Press Release – Out of the Blue

Contact:

Stephanie Rose Bird

stephanierosebird@gmail.com

VETERAN AUTHOR, ARTIST RELEASES DEBUT NOVEL ABOUT A TEENAGER’S DESPERATE ATTEMPTS TO SAVE HER FATHER FROM MYSTERIOUS ILLNESS & DEATH

Stephanie Rose Bird Adds Another Accomplishment to Her Long List

CHICAGO (March 22, 2020) —  Author and visual artist Stephanie Rose Bird has released her debut novel, Out of the Blue, a young-adult coming-of-age tale of a teenage girl who struggles to save her father, a blues singer and shrimper from Mobile, Alabama, who lies unconscious in a hospital bed, suffering from a mysterious illness. 

In order to save her father, 15-year-old Tina must travel to a world of strange and magical creatures to wrestle his soul from control of a Siren. A gift from Greek mythology, Sirens were said to be alluring yet dangerous harp-playing, half-woman-half-bird creatures who attracted sailors with their lovely singing, driving them to their deaths.  

“Sirens were my inspiration for this book,” says Bird. “I love mythology and folklore and am particularly captivated by stories involving Sirens.”

While Out of the Blue is Bird’s first novel, the multi-talented Chicago-area writer and artist is the author of several books, including Sticks, Stones, Roots and Bones: Hoodoo, Mojo and Conjuring with Herbs, A Healing Grove: African Tree Remedies and Rituals for Body and Spirit, and The Big Book of Soul: The Ultimate Guide to the African American Spirit; legends and lore, music and mysticism, recipes and rituals.  

In Out of the Blue, fifteen-year-old Tina is on a search for the where, who and how. She finds herself flowing in and out of several distinctly different cultures. She wonders where she fits into her community and even her family. She thinks she knows who her people are but her deep ancestry paints a different story.

“The story marvels at the resiliency of the human spirit,” says Bird. As Tina’s magical journey twists and turns, she’ll learn what it means to be a woman and what it means to save not only her father, but herself, as well. 

Bird’s paintings have been exhibited nationally and internationally in museums, universities and galleries. Bird has won numerous grants, fellowships and scholarships including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, a San Diego Opportunity Fellowship, a Ford Foundation Faculty Enrichment Grant and funding from the Australian-American Educational Foundation.

Published by One Odd Bird Press, “Out of the Blue” is available for Kindle and goes on sale on March 22 at Amazon for $5.99. A 240-page paperback version ($11.99) will be available from Amazon by the end of March.

Out of the Blue: Art & Life

Most authors have something or another in common with their characters. I see some of young Stephanie in my protagonist Earnestine. Earnestine, who likes to be called Tina, as her nickname, is plucky, filled with grit and at times introspective. I vibe with that.

When I saw the book cover design and one of my photos I was struck by what my character reflected back, in relation to her relationship, to flowers. Tina finds them annoying, while I find them fascinating. Flowers and plants fuel my visual and written work. The two of us, are put in many relationships and indeed images, where we are in deep with flowers. I don’t want to present any spoilers but check out these photos, one is the book cover by Najla Qamber Designss & Qamber Kids, the other a snapshot taken in my urban garden:

OutOfTheBlue_Ebook

The journey towards being a novelist is fun and unpredictable. Synchronicities pop up along the way, enriching the process. “Out of the Blue” is rich in allegory, a deep spirituality and multiculturalism. In terms of narrative, the novel stands on its own two feet and is far from a memoir–thank goodness! I would not like to have faced all the challenges my dear protagonist Tina does between these pages.

Want to tuck into the adventure and step your feet into Tina’s heroic and mythical journey? You can order my debut novel here. 

#AfricanAmerican #AfricanAmericanFantasyNovels #FantasyNovels #Hoodoo #Jamaica #Southern #BlackHistoryMonth2020 #AfricanAmericanSpirituality #Mythology #Folklore #GreekMyth #Sirens #Mermaids #GulfRegion #Alabama #ChicagoSouthSide #OneOddBirdPress

IMG_2569

Miniature Paintings

Geez! It’s been a while. I’ve been very enveloped in #painting #smallpaintings #miniatures in #acrylic using an #abstract theme inspired by #nature. I’m beginning to put them into my #etsyshop. Stop by and take a peek at my etsy shop.IMG_2493

IMG_2494IMG_2505

Connections & Callings

 

I have been selected for a very unique opportunity to commune with the spiritual nature of the land in the San Gabriels, Pasadena and beyond. This opportunity comes through the Residency Project@880.

As a part of my residency, I will be presenting my discoveries and interactions with the plants and environments I encounter. I will also be signing my first book, “Sticks, Stones, Roots and Bones” and “365 Days of Hoodoo, my most recent publication published just last December. Other creatives will be there, presenting their herbal creations, there will be mandala making, poetry readings and herbal tea for all!

Join me in this incredibly beautiful natural environment for an afternoon of natural artistic and spiritual connections.

Society6 Venture

I started a new shop on Society6. They have an interesting array of possible formats for 2D art. This is fun and fresh to my eye. Making art. Having fun getting it out into the world.

https://society6.com/lovebirddesigns

Black and White Orchid, Sumi-ink on Watercolor Paper, c. 2016, Stephanie Rose Bird

Healing Power of Plants

My artwork, created over the past few years, will be on exhibition at Brushwood Nature Center in Riverwoods, IL from February 10 – March 31st. A panel discussion, in the Dear Earth Series, is a part of the exhibition. This is a two-person exhibition with printmaker and artist, Gabriella Boros.

Two-Person Exhibition

Brushwood Nature Center Opening and Talk (exhibition details)

HumImagine

 

I will be showing a variety of plant-inspired, soulful, experimental works at Brushwood Nature Center, starting February 10th. The show features a wide body of mixed media works on paper, canvas and wood, created over the past three years. The opening reception is February 10th from 1-3 p.m. followed by a panel discussion with fellow artist Gabriella Boros, with whom I’m sharing the wonderful gallery space. Come join us for refreshments, visual exploration and a chat.

Harvest Moon Work

I have been working on end of season, Harvest Moon art work, in my studio. These works feature Prismacolor colored pencils, to render organic abstractions from life. The focus is the towering broomcorn, I grew in the front yard and also very tall but dainty, sunflowers. The broomcorn and sunflowers are shown in the context of the sidewalk and the street. They come together to create vibrant and festive abstract urban landscapes that celebrate fall.

 

This work is also featured on Saatchi Art.

Working in colored pencil is meditative and relaxing. There is a nice range of colors, similar to paints in the larger sets. I intend to add more colored pencil work to my repertoire this fall and winter.

Arise

A few months ago, I had a vision that I should create this installation piece. Each day, more was revealed to me about what I should do. Finally, it is finished. It is my entry for ArtPrize 10 in Grand Rapids, Michigan at the end of the month. My artistic statement and vote code is on the #ArtPrize website here: ArtPrize 10 link.

Here are some details of the panels closer up:

Ceramic Bowl Sculptures

So much of my creativity arises in dream form first. That was the case with my writing. It was visualized as a secret garden in my dreams, repeatedly, all through the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Then, I started having dreams about my ceramic practice – long abandoned. I had dreams where it came to the fore of my life in college and I thought about majoring in it. I never did that but I enjoyed many classes and after class raku session in pottery.

As fate would have it, my lovely children purchased a ceramic class for my husband and I. (Thanks to them!!) Here are the results. It is all fired at medium-range and is made from

stoneware. I was trying to simulate raku but using an indoor, electric kiln.