Daybook by Anne Truitt


Renowned American artist Anne Truitt kept this illuminating and inspiring journal over a period of seven years, determined to come to terms with the forces that shaped her art and life. Her range of sensitivity—moral, intellectual, sensual, emotional, and spiritual— is remarkably broad. She recalls her childhood on the eastern shore of Maryland, her career change from psychology to art, and her path to a sculptural practice that would “set ...

Details Daybook

Release DateMar 6th, 1984
PublisherPenguin Books
GenreArt, Autobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography

Reviews Daybook

  • Caron
    Rereading this gem again. I like reading through Truitt's journal at least once/year. My favorite passage:"My mother's moral force radiated from her like a gentle pulsation. Sensitive people picked t up and found her presence delicately satisfying...She was herself only when alone. I used to watch her brace herself for people; even, occasionally, for me. And then watch her straight, narrow back relax, her shoulders drop a little, as she set out f...
  • Andrea
    Although my life is different from Anne's I found many inspiring thoughts and ideas in her writing. Her heart laid bare for a glimpse into the challenges facing a mother and artist. Creativity versus survival, doing something meaningful, what your life's work means to you. My internal landscape opened up as I was reading. The answers to our questions do come, but not on our timetable. I was moved by many passages, one of which I'd like to share. ...
  • Greta
    This is a wonderful book for many reasons. Anne writes like a poet, choosing her words so carefully and elegantly, one reads slowly in order to allow them to sink in gradually but thoroughly before moving on to the next thought. She writes of her lives: as a child, a student, a wife, a mother, an artist, a single parent, a grandmother, a woman. She writes of her thoughts, feelings and experiences in such a way that help you understand her art, he...
  • Rose Gowen
    How I miss the Harvard Bookstore! I used to go in there all the time, even though I worked in a library, just to be surrounded by the stacks of crisp, fresh new books, and to see what was being published.I find myself less rich in brand-new books, but since moving, my best book-buying experiences have been at church rummage sales, the library book sale, and the back room of the library. I like the way an odd selection can turn up something I've n...
  • Abby
    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 ones own most intimate sensitivity.American sculptor Anne Truitt keeps a loose-limbed diary, including thoughts about her work, inspiration, motherhood, ambition and provision, and it is a motivating record of a driven artist. She was once a nurse and trained as a creative writer, and both of her capacities ...
  • Jinjer
    She writes too much about her art. LOL
  • T.
    Reread after a conversation with M. We were talking about Annie Dillard's The Writing Life, and I said she reminds me of Anne Truitt, and to some extent, May Sarton. So I brought out this book again.Some of my favourite excerpts:"...In a deeply unsettling realization, I began to see that I had used the process of art not only to contain my intensities but also to exorcise those beyond my endurance, and must have done so with haste akin to panic, ...
  • Cindy
    I was not familiar with this artist's work and was led to this book through the Brain Pickings website. About halfway through I went online and googled some of her work to get a sense of what she was talking about regarding the controversy around one of her exhibits. I found the work inscrutable. I kept reading, though, because her voice as an artist, as a parent, and as a woman made me want to know more about how she saw the world and how she th...
  • Sandra
    I read this for my book club and found the author's reflections on creativity and the challenges of a career in art very interesting, if sometimes slow going. I wasn't familiar with Truitt's art, and this made the sections on her process confusing. I was able to find plenty of pictures of her work online which helped, but I would have loved an illustrated edition (don't know if one exists). I think artists would get the most out of this book, wit...
  • Carol
    I read this book about 16 years ago...hard to believe! I enjoyed it again but it made me sad this time. When the book ends with her last journal entry, she is 60, single and her children have all left to live their own lives. She has started lecturing about art but is winding down with her own work. Maybe because I am at the age I identify with her more than I did the first time I read this. Her art was difficult for me both times I read her book...
  • Michele Yates
    I read this 20 years ago and loved it even more for this second reading. Anne Truitt writes of artistic process and domestic responsibilities, and how each informs the other. Very thoughtful, honest and illuminating. A very revealing and fascinating look into the intellect and heart of an accomplished sculptor.
  • Julene
    Anne Truitt has three books of her journal writing, this one I read second, after reading her third book. I like the simple format she uses in this book, it is organized by date. She spends time reflecting on her relationship with her children, in particular I appreciated this thought, "The increasing independence of the child has to be met and matched by an increasing independence of the parent. I have found no other way to render this separatio...
  • Lynne
    I will never look at minimalist art the same way again. Truitt pursuit of ultimate honesty in the way light and color capture feeling ,experience, and thought is powerfully described. The titles she gives to her work is an insight into this: "Remembered Sea," "Jaunt," Second Requiem," and "Landfall," for example. But this journal is also about the struggle to raise a family, be in a family, and yet make time, place, and money to continue her life...
  • Susan
    Back in the day, when living in Baltimore (another life ago), I was in the audience at the Baltimore Museum of Art when Anne Truitt read a little from her book. She mentioned an experience she had while visiting Japan and naturally that resulted in my eventually reading this journal.Now, I'm re-reading it (just completed) and, am in a different stage of my life. This book, this time around, has been more of a meditative read, to absorb at the beg...
  • Ann Tracy
    a friend lent me this book and i'd forgotten i'd read it back in the 80s while in art school. it was interesting to read it again as i'm close to the age range truitt was when she wrote it. great to be immersed in an artist's day-to-day life, process, and thoughts on art via her journal. my only complaint was at the beginning she went on about how she was so worried about her finances and meeting day-to-day expenses, but then 1/2 way through the ...
  • Jan
    I loved reading Truitt's sincere journal about trying to be true to her family and to her art. In fact, I read it several times during the years I was raising my family, mostly as a guide to figuring out my own autonomy with my desire to be creative, and my desire to be true to my calling as wife and mother. I think I will re-read it now that I have a different position with my family and my creativity.
  • Amanda
    Such a lovely book! One of Truitt's main struggles is the struggle between competing roles in her life: her role as mother and her role as artist. She is positively lyrical when talking about that tension and how she navigated it on a daily basis. I listened to the audio version of this, which was delightfully narrated by Truitt herself, but I've decided I need to get myself a print copy because this is a book I'll read again for sure.
  • Sue Dale
    A great insight into everyday life of an artist. The book is comprised of journal entries by Truitt over a period as a mother who straddles home duties and studio practice. A nice easy read and honest account of the struggle artists face day to day.Anne Truitt: Wanting What I Cant Have | Paint later, a painter's blog. A great insight into everyday life of an artist. The book is comprised of journal entrie...
  • Laura
    I still remember when I found this book (in an earlier edition, with a better cover), on a tall narrow corner bookshelf at Jay's Bookstall in Pittsburgh, Pa., late on an afternoon, possibly a Friday afternoon, not long before closing, sometime in the mid-1980s. One of my long-held touchstone sentences comes from this book:"Work is the backbone of a properly conducted life, serving at once to give it shape and to hold it up." -- Anne Truitt
  • Olivia
    This book moved me so much. Maybe it's that Truitt was also a working mother or maybe she just has a knack for expressing her internal monologue. I enjoyed traveling the three years with her and sharing the experiences of her life and struggles as well. I rarely re-read books but I already feel like reading this one again.
  • Sandra
    Not a quick, or a cheerful read: but worth the effort. The story, set in Indira Ghandi's India, describes harsh reality and troubled lives in a fairly matter-of-fact way. You don't want life to be that way, but it is very believable, and somewhat redeemed by the kindness & humor of even seemingly "lost" characters.
  • Brigette
    A softly interesting, very personal look at being an artist and single mom over decades. While the author is from a different generation (she went to college in the 1930s) and part of the country (mid-Atlantic and south), there was still much that felt very relevant. And I enjoyed her writing--it was like listening to someone I would enjoy getting to know.
  • Shannon
    This book, and the following two, inspired me to explore themes in painting that have been informing my work for the past three years. Another artist who was also a wife (for awhile, anyway) and mother.
  • Ross Mountney
    Am reading this insightful memoir slowly and cogitating on the contents as she brings much comfort in the telling of the Artist's constant and familiar balancing act between work and family/other life.
  • Jessica
    An artist's journal, in which she muses on her childhood, inspiration, financial worries, medium, locales, etc. Very few interesting insights. While I'm sure this book helped the artist while writing it, it is an exercise in ego to have published it, in my opinion.
  • Sigrun Hodne
    A beautiful rendering of the artist's life. I find it especially interesting that the author is a mature woman, a women weaving motherhood and ordinary chores into her life as an artist, giving us a fuller picture of what is to live an artists life. "I yearn to express what it is to be human."
  • Terence
    This is so insightful, I never thought I would relate to some of her observations of feelings. But I did. Especially about balancing making work with your family, job, etc. So glad I sat down to read this.
  • Ric Dragon
    Loved this book on many levels. Before reading it, I had some prejudice... thought it was something else. But no, its profound. She wrote two others, as well... one of which just arrived in my mail. Loved this book on many levels. Before reading it, I had some prejudice... thought it was something else. But no, it´s profound. She wrote two others, as well... one of which just arrived in my mail.