THE CREATIVE PATH is a Map out of Creative Ruts



THE CREATIVE PATH coverA View from the Studio on the Making of Art
Author Carolyn Schlam
Narrated by Coleen Marlo
Published by Tantor Media
Publication date May 15, 2018
Running time 6 hrs


I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted

The Creative Path is an inquiry into the creative process from philosophical, psychological, spiritual, and practical points of view. In this welcoming work on the creative process, Carolyn Schlam encourages the listener to embark upon his or her own journey of discovery, identity, and wonder through art. The author started her career in art under the tutelage of master teacher Norman Raeben in the Carnegie Hall Studios in New York. Raeben’s students included Bob Dylan, who said of him: “He put my mind and my hand and my eye together, in a way that allowed me to do consciously what I unconsciously felt.”

Chapters discuss the meaning of inspiration, intention, talent, authenticity, and many other aspects of art creation. Included in The Creative Path are: six lectures by Norman Raeben with commentary by the author; exercises designed to strengthen listeners’ creative muscles; analysis of aesthetic criteria; reflections on the artist’s role in society; and a discussion of the mindset required to make art a life path. A celebration of creativity, this inspirational book examines why we make art. Though it makes primary reference to visual art, The Creative Path will resonate with all creative practitioners, whatever their chosen discipline.


My Take Oblong Shaped

I am currently, for once, not in a creative rut in my painting. But, I love to listen to books that might give me insight into the artistic process, and my own artistic process. I have been painting for over 25 years, and there is always a new approach to help me move into a direction that will lead to better work.

For me, “better” is not the same as “pretty.” Of course, a good painting needs to have visual interest but the most important part of art is a sense of the genuine; it needs sincerity. This writer and artist “gets it.” At first I was put off because she was quoting the Bible. But, I realized it was looking at creation mythology in regards to being creative.

Schlam does spend quite a bit of time talking about her private artistic training with Norman Raeben. Some may think this is a bit boastful, but she provides several examples of how her teacher pushed her to be a better artist. And, she got so much from this teacher – it must have been a great fit.

Schlam looks at different types disciplines of artists: like abstract and realistic, and offers ways of breaking out of a rut, or if no rut is evident then, expand and challenge ourselves. And, we all need to constantly challenge ourselves  (not just artists).   My art is about challenging and learning about myself. This writer spoke directly to my creative process.

I especially like how she spoke ab out how being an artist is not something you put away at five o’clock in the evening.  Art is what you are about not just what you do.

Although we had a rocky start this book and I ended up getting along really well. I found Marlo’s narration sincere and enthusiastic. I thought the book was so helpful that I got it for my painting teacher. I recommend this for any artist who feels the need for a boost.


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