Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Morning notes: The black and yellow book

Most mornings, I take a final cup of coffee to this corner of my dining room. The painting and 'stuff' on the table top changes with the season or my mood. The sun filters in through the bare limbs or narrow leaves of the tree outside. I sit and check my schedule, plan a blog entry or a painting or read and sing to Lucy (an almost daily event.)

This week, I've given some thought to the 'black and yellow book.' Last year, I had written that I was "Disappointed that I will not see my name on one of those black and yellow books. Annoyed that I let this become so important." ( see Endings and Beginnings) Now, I am surprised that I had put it behind me so well that I didn't even think about it's possible release date. I was not prepared to find it on the shelves of my favorite bookstore.

I pulled it down and sat in a big chair to glance through the pages. The author is a textbook writer/publisher. He has been a newspaper art critic and has a Masters in both teaching and English. There was nothing surprising, it fit the formula -- a formula which I could not seem to get. It will sell well.

Mostly though, I have thought about the differences in what I had envisioned for "my" book and the one I held in my hands. I think the difference is in approach.
As an artist, teacher, art judge and sometime writer, my presentation of art history has been related to art techniques and colored by a degree in religion. I have tried to show art in history in relation to art today and art makers in relation to the world around them. And . . . I want the contribution of women to be important. I think somewhere there might be a need for my kind of book. It just won't be black and yellow.


KJ said...

I love your 'observations.' Especially the ones that look at the whole picture, and accompanied by really beautiful photos, brings the complete thought full circle. I feel certain there is a better format for your thoughts than the black and yellow book. Whatever form it takes, it needs to include your photos as well as your sketches.

CMC said... are just not the black and yellow "formula type" writer. You'll have your own style sooner or later I know.

Annette said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Karen and Cheryl. Making the connection-full circle is the challenge I most enjoy about my 'observations.'

I just had a call from my sixth grade teacher. It's kind of scary to think that, more than 50 years later, she is still checking to see if I'll ever get things right. . . .

Nita said...

I was horrified to read of your experience last year with that publisher. Unfortunately, it isn't uncommon. My son has had similar experiences with two different publishers. It might be a good idea to read the published book carefully to make sure they haven't incorporated any of your material into it.

Walker said...

Annette, I agree with Nita - make sure they didn't use any of your material for the published book. I sympathize with your emotional reaction to finding the book for sale, it couldn't have felt good knowing how much precious time and energy you put into that project. I still think that overall you were just too good for them, and that there is a place for your kind of book out there.

Annette said...

Thanks for the sympathy and advice, Nita. I was just going to let it go, but perhaps I will buy the book. I had the feeling that the acquisitions editor was buying time until the writer she wanted to get his outline together. I'm both sorry and glad to hear that your son had similar experience -- nice to know I'm not the only one. ;-]

Annette said...

Robin, thanks for thinking I'm too good. I think I'm just to convoluted in my thinking. I remember trying to do needlework kits some years ago. I could never follow the pattern; I always had to do it my way. My friend, the magazine editor, said, "Would you really want your name on one of those black and yellow books?" Well, yeah!

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm proud of you that you did manage to put that whole episode out of your mind, at least for a little while. I hated how you sweated about it when we were in France!

Your book would be good, and Karen's right...your book must somehow be illustrated with your own work. And, Nita's a copy and read it very carefully!