In her debut, a painter uses mixed media to share her observations on her life as an artist.
LaGrone-Amaral shares her deeply personal autobiographical and sociopolitical views in a mélange of essays, poetry, photos and illustrations. The author writes that her inspiration for making art comes from her father, a master painter who was also a Tuskegee Airman in World War II. She keeps the lessons her father taught her “safe and tucked away like precious jewels,” she writes. She includes a plethora of images of her as a young girl painting with her father to clarify the path that was laid out for her at a young age. Raised in the South and in New York City, and currently residing in Los Angeles, LaGrone-Amaral has a voice as diverse as the places she’s lived. She writes about attending church with her family in the South, and how the breeze “played with the lazy ribbons in our hair and made the parlor curtains swing like they were dancing.” The book includes reflections about a range of subjects, from a broken bottle on a street, to “feeling in colors,” to a date at New York’s Russian Tea Room with a “handsome young dancer.” LaGrone-Amaral describes and demonstrates the artist’s ability to “collect and store up moments, feelings, visions, dreams, and fragments from the changing shadows of life’s journey.” Her writing is as bright as the paintings she includes, and her flowery adjectives enliven even mundane observations. A self-labeled “archetypal expressionist,” the author “uses paintings like words” and balances visual imagery with prose that speaks to the nuances of life.
An engaging, eloquent memoir told through poetry, essays and paintings.