Living Color: Painting, Writing, and the Bones of Seeing

Living Color: Painting, Writing, and the Bones of Seeing

Language: English

Pages: 192

ISBN: 1617690848

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

From fill-in art journals to self-help books on creativity, more than ever the public is striving to bring artistic enlightenment into their everyday lives. In Living Color, one of the country’s most celebrated writers expounds on her own path to artistic inspiration. Tailored to a new generation of aspiring creatives, this revised and expanded edition pairs 13 of Goldberg’s engaging and encouraging essays with 75 of her paintings and 22 never-before-shared artistic exercises. This timely re-publication will speak straight to the heart of readers everywhere who want to break down creative barriers or explore their creativity anew.


















I stopped. Suddenly I flung open my arms. I called out, “No! I’m vibrant!” And with that, everything became alive. A beautiful thin maple with delicate green leaves was on the corner. If I leaned my head in the right direction, a cloud was in the center of the tree. I moved my head several times to see the cloud appear and disappear. I turned and saw a friend farther down the block. She had found her spot and was walking back and forth. Just then, in early morning, the phone rang. A friend from

called La Baie des Anges (Bay of the Angels). I’d let the picture sink into my whole body. I didn’t worry whether it fed my writing or painting part; it fed all of me. I recalled a fight I once had with a lover. We left each other angry. The next day I took a long walk, looked up at the aspens, saw how their leaves had changed. It is October, I said to myself. I stopped at a local grocery, bought an apple, took a big bite out of it and turned the corner to my street. I hadn’t thought of my lover

for a moment all afternoon; yet when I got home I went directly to the phone, picked up the receiver and called. “Let’s make up. I miss you,” I said. I had moved into a new open space. In this same way, I would call painting back into my life. Roshi was gone. I needed everything that could nurture me. Striped Chair, 2004 LESSON NINE Go to a museum or a gallery. Choose one room and walk around to study each painting. Need an incentive? You get to take home one painting in that room.

do I derive the most pleasure? Well, one good way would be to become friends with three or four paintings: Oh, yes, I know that one! Then the atmosphere won’t feel so foreign, I told myself. Now when I saw a painting I was drawn to, I just stood before it. After all, this painting must have taken Matisse a long time to paint, I thought, not to mention a whole lifetime of practice behind him, so the least I could do was stand before it for three full minutes. It was surprising to me how long a

If you hadn’t noticed, Roshi died. There’s no one here. There’s nothing to hold on to. Go out there into open space and be born again in a whole different way.” I knew that what was happening to me couldn’t be understood through logic—or through therapy, either. I had to go to an empty white canvas and find out what was within me. I also knew that what I was looking at in the pages of Diebenkorn’s book took a whole lifetime to develop. If I wanted to paint like that, I’d have to give it

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