Friday, November 27, 2009

Book Review: "A Painter's Life"

K.B. Dixon's A Painter's Life (Inkwater Press, 2009) mixes biographical sketches with journal excerpts, review snippets, and interview segments to tell the story (or select parts of the story) of Christopher Freeze, a struggling Portland artist. Freeze's meetings and interactions with his fellow artists, his art dealer, and a fellow attempting to write a book about him are detailed in the diary entries, as are (vaguely) his meetings with a therapist and his relationships with his wife, his friends, and his dog Wally.

I liked the structure of the book (short chapters, each with little snips from the various forms), but the chronology proved confusing at times, as the biographical bits didn't always seem to match up with the journal entries and other excerpts. Overall, while the short book made for a brief diversion (it took me less than an hour to read) I didn't find it left me with very much to take away from it (the ending is completely ambiguous).

Perhaps a slight change in the design (different fonts for the different forms, or slightly varying layouts) would have given a little more oomph to the interesting style.