The Painter (Large Print / Library Binding)

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Jim Stegner is a painter and, in his own words “pretty good, somewhat famous." He's moved to Paonia, Colorado, for
the quiet—to paint, flyfish, find some peace, and perhaps draw
occasional respite from his grief over the violent death of his
daughter. Stegner is also possessed of a hair-trigger temper and
impulse-control issues. When he encounters an outfitter mercilessly
beating a horse, he becomes enraged and events unfold that make any
prayer he may have had for achieving peace very unlikely. Loosely basing
THE PAINTER on a real character, Peter Heller has crafted a novel that
not only examines the emotional interior of a gifted but troubled man,
it also lets us inside an artist's inner circle. Dealer, muse, patrons,
rivals, critics, friends and lovers surround the painter as he maintains
his tenuous hold on freedom and sobriety. This is an amazing novel made
even more so by Heller's exquisite and vivid rendering of the landscape
of Colorado and New Mexico." ~Cathy Langer, Lead Buyer for Tattered Cover    

— Cathy is our lead buyer at TC and a real expert on what's good

The term chiaroscuro, as is used in painting is the skillful juxtaposition of darkness and light to create a dramatic effect. Heller uses the concept here, appropriately, to limn the swing between violence, cruelty, hatred, fear and revenge and the almost divine inspiration manifested in paint on canvas and human love, both sexual and spiritual. It is an audacious palette wielded with skill to elicit powerful images in the mind of the reader. I think 'powerful' is perhaps the most frequently occurring word that came to my mind as I read this fine work from a clearly masterful writer. Jim Stegner, the protagonist, is a physically powerful man, son of a logger, surfer, misfit and painter in oils. He is capable of nearly mindless violence as much as he is of near trance-like production on canvas. His emotional redemption arises from fly fishing where he is similarly likely to enter a meditative state. The losses in his life, the mistakes he has made and still makes, the turmoil within himself occasioned by seemingly random stimuli all wash away in the soothing flow of water and the hiss of the fly line, and smoothing the way for his soul’s ease is a monumental task." ~Eric                                                                                                     

— Eric has been a fixture at Tattered Cover for decades and is now a most valued guest blogger


Years ago, a well-known expressionist painter named Jim Stegner shot a man in a bar. The man lived, Jim served his time, and he has learned to live with the dark impulses that sometimes overtake him. Jim enjoys a quiet life in the valleys of Colorado. He works with a lovely model, he doesn't drink, he goes fly fishing in the evenings. His paintings fetch excellent prices at a posh gallery in Santa Fe. He is -- if he can admit it -- almost happy.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781628990966
ISBN-10: 1628990961
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Center Point
Publication Date: June 1st, 2014
Pages: 431
Language: English