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On Not Being Able to Paint
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On Not Being Able to Paint

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  47 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews

Milner�s great study, first published in 1950, discusses the nature of creativity and those forces which prevent its expression. In focusing on her own beginner�s efforts to draw and paint, she analyses not the mysterious and elusive ability of the genius but � as the title suggests � the all too common and distressing situation of �not being able� to create.

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Paperback, 184 pages
Published January 1st 1990 by International Universities Press (first published 1957)
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David
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember watching some footage of Picasso doing a painting. This was late-stage Picasso, I think… anyway it certainly wasn’t a representational painting! He would do some work on the canvas, step back, look at it for a long time, go back and adjust it. I thought, What is going on in his head? How is he making decisions? What are his criteria? Because this was obviously a process that involved thinking, even if it was largely intuitive. Picasso looked like he was concentrating, this wasn’t arbi ...more
Anthony
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology-etc
a psychoanalyst studies drawing and painting, investigating the roots of the creative impulse and what exactly we are up to when we make a drawing. she can be a bit naive at times about the 'meaning' of art, and you also have to allow her to get lost from time to time in her own private mythologies, but on the whole this book is a fascinating "attempted embodiment of the process of creating" complete with lots of charming and bizarre doodles from the author's hand.
The Art Book Review
Dec 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Of all my voicemails, my therapist leaves the lengthiest messages. He calls to change an appointment and brackets the proposed time change with a series of free associations about why we need to reschedule. I delight in the circular logic and meandering thoughts in these voicemails. It is a reversal of my position as analysand and I can freely analyze the recorded words of my analyst.

Marion Milner’s book, On Not Being Able to Paint, originally published in 1950, and now in its second edition, is
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A.J.
Nov 14, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book an interesting and challenging psycho-analytic journey through one artist’s attempts to define and unlock her own creativity. The analysis side bordered on oversharing, I thought, but clearly the process of analysing her own ‘free-drawings’ was an important part of the overall experience that Milner went on through the course of her own experiment in creativity.
Stephen
Nov 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
A good conversation. Inspiring.
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