Creating images with words and pixels

Hi all, artists and writers

At an appropriate time, get a cup of coffee and read this unsolicited recommendation please.

REDBUBBLE led me to discover a remarkable woman, Annie Dillard, author of PILGRIM AT TINKER CREEK for which she received the Pulitzer Prize, and her short book about THE WRITING LIFE.

I have read the latter in two sittings only. This is very fast for me because I give expression to every word I read – makes me very slow.

I felt very close to her because she brought home to me many of my feelings about my visual art in the context of survival and the natural environment. Now starting on her PILGRIM book, I am fascinated with her creative ability to see and to record in words or images.

Here is the short story of my delightful experience of finding Annie Dillard.


Some digital art series I am doing concerns mangroves for which a have a personal empathy. I am aware of their extraordinary survival betwixt land and sea, and have a vague recollection of the mangrove habitat as being associated with the emergence of life.

I went on the net to search for a tag, a theme title to give my series. I wanted a tag that would reflect the special nature I attach to mangroves and nature.

The response was, as you’d expect, enormous, hundreds of hits. Several new search sessions on; Dillard’s name came up, one brief mention. Then came the magic words that, in her book PILGRIM AT TINKER CREEK, she referred to mangroves as the ‘icon of survival’

When I extended my search to look for this author and her mangrove reference, I was astonished to find so much: lots of academic discussions, critiques, university courses based on her work, and so on. I was further amazed, in view of this widespread coverage, that I could not get PILGRIM from a library. Other works, yes.

I ordered my special selections on the net. THE WRITING LIFE I chose for my emerging author daughter, Gillian, whose anguish, joy, blank spots and times of inspiration are shared in this book, but also for me and for those artists and writers whose experiences are reflected in Dillard’s beautiful work. The choice of PILGRIM AT TINKER CREEK was to explore the specific reference to mangroves, but I joyfully discovered so much more. While WRITING LIFE is about the agony and ecstasy, PILGRIM is longer, and Dillard uses her ‘lines of words’ to talk about SEEING, about what she sees and thinks about, strolling along the banks of Tinker Creek, Virginia.


Dillard may leave you unmoved, but let’s see. Whatever, here’s to seeing, and creating images with words and pixels.

As did Gillian Nicholson, my eldest daughter, in her THIS WAY TO THE SEA, a Pier9 publication 2007.

Journal Comments

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