Thursday, November 15, 2007
China painting in Life:Beautiful
"Faith for your journey" is the motto of the new Life:Beautiful magazine, and I really enjoyed the premier issue I recently received. (Thank you, Grey Dog Media.) The magazine's columnists include some of the Christian writers I've most enjoyed reading over the years, particularly Gary Smalley, Janet Parshall and Ellie Kay. (Somehow, I feel I can trust financial advice from Kay, a mother of seven.) The overall look of the magazine is quite clean and simple and soothing, and I suspect this is a book that knows its audience well, offering up a nice mix of how-to and feature articles, columnists and recipes.
The photography and design of this new publication is just terrific. I'm already looking forward to seeing the next issue, which will be coming to Jo-Ann crafts stores and bookstores in my area. Do any of you remember a Meredith Publications special issue that appeared last year called Lily? Its editor, Wanda J. Ventling, is now editor of Life:Beautiful. One of the articles I most enjoyed in her inaugural issue of this magazine was "Painted Vessels" by Julie Martens, which tells about a great-grandmother named Ellisene Kuchan and the china pieces she has painted for her family. They are just gorgeous, and the layout of this piece was dreamy (other pages inside show bottles of paint and color swatches). I thought the food styling and photography in the issue was good as well. Don't you want to make this raspberry tart? It has a pecan pastry crust and sounds delicious.
Reading about the china painting prompted me to pull out some teabag caddies a friend had commissioned for me back in 2000. A friend of hers, a local doll artist of some renown, painted them for me, which I thought was just an incredible gift. So I particularly enjoyed learning about another china painter, and I hope Life:Beautiful keeps up the good work it started in this premier issue of the magazine. (And I would also suggest that some of the tea magazines find themselves a china painter to profile! I'd like to know more.)