Through reading Living Color, I discovered that the author Natalie Goldberg was a prolific author. I loved her writing style - the stories she told and how she linked them to her painting and life journey seamlessly. I found two of her other books on writing - not art. They were the best-selling Writing Down the Bones - Freeing the Writer Within and Wild Mind - Living the Writer's Life. At that point, I didn't have a blog but I had written a lot for my job - albeit marketing materials. I had always thought about writing-writing but because I wasn't "trained" or "schooled" in it, I didn't think it was something I could do. The most I got creative writing-wise was our annual Christmas letter where I shared stories about our farm. And besides - my high school English teacher Mr. Sutton was none too flattering about how I wrote.
Fast forward to 2014. I've kept this blog for almost 8 years and I write on it pretty regularly. And I've been writing books for quite a while even if they are craft and how-to books and not exactly creative writing. My writing has to be to the point, descriptive so that someone can actually reproduce what I am telling them to do by reading words and looking at photos. But now I call myself a writer. And a decorative artist. And a knitter. And a painter. And a stitcher. And a farmer.......
As I have grown older and worked in different creative disciplines, I have learned that all these different skills are inter-related. Each new thing I learn adds to the stew that simmers inside. The direction of one craft may change - or morph - or stay the same. I know that continuing to create - whether with my camera, my computer, needle and thread, yarn, paint, words, whatever - my work will keep changing. Living a creative life isn't easy all the time but it is fulfilling as I work through each project - then release it into the world.
About a month ago, I saw some press that looked interesting and familar. STC/Melanie Falick Books was publishing a book called Living Color. I read the copy and recognized the description. Wow - that book - Living Color - was coming out in a new edition. I was beyond excited. Awesome news for all those new people who will pick it up and be inspired. That book had given me confidence to keep creating and working and now it was being introduced to a new group of readers. I contacted STC to see if I could snag a review copy and this week it arrived. (Thank you Traci and Melanie.)
It is beautiful. It is colorful and it is packed with new paintings by Natalie. I loved her paintings then and I still love them now. At the end of each chapter, there are creative exercises to help you learn to paint - 22 in all. There is a lush picture gallery of Natalie's paintings and there is a new chapter at the end. I've already gotten half way through it. This is a book you can turn to again and again.
So why am I featuring a book writtten about a writer learning to paint here on this blog? Well here is the thing friends - whatever you do creatively - or want to do - by reading this book, you'll be able to gain the confidence to follow your dream. Granted - learning anything new takes practice to get better. But mostly it is finding the nerve to take the first step towards learning something new or bettering a skill you already know by breaking out of your normal routine. Reading about someone else's journey can help you to begin yours.
If you are THINKING about learning something new - perhaps you are a knitter or crocheter who wants to learn to draw or paint - or garden - or cook - or bake, Natalie's book will help you along. Check it out please. Buy a copy and then pass it on to a friend.
So here is what I have for one lucky reader today - a copy of Natalie Goldberg's new book Living Color. Here's how you enter.....
Good luck everyone and have a fantastic weekend. Make something!
Contest is over - the winner is johalley who wrote: When I am in a slump I visit a yarn or quilt shop, pull out a few books and spend some time on Pinterest, then I take a long walk. Usually I am mentally crafting before I am home!
I have contacted her and waiting for reply.