My perfect day includes art

I like waking up and remembering something from my sleep which helps me solve a problem in a painting I am working on. I especially love my human figure painting class which involves me intensely as I try to capture the form and spirit of the model.  When the class ends, I am completely relaxed.   I always have physical activity in my day, walking a few miles or doing workout classes.  Ending my perfect day is a glass of wine and a lovely dinner prepared by my husband who is an excellent chef.

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Cheetah in Kenya

“Cheetah in Kenya” Acrylic painting by Nadine Block
The cheetah is a magnificent animal, the fastest animal alive. The black tear marks below its eyes help shield them from the sun. It is a day hunter. Cheetahs are shy and solitary animals. Many tourists never see them in the wild. I painted a cheetah from a photo I took in 1998 on an African photo safari tour with my husband’s bar association. I propped my Nikon camera with a 400 mm lens on a bean bag on the edge of our open Land Rover and got several great photos of cheetahs. Our tour ended in Nairobi on the day of the August 7th bombing of the American Embassy where hundreds of people were killed. Our hotel windows were broken from the force of the blast over a mile away. Our plane that left Nairobi that night was the last one to do so for several days as the city recovered from the bombing.
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New Book Review says Breaking the Paddle: Ending School Corporal Punishment is well-researched, insightful, focused, concise, cohesive and equips readers with information and practical steps they need to act.


The book has an effective organization, a combination problem-solution and how-to that equips readers with the information and practical steps they need to act. The table of contents, however, feels a bit over-detailed; it is weighed down with detail and slows the reader down in seeing the overarching form of the book. The book is well researched and gives insightful historical perspective; but adding even more current data (from the last five years) would give the book greater immediacy and help people see the very present realty of a problem that many people assume is in the past. The information on the connection between corporal punishment and youth violence is particularly insightful; overall, the book does a great job busting myth and adding depth to basic understandings about corporal punishment. The visual tone of the cover, which feels a little bit cartoonish, doesn’t match the serious, academic tone of the book. The tables are helpful and easy to read. The book does a good job managing the needs of a diverse combination of audience members: from parents to school personnel to legislator with such a group it would be easy for the book to feel scattered, but it feels focused, concise, and cohesive.

Judge, 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. (2014)