Friday, February 27, 2015

Storyteller's Journey

An Amazing Gift

Last Christmas we received a copy of The Writer's Brush from a dear friend. Little did I know how much that book would inspire me. The amazing artwork of famous, iconic authors is included in the beautiful book.

For example: Hans Christian Andersen, Rudyard Kipling, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, and Mark Twain just to name a few. What so inspired me was the fact that while there are many drawings and paintings in the book that highlight real artistic talent, many do not. What the book reveals is that the creativity of these authors could not be confined to their words alone - they felt compelled to paint, draw, and sketch.

As many of you know, my husband is an oil painter; we host a monthly meeting for artists in our home - the Columbia River Art Group. I've grown very fond of each member of the group, and have learned a lot just by being a casual observer. However, after receiving this book I thought: Why not participate? It's not like I intend to become a professional oil painter, but surely I can sketch, doodle, and scribble. What a great way to leave a visual diary of my creative journey.

So, I mentioned my desire to the group and they were thrilled with the idea. One of the members of CRAG is also not an oil painter (he's married to one), but he is a professional photographer. He recently began sharing his photography with the group, so that also gave me the motivation to make my own request. We've hosted this group for a couple of years now, so there is a lot of trust between each of us.
I'll be sure to show you a few of my creations in the coming months.

Below is the flap copy description for The Writer's Brush
by Donald Friedman - With essays by William H. Gass & John Updike

"The itch to make dark marks on paper is shared by many writers and artists," begins John Updike in his essay in The Writer's Brush, and this stunning collection will amaze lovers of the literary and fine arts alike. Author Donald Friedman has gathered 400 paintings, drawings, and sculpture--many from private collections, never before published--by more than 200 of the world's most famous writers, including 13 Nobel laureates.

The result is astounding. Whether viewing the beautiful landscapes that Hermann Hesse credited with saving his life, the manuscript sketches that Fyodor Dostoevsky made of his characters, or the can-can dancers secretly drawn by Joseph Conrad, readers of The Writer's Brush will gain new insights into the lives and minds of their favorite writers and the nature of the creative process itself.

Accompanying the artwork are fascinating biographies that provide little-known details of the writers' lives in the visual arts and offer the writers' own observations on their art and the relationships they saw between word and image. While written for a broad audience, The Writer's Brush is also an essential reference work, with alphabetical and chronological listings of its subjects and an extensive bibliography.

As Friedman notes in his introduction, for many of the writers anthologized here, a coin toss could have determined whether to spend the day standing in a smock or seated with a pen. The Writer's Brush brings together for the first time--in one unique, affordable volume--both worlds of these writers in the definitive work of the writer-artist.

May this post inspire you to pursue your creativity - wherever it leads!


  1. What a delightful book. I'm a writer that likes to paint, and I've had other writer friends that paint for a hobby or for experiment. What I've found is that that creative urge transcends boundaries: Many artists dabble in writing as well. I think experimenting in other forms of art always enriches your own special area.

    1. I totally agree, Elizabeth. My husband, Michael, has amazed me so many times with his wonderful writing - even though he's an oil painter! ^_^