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Author panel to discuss bringing artists to life

By From page A4 | September 20, 2013

“From Brush Strokes to Key Strokes: Novels about Art & Artists” is the title of a panel discussion at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at The Avid Reader, 617 Second St. in downtown Davis. Panelists are:

* Mary F. Burns, author of “Portraits of an Artist,” a novel about John Singer Sargent;

* Gayle Feyer, author of “Floats the Dark Shadow, A Mystery of Paris,” written under her pen name, Yves Fey;

* Michael Llewellyn, author of “Creole Son: A Novel of Degas in New Orleans”; and

* Ciji Ware, author of “A Race to Splendor,” a novel about architect Julia Morgan.

All of these writers face a the challenge of how to depict a visual medium with only words on a page. They will talk about presenting the subtleties of color, light, shadow, materials, space and shape.

This panel will discuss what it’s like writing about such artists as Edgar Degas and John Singer Sargent, and architect Julia Morgan, as well as entirely fictional artists who lived during the same era of the exciting new art movements of Impressionism and Art Deco.

Burns’ second work of historical fiction — “Portraits of an Artist” — imaginatively portrays the motivations and passions that underlie Sargent’s creative force and brilliantly revealing art. Born in Chicago, she moved to San Francisco in 1976, where she continues to live with her husband.

Feyer — who writes under the names Yves Fey and Taylor Chase — enters the world of mystery writing for the first time. The story follows a young artist in the Belle Époque Paris. She holds a bachelor’s degree in pictorial arts from UCLA, and a master’s in fine arts from the University of Oregon in creative writing. She lived for two years in Jakarta, Indonesia, with many trips around Asia. She currently lives across the bridge from San Francisco with her husband.

Llewellyn has 14 published novels. His latest focuses on the Degas family. A native of Tennessee, he has written historical to contemporary fiction under various pen names.

Ware, a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, is a graduate of Harvard University. She writes historical fiction and nonfiction. Her book, “A Race to Splendor,” is based, in part, on the life of Morgan — California’s first licensed female architect of Hearst Castle fame — during the year she restored the Fairmont Hotel atop Nob Hill in the wake of the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.

Enterprise staff

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