Sunday, August 31, 2014

GET INSPIRED -- Annual Charity Horse show -- Sept 5-7

It's COMING!!!! This annual charity horse show is a WIN-WIN for artists! You can get super close to horses and riders for all sorts of life drawing/sketching practice in a BEAUTIFUL, shaded, amenity-filled environment. PLUS -- every penny you spend at the event goes to support Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Free parking all 3 days-- admission is free on Friday -- small admission fee on Sat and Sun.

Here's link to website with calendar of events for this year's show:

Here's link to past post here on blog with some samples of the fun:

Be sure to attend! It's worth the trip!!!


Start here to learn how to use this blog..... You are about to explore an archive of SNB adventures from my (Amy's) perspective ... This blog is the realm of Bride of Bookseller. The posts are all written by me. The goal is to educate and entertain.

For the latest news on Stuart Ng Books, you can follow SNB on Facebook or Twitter. Info on ordering books, and a website chock full of our extensive inventory, can be found on the SNB website:

Scroll down to find the most recent posts -- or go to the "Blog Archive" sidebar. This "Your Guide" post provides background on the blog and highlights educational posts from the past:

Stuart Ng Books is a family run, very small business in Torrance, CA. Our bookstore is mostly mail order. We started in the era of old school hands-on bookselling, and we've survived the transition to the Internet age. In addition to our website, we sell books at conventions and book fairs. Our niche is books on illustration, animation and comic art and our wonderful, loyal patrons are artists, students and collectors in these fields. Stuart travels here and abroad searching for great books and artists, including his annual trip to France to attend Europe's largest comic art festival. He doesn't speak or read French; he selects his inventory strictly for the art. I took some French lessons... so now I can order more than a ham and cheese sandwich at the cafes. When Stuart launched our business full-time in 1997, we had no idea we would become a world-wide resource for books in our field. When I married Stuart... a LONG time ago.. I had no idea I would also be marrying a small business.. (we didn't meet in business school).... but that's another story :)

The blog started in 2008 as a way to share (my) news and views on our booths at conventions ... and on exhibits and shows we attend that artists might find inspiring.
Reoccurring themes on the blog archive include "Get Inspired"... "Your Science Lesson"... "Your Business Lesson," "Con," "POV shot," "Horse Show," "Book Fair"...
See "FAQ," "Stewardship" and "Legacy Books" for posts about bringing YOU the benefits of a devoted rare bookseller in world where mom and pop bookstores are themselves becoming endangered!

Current favorite posts are the 4 I wrote in June for film "Maleficent" .. including 2 detailed posts on the Q&A with director Robert Stromberg and Production Designer Dylan Cole that I attended at Gnomon school.

Here's link to the 1st of the 4 posts on Maleficent --

Also popular now -- my post on Copyright Protection for images posted online! Lots of resources listed here -- and I welcome comments and additional sources:

For a complete list of the over 100 countries that have visited the blog, check out this Aug 11, 2011 post: "Hello World.." And one final stat -- as of Aug 2014, the blog has tallied over 95,000 page views.

HERE ARE NEW LINKS on humorous and historical posts: SNB experiments (like our booth at a Twilight convention Oct 2010.  ); Scenes from our bookscouting trips (Aug 2009 is a good one ); Even a post on the time someone shipped us a book in a used pizza box (Aug 2008 post  . For posts written back when I was "the voice" on the phone at SNB and at the order desk full-time, search "Daily Brew" (2008 - 2010). All this and more lurks here on the blog for you to discover..

If you want to visit the SNB showroom -- and your family or S.O. (significant other) wants something to do besides look at books -- here are some links to local attractions:

From SEPT POST 9/5/11: Two "Family Fun" posts about Wilson  Park. See pics of the ballparks, tree house, duck pond and more ... also a paved walking trail that's mostly shaded and about a mile long.

Here's link to Yelp review of the park.

There are activites for all ages in and around Torrance... so if you want to browse our showroom for awhile and your family doesn't... you can all come to Torrance and do different things! We are minutes away from shops and AMC movies at Del Amo Fashion Mall  A miles north will get you to the South Coast Botanic Garden ..... and we're also close to the Lomita Train Museum

On Saturdays, Wilson Park is home to the Torrance Farmer's Market -- great produce and food booths. Wilson Park is also home to the Southern California Live Steamers Minature Railroad  Ride the trains at the Park every 3rd Saturday!

Even more culture just minutes from our showroom -- The International Printing Museum. This tiny gem hosts an annual printers fair ( -- as well as a Dickens festival (post nov 29, 2010 ) a Ben Franklin b'day celebration (post Jan 6, 2012, and a founding fathers independence day event in July. Check their website for calendar of upcoming presentations:

One of the many reasons Stuart Ng Books is located in Torrance is our proximity to HORSES!! No, I don't have a horse -- but just a few miles from us in Palos Verdes  (PV)  is a thriving equestrian community -- with miles of trails -- lots of riding stables -- all located right on the coast with ideal weather. If you want to sketch horses and equestrian life in a mild, shaded climate there are a number of public parks in PV with rings that riders use to train their horses as well as the various public and private stables in the area. Here are links for two of the public parks:
Ernie Howlett Park (site for annual charity horse show)
Dapplegray Park, Rolling Hills Estates

Every September, a nationally ranked charity horse show, The Portuguese Bend National Horse Show, is held in PV. It's a family friendly event with TONS of amenities. -- and an outstanding sketching opportunity for artists. There is a large, shaded, grassy knoll where you can sit for hours and sketch. You can also get quite close to the horses and riders if you want. While many equestrian events in PV are FREE to attend, there is a nominal admission charge for the charity horse show on Sat  & Sun -- because all proceeds for this event are a fundraiser. Admission to the charity show is free on Fridays. The show runs fri - sun on the 1st weekend in Sept.
"HORSE SHOW 2011 - PREVIEWS AND PICS FROM PREVIOUS SHOWS" post from 9-6-11 has some of my favorite action shots of horses and gives you a flavor of this very special event.

The show has been held for over 50 years by the non-profit PCCH (Peninsula Committee Children's Hospital), an organization that raises money for Children's Hospital Los Angeles. More on PCCH here:

For more info on the annual Portuguese Bend National Horse Show -- including date for this year's show and schedule of activities, check out this link to show webpage:

2011 was the most active year on the blog. Here are links for some of the most frequently visited posts:

(includes posts on REGIS LOISEL

TERRYL WHITLATCH (This post updated 6/14; added you tube interview with her from Academy of Art University)



(another fun SCIENCE LESSON post -- CHEMICAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION LIBRARY (in PA) and MUSEE CURIE (in Paris) post from Aug 21, 2009)

ANIMAL ANTICS.... your preview here on the blog of the Pres Romanillos sketchbook!!

A set of three  "FAMILY FUN" POSTS ON ANNUAL MODEL TRAIN SHOW (oct 30th 2011)




 and THE BLACK STALLION (Oct 2010)

Other popular topics ...

Also Aug 2010 posts on the ART OF ANIMALS exhibit at Forest Lawn in Glendale with links to more images from amazing artwork at this show!

"DREAM CON 2011" Dream Con is an annual Book Fair for and by the DreamWorks Animation artists. They get to showcase some of their personal projects -- self-published sketchbooks, photography, original art etc. It's held on the DreamWorks animation campus and SNB is the only outside vendor. We are lucky to be invited there every year, as they kindly consider our booth a "perk" they are providing their artists. Always a great day with fun folks at a beautiful setting


"GET INSPIRED - Artist contacts from Printing Fair 2011"

2011 September post (9/6/11) is also popular. It's one of three posts on the LA County Museum of Natural History... Discovery Center and Dino Hall:

Can't get enough of San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) ???
See July and August 2011 posts for our booth at Comic Con (SDCC) for that year.
And posts this year for my summary (and mini-rant) on what's up with that show ...

Some blog posts highlight the directions that SNB takes me (but not necessarily Stuart)... search the archive posts to find Hoops and Yoyo; Twilight; the Black Stallion; Women and Words. I'm not sure why there's so much music in my life right now.... but check out this clever music video w/ agility dogs!
Here's the link for the MSBNC show that featured Stuart: AUGUST 2010 posts additional pics and info on SNB on MSNBC...

FYI notices: 1) Stuart's last name, "Ng", is pronounced like the suffix "ing" in "drawing" or "Wendling." 2) you can email comments or questions directly to me at seahorse310(at) Aloha and thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

GET INSPIRED -- "Sorolla and America" exhibit at San Diego Museum of Art

While many painters are familiar with the work of Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (1863-1923), the name "Sorolla" isn't well known to most museum goers. It was lovely to see both his work and his American connections highlighted at this recent exhibit at the San Diego Museum of Art.

The "Sorolla and America"exhibit ( was organized by Sorolla's great-granddaughter, which seemed especially poignant given the deep connection the painter had with his own wife and daughters, who were often models in his paintings. Below on the right is the image of his daughter Maria, from the work "Maria at La Granja" 1907. This painting was donated to the San Diego Museum of Art by Huntington in memory of his mother Arabella Huntington.

Sorolla's first painting ever exhibited in the US was a somber-hued social commentary "Another Marguerite!" which won a Medal of Honor at the World's Columbian Exhibition in Chicago in 1893.

He was befriended by American artists such as William Merritt Chase and John Singer Sargent ... and patronage from no less than Archer Milton Hungtington soon followed. Sorolla became an ambassador for all things Spanish as he moved among the political and philanthropic circles where his paintings were exhibited in cities such as Chicago, New York, Boston, and St. Louis. His mural cycle of fourteen monumental paintings known as "Visions of Spain" was commissioned by Huntington for The Hispanic Society.  (photo below show section of finished murals --- sketches for murals were on display at this exhibit) More about these murals here:

Sorolla's commissioned portraits, and scenes at beaches and garden landscapes, secured his reputation as a painter celebrated for his evocation of light and people.

Among the landmark paintings on display for this exhibit was this portrait of explorer Christopher Columbus, which was exhibited for the first time along with the 9 oversized oil studies. It was amazing to sit in one room and see the studies and their exploration of props such as a shield or cannon; various hues of the sky and placement (or absence) of ships and sails in the background; and carefully researched depictions of costume. 

Also stunning to see are the numerous oil sketches that were on display. These small but lively canvases had a wonderful sense of color and light, using brushstrokes to hint at forms and compositions. Sorolla produced nearly 2,000 of these works known as his "Apuntes -- Spanish for notes or jottings" or sometimes called "Manchas -- stains or splashes of paint." All of these works were 8x12 or smaller.

Nifty take-home items in the gift shop included cards, magnets, and even a lens cleaning cloth with lush images from beautiful works...

This large portrait of Louis Comfort Tiffany, surrounded by his own garden of rhododendrons, was on exhibit .. and available as a greeting card :)

A final room of the exhibition was devoted to DRAWING. This "Sorolla in New York & Chicago" room was full of sketches done during his visits to US cities and explored how 'Sorolla made drawing a lifelong habit." Often these sketches were street scenes drawn from hotel room windows .. using scraps of cardboard or other found materials. The "Draw like Sorolla" wall of this gallery was set up to encourage viewers to try their own hand at sketching --- the wall supplied paper and clipboards -- and several people took up the challenge. The gallery room also explained how Sorolla would sketch "to document surroundings for later use in a painting or as a personal souvenir."

The exhibit closes on August 26th --- do see it if you can. And give yourself time to explore the other museums and gardens at Balboa Park.
San Diego -- it's much more than SDCC :) 

Also ... Stuart is a fan of Sorolla and we often have Sorolla books in stock at SNB. Here's one currently on the website:

Monday, August 11, 2014

COMIC CON 2014 -- the con is camaraderie (with links to fun finds!)

This post is first of two "wrap-up" posts on Comic Con  2014. This one is the re-cap. The 2nd one is my mini-rant. Following the "Your Guide"post are the four "epic" posts on this years con, with lots of pics and links. Enjoy!

To recap this year's con, let's review what its SUPPOSED to be all about...

Here is the current "mission statement" for SDCC as it appears on their website.

Comic-Con International: San Diego is a nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular artforms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture.
Comic Con's foundation is the core elements of education and awareness. You'll find the best of the con in panels, programs and events that highlight educational efforts to raise awareness of and appreciation for comics and related art forms.

Comic Con is a place to celebrate artists .... and for fans to enjoy the company of others who appreciate their shared interests.

Let's highlight some of the charm and fun that you can still find at SDCC...

Little kids can still make memories at comic con. This little toddler enjoyed dancing along with the large cat character from the Skelanimals booth.When she would dance, the cat would mimic her. The crowd around them was delighted. Classic family-friendly con moment (see more Skelanimals characters at their website:


Comic Con is a place where fans can gather support for efforts to preserve the history of pop culture...
This booth highlighted a proposed museum of Sci-Fi ....

and comic con is still a place where attendees and exhibitors can get into the spirit of adventures in imagination ...

Comic con attendees endure long lines, increasing expenses .. and complicated logistics .... but they still enjoy the rush of being first into the hall when the doors open ...

And seeing the range of artists in attendance ... from Emmy winners ... (like long-time SNB pal Paul Wee )

to up and coming talent like Genevieve Tsai

There's still a feeling of there being room for all levels of talent --- and it's encouraging to see so much skill and enthusiasm all around the convention hall ...

While the huge studio and company pavilions continue to grow and spread their influence ... there are still little corners and booths where indie talent holds their ground and get a chance to find new fans ...

like long-time Comic-Con exhibitors, indie artists Loter Inc ...
Their Blue Unicorn T-Shirt was a big hit!
Here's their booth:
And a pic of the artists -- John and Shelley Loter

Another fun find... Alaska Robotics (short films and comics -- YES actual Comics at comic con!) check out their website here:

and here's another tiny booth full of goodies!
Furry Feline Creatives

also enjoyed Mike Yamada and Victoria Ying's booth with their "Extracurricular Activities" cute prints and paper products ...

I don't have a picture for the booth for "Unshelved" -- but the artist for this webcomic that takes place in a library was there with a variety of wares. I especially enjoyed his "Library Ranger" series of Merit Badges. Collect them all ...  read more and see video here:

here's a pic of sample badges .. 
 and info on one of the badge sets ...

Meeting up with friends old and new is a big part of Comic Con. The Con's growing statue makes it THE PLACE for fans and colleagues to meet-up once a year and get inspired. Many of our SNB patrons will remember the amazing Mary .. who was on our staff for 4 years, but left recently to start law school. She will be a great lawyer! We lured her back for 1 day at SDCC this year. I miss Mary!!!

If you get a chance to attend Comic Con ... don't spend all your time standing in lines. Walk the floor. Visit the artists areas ... There's more to see than just the big names that everyone knows ....

That important vibe of friendship and discovery still exists at Comic Con  ..... You just never know what you might find ... 

... or when you might meet your next best friend ....