, or mentioned in passing as a traitor. If Saul had it his way I could’ve remained a nobody.” 
“I’m glad you see it my way,” says Bathsheba. “Singing the praises of the victors is fine—but then, if that’s all we hear, who will speak for the downtrodden?”
She has a point, which is why I must argue against it. I close my hand upon the scroll, and shake my fist in the air. “History admires those who are strong! It is this that makes me strive to achieve great things.”
Bathsheba gives me a look. 
“If history ignores those who are weak,” she says. “then the name of your daughter will be lost.”
“It’ll be hidden,” say I, “to protect her.”
“Her suffering will be obliterated, and so will her identity. It’ll be as if she never existed.”
“Given what she’s gone through, it’s for her own good.”
“Is it?” 
I hesitate to answer, because she makes me doubt that which I have held true all my life. I hate it when that happen.
With an amused smile at me Bathsheba says, “I can just imagine your scribe, Nathan, chewing the tip of his quill, so he may spit out something lyrical yet benign about your daughter, something that will obscure who she really is, and how bravely she tried to overturn her fate.”
“I can see him in my mind,” say I. “I can just hear him mumbling, under his beard, as he scribbles something like, ‘Now that her brother is a fugitive she lives alone in his house, with no one to talk to, a desolate woman.’”
“Give her a voice,” says Bathsheba, in a tone that is intense, and full of pity for Tamar, and for all of us. “Let everyone hear how a woman does all she can, with such amazing courage, to resist a rape. Let her story be told!”

Narrated by Bob Sterry

In this excerpt, David and Bathsheba go out to their private place: the balcony where they made love for the first time. Here they argue, quite passionately, over the right course of action in the wake of the rape of Tamar, his daughter, at the hands of Amnon, his son. This crime has gone unpunished, because David loves both of them and cannot bring himself to restrain his son. At the same time, he wants to protect his daughter from gossip and exposure. He tries to silence all reports of the rape, while Bathsheba tries to convince him to let his daughter's side of the story be heard. Let her story be heard!

The argument has a larger connotation when it comes to the role of history. Should it record only those who are victorious--or should it give voice also to the downtrodden? What is the right balance between the two sides?

The Edge of Revolt
Only 99c for a limited time: EbookKindle  Nook  Apple  Kobo  Smashwords
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"At times startling, as times awe-inspiring, and at all times fine reading, this is a welcome addition to the growing library of one our more important writers" 
-Grady Harp, Hall of Fame Reviewer

"Quality above compare, this novel is written by a master wordsmith who knows how to tell a story... This one is up for one of the best for the year for fiction."
 -Dennis Waller, Top 500 Reviewer

This book is a True Treasure!

Just discovered this review for my art book, Inspired by Art: The Edge of Revolt:

on May 20, 2017
Growing up in a large city, I was often taken by my parents to one museum and art gallery after another, as a matter of course. I would stand in front of paintings, etchings, drawings, and sculpture and wonder at the fine creativity of the various artists presented.

But I’d also get tired and bored. Truth be told, I realized as an adult that as spontaneous as the atmosphere at a live exhibit can be, I much preferred studying art books at home, on my sofa, with a cup of tea at my side, a blanket over my legs. I could either take my time or flip through a page here or there, in great comfort.

Imagine my delight when I discovered Uvi Poznansky’s INSPIRED BY ART: THE EDGE OF REVOLT. This is a magnificent collection of artworks she used as inspiration for her well-received series, THE DAVID CHRONICLES. The depth and breadth of this collection is astounding. Color engravings, etchings, pencil drawings, calligraphy, mezzo tints, and oil paintings by the likes of Rembrandt, Chagall, Tissot, Michelangelo, and the modern American artist, Ivan Schwebel, just to name a few. For me, sitting on my couch and taking my time, these works simply leapt off the pages at me. I also greatly enjoyed the titles and quotes beneath many of the works, such as:
“For the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater
than the love wherewith he had loved her.”

All in all, if you’re in the mood for a fantastic way to spend hours on your couch or your favorite chair, relaxing, I highly recommend this book. It’s a true gem.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Beautiful and Intriguing art

I am thrilled to find a five-star review for my art book, Inspired by Art: The Last Concubine. The review is written by top Amazon reviewer and author Sheila Deeth. In addition to her novel, Divide by Zero, she has written The Five Minute Bible Story Series, and other books. With a Masters in mathematics from Cambridge University, England, she is a a top reviewer for Amazon, Goodreads, Gather and other reading sites. This is what she says:

VINE VOICEon May 16, 2017
This review is from: Inspired by Art: The Last Concubine (The David Chronicles Book 9) (Kindle Edition)
From wood engravings to the splash of red in a modern painting, the life of King David has inspired art through the centuries; and the art of King David has inspired Uvi Poznansky’s very human depiction of the aging monarch looking back on his days. In this art collection, David is old, seeking to rediscover his youth in the bodies of ever younger brides. The choice of an heir is much on his mind of course, and the beautiful bride might have much to say in his ear. Then comes the never-peaceful transfer of power.

So many different styles of art grace these pages, colorful, black and white, evocative, dark, strange, haunting… for this reader, the most striking is Henri Lidegaar’s Judgement of Solomon; the most beautiful might be James Tissot’s David Singing; and the most haunting is Salvador Dali’s Psalm 3, closely followed on the page and in my mind by Moshe Tsvi Berger’s Psalm 2. Of course, being English, I love the stained glass too. And my brother who once collected stamps would surely love the author’s curious collection. Artful coins and music complete the scene – a stunning depiction of a life that has influenced the world, and a great introduction to the author’s wonderful words.

Disclosure: It was on a deal and I couldn’t resist it.