I’m reading Anne Truitt’s Daybook: The Journal of an Artist. It’s a beautiful and very insightful portrayal of the artist at work. Truitt worked in several medias, and I believe her Daybook will be of interest to all people making a creative living. Through reading Truitt one actually gets access to the creative process as it unfolds. Here is a short excerpt:
An eye for this order is crucial for an artist. I notice that as I live from day to day, observing and feeling what goes on both inside and outside myself, certain aspects of what is happening adhere to me, as if magnetized by a center of psychic gravity. I have learned to trust this center, to rely on its acuity and to go along with its choices although the center itself remains mysterious to me. I sometimes feel as if I recognize my own experience. It is a feeling akin to that of unexpectedly meeting a friend in a strange place, of being at once startled and satisfied-startled to find outside myself what feels native to me, satisfied to be so met. It is exhilarating.
These days I’m struggling with my essay on Woolf. Today I will keep these words by Truitt in mind:
The most demanding part of living a lifetime as an artist is the strict discipline of forcing oneself to work steadfastly along the nerve of one’s own intimate sensitivity.
I believe these words to be true for the writer as well.
Anne Truitt (1921 – 2004) was a major American artist of the mid-20th century. Critics have often associated her with both Minimalism and the Washington Color Field artists, although like many artists she rejected reductive classifications. Along with her art Truitt was noted as a teacher and as an author of memoirs: Daybook (1982), Turn (1986), and Prospect (1996).