Recently I received a review copy of the book Creative Strength Training — Prompts, Exercises and Personal Stories for Encouraging Artistic Genius. Typically I would write this type of review out on Amazon, but I wanted to be sure to share this little gem with all of my True Blue friends as well.
Jane Dunnewold has created a beautiful piece of art just by the writing and presentation of this work. It’s a beautiful book, with gorgeous photographs and a pleasing presentation. Although, in other reviews, some seniors and other folks with failing eyesight have suggested that the font type might be a bit too light, I did not find that to be the case. I think that the book itself is beautiful with stunning photography of all types of artistic creations that make just flipping through the book worth the effort. But the photos and the artwork presented are just the beginning of the treasures contained within the covers.
For anyone who has ever dreamt of creating anything — a painting, a book, a quilt, a blog page, a life– this book is a step-by-step guide for breaking through the fears and barriers that might be holding you back. It’s a tool–or a series of tools– for experimenting and for helping you to step out of your comfort zone while remaining in the safety of your own home, where no-one need know what you’re up to. It’s a guide for exploring the world within you to help you find your voice. For some, you may be surprised to find that the whisper that’s been calling to you to create might actually be the reverberating sound of a distant shout echoing from the mountain tops!
Every week in our classes we hear at least a few people say “I can’t even draw a stick figure,” and it makes me sad, not that they can’t draw, because I believe that they can. I am saddened that those people have been bombarded by opinions and images of what they believe stick figures “should” look like and what “good” art is supposed to look like. I know that those same people are at my paint class because they secretly yearn to paint and they want someone to show them the “correct” way to do it. All the while not knowing that there is no right way. There is no wrong way. If you want to paint, you already have everything you need to do it.
Jane Dunnewold takes the reader through a series of stories and projects that lead each budding artist to discover that they had it all along. She’ll have you working with paint, fabric, textiles, and all kind of other tools, and she’ll have you believing that you are creating art, and you are, but more importantly you are creating the very tools that you will use to quiet the inner critic that’s been holding you back from a life of self expression like you never dreamed possible.
If you yearn to create, stop pinning photos on Pinterest. Instead, treat yourself to this book and kick off 2017 as your year of self-exploration. You won’t regret it.