The Fury and Tenderness of Author Joshua Braff’s Art

Joshua Braff, Author and Artist:

“When I was thirteen, I was invited by a friend into a home in South Orange, NJ, that had many Color Field and New York School abstract paintings. There were works by Gottlieb, Motherwell, Steiner, Christensen, Poons, and Frankenthaler.

Fury and Tenderness

I could see warmth and artistry in them, but also an aim to evoke emotion in gestures. I also noticed there were very few rules in the approach and construction. The abandon of order evoked a certain fury, tenderness, gasp or whisper, depending on the artist’s choice of movement or color. It wasn’t painting as I knew it. Paintbrushes could only have been partly in use. Throwing the paint seemed possible. Or flinging it. From close or far away.

“I fell in love with the person who invited me to that home. Her parents were the art dealers and lovers who’d hung such great works.

Life and Art

Twenty years later and married, it was drawing at the kitchen table with our kids’ magic markers and crayons that triggered the idea in me that I might approach a canvas with acrylic and oil.

The Fury and Tenderness of Author Joshua Braff's Art by @DFriedmanAuthor #Fury #art

With two novels out, I was very alive to the notion of finding a different artistic outlet. The pieces began simple and small but evolved in size and complexity.  When painting, I find myself in a zone of physical and artistic movement that taps a crucial but hidden part of myself that isn’t available in written language.

On a great day, I can speak as well as I can with my prose, with understanding and emotional range, and all with a certain set of colors, shapes, and swirls.”

The critically praised author of the novels The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green, Peep Show, and The Daddy Diaries, Braff is also essayist and blogger, musician, photographer, and artist.

For more visit:

And, of course, check out The Writer’s Brush: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture by Writers for more than 400 plates of artwork by great writers and the stories behind them.


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