On Not Being Able to Paint – Marion Milner 1950



Foreword by Anna Freud

Marion Milner‘s treatment of psychic creativity differs in several respects from those well-established approaches to the subject to which psycho-analytic readers owe whatever familiarity with it they possess.  She chooses as the object of her scrutiny not the professional and recognized artist but herself as a ‘Sunday-painter’; not the finished masterpiece but her own fumbling and amateurish beginner’s efforts to draw and paint.  In short, she analyses not the mysterious and elusive ability of the genius who achieves self-expression through the medium of painting, but – as the title of the book suggests – the all too common and distressing restrictions by which the creativity of the average adult individual is held in check.

It is fascinating for the reader to follow the author’s attempts to rid herself of the obstacles which prevent her from painting, and to compare this fight for freedom of…

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