How Does an Artist See? Blue Sun, Yellow Sky

Blue Sun, Yellow Sky

by Jamie Jo Hoang
Genres: Fiction
Published on March 11th 2015
Pages: 322
Buy on Amazon

"Hailed as 'One of the best technical painters of our time' by an L.A. Times critic, 27-year-old Aubrey Johnson is finally gaining traction with her work. But as she weaves through what should be a celebration of her art, a single nagging echo of her doctor's words refuses to stay silent-- there is no cure. In less than eight weeks Aubrey is going blind. Traveling on a one-way ticket around the world with childhood friend Jeff Anderson, Aubrey is in complete denial. But a blindfolded game of tasting foreign foods in China jolts her into confronting the reality of her situation. So begins her quest. In this adult coming-of-age-story, Aubrey struggles to make sense of her crippling disability. But on her journey she finds a deeper understanding of herself and her life-- sometimes fragmented and complex, but always with relentless truth"

Aubrey is 27 and just starting to make a name for herself in the art world when she is diagnosed with an incurable eye disease that will lead to blindness in eight weeks.  She goes deep into denial because she doesn’t know how to imagine her life without being able to see.  She doesn’t feel ready to tell anyone about her diagnosis.

An encounter with her childhood friend Jeff, who is also facing crises in his life, leads to him inviting her along on a round the world trip.  She decides to go so she can see the world before she loses her sight.

The joy of this book is in the way that Aubrey sees the world.  The author does a great job of describing the way a painter sees the world and how she translates that onto a canvas.  As she paints her way around the world, her art starts to change with the new way that she is experiencing the world.

I liked the fact that this book doesn’t end with the end of the trip or even when Aubrey becomes totally blind.  The story shows how she works through this major transition and tries to find a new way to express her artistic vision when she can’t see.