Blood Water Paint by Joy McculloughBlood Water Paint by Joy Mccullough

Blood Water Paint

byJoy Mccullough

Hardcover | March 6, 2018

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"When I finished this novel, I knew I would be haunted and empowered by Artemisia Gentileschi's story for the rest of my life."—Amanda Lovelace, bestselling author of the princess saves herself in this one

Her mother died when she was twelve, and suddenly Artemisia Gentileschi had a stark choice: a life as a nun in a convent or a life grinding pigment for her father's paint.

She chose paint.

By the time she was seventeen, Artemisia did more than grind pigment. She was one of Rome's most talented painters, even if no one knew her name. But Rome in 1610 was a city where men took what they wanted from women, and in the aftermath of rape Artemisia faced another terrible choice: a life of silence or a life of truth, no matter the cost.

He will not consume
my every thought.
I am a painter.
I will paint.

Joy McCullough's bold novel in verse is a portrait of an artist as a young woman, filled with the soaring highs of creative inspiration and the devastating setbacks of a system built to break her. McCullough weaves Artemisia's heartbreaking story with the stories of the ancient heroines, Susanna and Judith, who become not only the subjects of two of Artemisia's most famous paintings but sources of strength as she battles to paint a woman's timeless truth in the face of unspeakable and all-too-familiar violence.

I will show you
what a woman can do.

★"A captivating and impressive debut about a timeless heroine."—Booklist, starred review
★"Belongs on every YA shelf."—SLJ, starred review
★"A haunting, stirring depiction of an unforgettable woman."—Publishers Weekly, starred review 
★"Luminous."—Shelf Awareness, starred review
Joy McCullough writes books and plays from her home in the Seattle area, where she lives with her husband and two children. She studied theater at Northwestern University, fell in love with her husband atop a Guatemalan volcano, and now spends her days surrounded by books and kids and chocolate. Her debut novel, Blood Water Paint, earn...
Title:Blood Water PaintFormat:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 8.56 × 5.88 × 1.13 inPublished:March 6, 2018Publisher:Penguin Young Readers GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0735232113

ISBN - 13:9780735232112


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Made me look at art differently I think this is a book every young woman should read, to become more assured of themselves as woman and understand that their place in this world is bigger than they may have imagined. It’s also very educational and inspired me to do my own research on Baroque art. It’s altogether empowering yet crushing at the same time. It makes one realize that women are indeed capable of breaking the glass ceiling, though even though own current society has made many strides for gender equality, the glass is simply cracked at the moment, not broken.
Date published: 2018-08-13

Read from the Book

11. Once upon a timeI was a child,not the womanof the house. Not so long agobut long enoughthe days of tuggingon my mother’s skirtsin hopes of being lifted upat every whimare hazy round the edges,like a shadow bleedinginto light. It’s hazy how,her belly roundwith brothers,Mother still made roomfor me to crawlup on her lapto hear a storyno one else would tell. How she’d look down and ask me what I thoughtof Father’s paintings,listen to my answer. It’s hazy howshe made my fatherlaugh.How when I’d startlein the night she’d soothe mewith a tuneto chase awaythe monsters. It’s hazy howher last few weeks,confined to bed,the child insidea greater weightthan those who came before,and even when the child arrived                 a sister, finally, cold and blue, and fever dreams bledinto pain laced with delirium,Prudentia Montone spentthe last of her strengthto burn into my mindthe tales of womenno one else wouldthink to tell. Those storiesof a righteous woman,her virtue questionedthrough no fault of her own;of a widowwith nothing left to lose . . .No way to tellwhere shadow endsand light begins but Mother was always                                                the light.  12. Light dances on the child’s curlsand whether Father seesor notthe bond between the babyand his mother isperfection. Twelve yearswith my motherwere not enoughbut I know how to paint the love,the source of light. The final touches that remainwould go unnoticed to an unskilled eye.In truth, I could release her now.A signature the final touch,                 Orazio Gentileschi,                (never Artemisia) the client would be satisfied,and none would be the wiser. But I would knowher arm is                                not quite right.It wraps around the baby,yet still looks flat. Father babbled outsome useless nonsensewhen I tried to ask himhow to fix the problem.I don’t thinkhe understoodmy question.If he cannot seethe problem to begin with,how could he ever solve it? It’s only a commission,doesn’t even bear my name.But I’m not only painting the Madonna.I’m building a ladder,each new technique,a rung.13. Every time my father shoos medown the stairsaway from my studio,each time he speaks to buyers                as though I am not there,each time they leer at me                as I descend in seething fury,my mother’s storiesstoke the flames inside. We mostly deal in Bible tales,some portraits, ancient histories, myths.But all the maestrossign their namesto David, Adam, Moses.Those who follow striveto leave their mark as well. I can paint a David—king or upstart boy,but when I dothere’s nothing of meon the canvas.Susanna, though, is different. My mother never held a brushbut still composedthe boldest imagesfrom the brightest colorsdrawing the eye—the mind—to what mattered most:                 the young woman                stealing a moment                of peace to wash                away the day                                 then her world,                                stained beyond repair. Susanna and the Elders. Father’s made attempts at Susanna,just like the other painters—men—who think they have the rightto tell the story of a womanalways watched. But one can’t truly tell a storyunless they’ve lived it in their heart. The longer I’m shuffledin and out of the studio,used for what I can offer,not what I long to share,the more certain I amI can do Susanna justice.I can do my mother justice. I can have justice. But I’m holding backuntil I thinkperhapsmy skillscan matchmy heart.  14. My arm cradles my palette,rounded, three-dimensional. I paint alla prima in my mindexactly how it should look. Why then can I not transpose                the image in my mind                the image of my fleshonto the canvas? I stare at the Madonna’sflat, flat arm so longmy eyes begin to blur.I do not noticethe creak of stairs                moan of door                                steps that cross                                                the studio. Or perhaps he does not enterlike a mortal manbut appearsfully formeda miraculous apparition. Then:                                a breath                                upon my cheek. Not Father’s breath.I grope for hiked-up skirts,fling endless, heavy layersof proprietytoward my ankles.I am a model Roman girl(or I can play the part at least). The man averts his eyes,steps back to give me space,as though he doesn’t realizehis mere presence in this roomdrives out all air.He may as wellbe pressed against me. He did not mean to startle—that much is clear.And even now as I                                recover                                steady my breath                                check my skirts once morehis eyes are not on mebut on the canvas.                                                My name is Agostino Tassi.                                                And you are Artemisia.

Editorial Reviews

Longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award!"An impassioned, lushly described account of a young woman who refuses to dwell in secret shame. Blood Water Paint fits smoothly into the current conversation surrounding the #MeToo movement."—Chicago Tribune"Coming out of the novel, I knew I would be haunted and empowered by Artemisia’s story for the rest of my life."—Amanda Lovelace, bestselling author of the princess saves herself in this one"Tragically relevant and unflinchingly feminist, Blood Water Paint is the kind of book all historical fiction should aspire to be."—Mackenzi Lee, New York Times bestselling author of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue★"McCullough has managed to vividly capture a singularly brave, resilient feminist who became an icon during a time when women had almost no agency. Her story and the stunning verse through which it is told will resonate just as strongly with readers today. A captivating and impressive debut about a timeless heroine." —Booklist, starred review★"McCullough’s beautifully crafted text will inspire upper-middle/high school readers to research the true story upon which this powerful piece of historical fiction is based. The poetry is clear and revelatory, exploring Artemisia’s passion for both art and life. The expression of her intense feelings is gripping and her complexity of character make her a force to be reckoned with, both in her times and in ours."—SLJ, starred review★"A haunting, stirring depiction of an unforgettable woman, Artemisia's story will resonate deeply with readers today and beyond."—Publishers Weekly, starred review ★"Luminous."—Shelf Awareness, starred review"A visceral reminder that women have suffered and stood strong throughout time.”—Mindy McGinnis, award-winning author of The Female of the Species."Both a grave reminder of how little has changed and a hopeful testament to how much more we might achieve, McCullough's debut is a must read."—Gae Polisner, author of The Memory of Things "Blood Water Paint is a deftly layered portrait, at once intimate and universal."—Melanie Crowder, author of Audacity"McCullough's stunning, immersive debut tells a timely story that's sure to stay with you long after you finish."—Buzzfeed"[An] incandescent retelling both timeless and, alas, all too timely."—Kirkus"[W]ill resonate with modern feminists."—BookPage“McCullough’s debut novel is one of a kind. ... [A] truly inspiring and impactful story."—Romatic Times"Filled with hope and an important message that women’s voices cannot be silenced."—Book Riot"For lovers of writers like Laurie Halse Anderson and An Na, Blood Water Paint is feminist historical fiction written in verse, giving readers a glimpse into the teen’s most intimate thoughts while highlighting a centuries-old, yet startlingly familiar time and place where men took what they wanted from women with practically no consequences."—Bustle“A stunning portrait.” –Bitch  “Can be inhaled in a day.” –Paste “Deeply moving…”—Brit & Co"This intensely passionate and powerful exploration of women’s lives, stories, truths, and power is a masterpiece." —Teen Librarian ToolboxBooklist Editor's Choice Top of the List 2018Boston Globe Best Books of 2018Book Page Best of 2018Bustle Best of 2018 Chicago Public Library Best of the Best 2018 A Publishers Weekly Flying StartSchool Library Journal Best of 2018Shelf Awareness 2018 Best Children's & Teen Books of the Year