An Absorbing Errand: How Artists and Craftsmen Make Their Way to Mastery

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Counterpoint Press, 2012 - Art - 264 pages
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An Absorbing Errand uses stories of artists' lives, personal anecdotes, and insights from the author's work as a psychotherapist to examine the psychological obstacles that prevent people from staying with, and relishing, the process of art-making. Each chapter is devoted to a problem intrinsic to the creative process and illustrates how these very obstacles, once understood, can become prime sources of the energy that actually fuels the mastery of art-making.

Many people carry within their hearts an aching sense that they have something they want to express through art; or that they will not feel complete until they've brought out some hidden part of themselves. Yet they cannot begin to do the work of bringing their creative idea into the world. Or, maybe they've begun over and over, but they can't stay with their labor long enough to finish it. Ultimately, An Absorbing Errand provides a philosophical, historical, and analytical look at the creative impulse and how certain artists from a wide field mastered their craft. From Julia Child to Charlie Chaplin, Lady Gaga to Michael Jackson, famous painters to established writers, Smith shows us how each overcame the obstacles they faced in the pursuit of their creative visions.
 

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User Review  - chrisblocker - LibraryThing

I have a problem with non-narrative non-fiction books: they can be boring. Not only does the author often drone on and on, but they repeat the same point they made in the first chapter, expanding on ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
25
Section 3
49
Section 4
75
Section 5
105
Section 6
135
Section 7
163
Section 8
203
Section 9
237
Section 10
249
Section 11
251
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About the author (2012)

Janna Malamud Smith is the author of three books, My Father is a Book: A Memoir of Bernard Malamud, A Potent Spell: Mother Love and The Power of Fear; and Private Matters: In Defense of the Personal Life. Her titles have been New York Times Notable Books and A Potent Spell was a Barnes and Noble ?Discover Great New Writers” pick. She has written for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the Threepenny Review, among other publications. A practicing psychotherapist, she lives with her husband and two children in Massachusetts.

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