In this series of autobiographical essays accompanied by paintings (or autobiographical paintings accompanied by essays), Natalie Goldberg examines the relationship between her writing, her art, and her life. Known for her books about writing (Writing Down the Bones
in particular), Goldberg once used painting as others do a walk in the woods or a martini before dinner--as a way to unwind after a day of work. Fearing dilettantism, she quit painting altogether, only to find that when she stopped painting, "I gave up a deep source of my writing, that place in me where I can let my work flow." Once again she embraced visual expression, which she realized she had used "as a metaphor or mirror to break out of something I didn't understand in writing." The paintings have a colorful, folksy feel; the book is an interesting exploration of the influences that the various aspects of our lives have on our work and vice versa.
From the Inside Flap
Join the bestselling author of Wild Mind
and Writing Down the Bones
as she explores a new realm of creativity--the world of color--and offers us an intimate view of how everyday life is transformed into art.
In twelve high-spirited chapters, Natalie introduces us to her family, her artist friends, her New Mexico home, her painting trips to Europe--always focusing on the questions faced by any creative person, whatever their medium. Why, for example, does an artist choose some subjects and not others? ("I was crazy about the wrong-color sky and the heart-sinking beckoning of headlights on old cars," she acknowledges.) How does a painter draw nourishment from another painter's work? ("I didn't want fancy art theories. I wanted a direct connection with the painting before me.") When is it time to move into a new form? ("I had to go to an empty white canvas and find out what was within me.")
More than 60 four-color reproductions of Natalie's distinctive and joyous paintings appear throughout. The result is a feast for the eyes and a celebration of the creative spirit in action.