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Drawing from Life
The Journal As Art
Jennifer New

ISBN 9781568984452
Publication date 6/1/2005
8 x 10 inches (20.3 x 25.4 cm), Paperback
192 pages, 200 color illustrations, 5 b/w illustrations
Rights: World; Carton qty: 18; (273.0)

This book is Out of Print

$29.95 Available for online reading at (subscription or short-term rental required)

Who hasn't, at one time or other, kept a journal? The impulse to record our daily lives on paper is nothing if not universal. Still, only a few of us have the discipline to make it past the first few entries, and fewer still manage to create diaries whose insight and visual beauty can inspire anyone but their authors. Drawing from Life: The Journal As Art is an exploration of these exceptions--books of obsessive wonder filled to their borders with drawings, sketches, watercolors, graphs, charts, lists, collages, portraits, and photographs.

Jennifer New takes readers on a spirited tour into the private worlds of journal keepers--an architect, a traveler, a film director, an archeologist, a cancer patient, a songwriter, a quiltmaker, a gardener, an artist, a cyclist, and a scientist, to name just a few--illustrating a broad range of journaling styles and techniques that in the end show how each of us can go about documenting our everyday lives. Excerpts from journals by such artists as Maira Kalman, Steven Holl, David Byrne, and Mike Figgis give us a peek at how creative souls observe, reflect, and explore.

For those who already keep a journal, Drawing from Life will be an inspiration. For those who have always wanted to--or tried and failed--it might just be the motivation needed to get past that first week.

Jennifer New is author of the best selling Dan Eldon: The Art of Life. She teaches at the University of Iowa School of Education and lives with her husband and children in Iowa City.

Editorial Reviews

Good Reading Good Gifting, Capital Times:
"Painters, photographers, a psychiatrist, a gardener, a songwriter and assorted travelers chart their journeys. The book breaks down the 31 journal keepers based on how they work: observation, reflection, exploration, and creation." — Linda Brazill

Journals collection covers all the bases, Virginia Pilot:
"Journals kept by 31 creative types, from cartoonist Lynda Barry and cognitve scientist/engineer Erwin Boer to painter Julie Baugnet, who teaches graphic design at Minnesotas St. Cloud State University, and sketches from a project journal kept by Mineapolis landscape architect Thomas Oslund." — Mary Abbe

Iowa Alumni Magazine:
"In Drawing From Life, New interviews 31 journal-keepers on how they use their notebooks to observe, explore, reflect, and create their worldsand then she lets their words and images speak. The faithful scribes and artists behind this collection of journal excerpts unlock the secrets of their lives and hearts. The result, bound in a journal-like book with rounded corners and a graph paper background, is visually stirring."

Words and images, Metro:
"- these are the kind of rough drafts that beg for public viewing." — Amy Benfer

Deepest Thoughts..., The New York Times:
"there is something romantic about this journal..." — Stephanie Rosenbloom

"Jennifer New offers a compelling examination of the limitless methods of journal-keeping. . . . With contributors ranging from a musician, to a medical illustrator, to an architect, the book documents a whole series of everyday career-people with unusual ways of cataologing the world. "

"In this age of confession and making public that which usually was considered private, the fiber optics of visual artists who keep journals as the fodder from which they glean their creative life. They keep their journals close, because one never knows when a striking image or a quick thought may invade those pages."

Artist journals reflect primative musing, Brunswick Times - Record:
"Picasso left nearly 100 little sketchbooks filled with doodles and drawings that, to the delight of scholars, trace the evolution of his artistic styles." — Mary Abbe

Thinking In Pictures, The American Biology Teacher:
"Presents sample pages from dozens of peoples journals, all with images as well as writing. " — Maura C. Flannery

"This book is a must have"

Primitive Musing, Star Tribune:
"Short engaging essays introduce excerpts reproduced from the visual journals of the 31 artists, cartoonists, mapmaker, scientists, travelers and other creative types, including Minnesotans Julie Baugnet, associate professor of design at St. Cloud University, and Tom Oslund, landscape architect."

Book Stuff:
"Divided into four categories-observation, reflection, exploration and creation-these are the kind of rough drafts that beg for public viewing. "

Portsmouth Herald Sunday:
"Words alone can't describe the richness of the experiences captured in these pages by people like musician David Byrne, film director Mike Figgis, cartoonist Lynda Barry, and artist Gary Brown."

New & Notable , Santa Barbra News Press:
"A most imaginative collection of work from artists journals, the book features the creative work of dozens of creators. Included are personal, imaginative sketches, photographs, full-color illustrations and prose examples of their work." — Fred Klien

The I in the center of diary, Boston Sunday Globe:
"Visual diaries, as New notes in her preface, are more pragmatic, less confessional, and better fit for public viewing than written diaries.Pouring over the books vivid and arresting pages, it seemed to me visual diaries might also be more useful to the diarist. " — Kate Bolick

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