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Tarcher (2014-01)
Self-help, personal development & practical advice


The Art of Getting Unstuck

by Barry, Barbara Diane

In the tradition of The Artist's Way, this exciting program—for those who want to reclaim their creativity, be more flexible and innovative, and enhance their quality of life—presents a new twist on journaling that uses brushstrokes instead of words. It is a practical solution for those who want to strengthen their risk-taking abilities, foster their creativity, and discover new ways to meet challenges.

As anyone who has ever put a paintbrush to canvas can attest, painting is a great way to spark creativity and innovation. Based on a popular course taught by Barbara Diane Barry, and supported by research in psychology and the science of brain function, PAINTING YOUR WAY OUT OF A CORNER guides readers through the process of overcoming blocks and expressing themselves freely in painting.

Barry's delightful paintings, interspersed throughout the book in full color, illustrate her teachings. In a series of practical exercises that emphasize improvisation and risk-taking, readers learn how to quiet their inner critic and strengthen their creativity, leading to greater self-awareness, flexibility, and problem-solving skills in other aspects of their lives as well. The more we learn to play and accept whatever appears on the page, the more we are able to try new things in life.

Barbara Diane Barry is an artist and art teacher in New York City. Under the educational outreach program at Symphony Space, she teaches in public school art residencies throughout NYC and gives tours in the city’s finest museums. In addition, she is on staff at the South Street Seaport Museum. The creator of “Art for Self-Discovery” (, a studio art program for adults and children devoted to nurturing the creator within, she has also created unique art programs that have been used by such clients as Lucent Technologies, Barnes & Noble, The NY Chapter of the American Society of Training and Development, and the Center for Arts Education in New York.

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Based on author Barbara Diane Barry’s popular course Art for Self-Discovery and supported by research in psychology and the science of brain function her book: Painting Your Way Out of a Corner guides readers through the process of overcoming blocks and expressing themselves freely in painting...

Quote: WAMC

Barbara Barry has developed an amazing method for opening the creative flow for anyone who wants to dip in and draw from deep water. Writers, poets, painters, chefs, designers, or anyone who wants to work from a creative center can let her be the guide.

Quote: Linda Leonard, Ph.D., author of The Wounded Woman and The Call to Create

I love this book! It supports readers exploring themselves in a symbolic way that results in true transformation. I am already using it with myself and my clients.

Quote: MJ Ryan, author of This Year I Will…

Book trailer/introductory video

Quote: vimeo

Barbara's insightful exercises will help you quiet the inner critic, ignite your intuition, and rev up your innovative problem solving abilities. So pick up your paintbrush and give yourself full permission to play!

Quote: Jennifer Lee, author of The Right-Brain Business Plan

Painting Your Way Out of a Corner delivers on its promise of “a new twist on journaling with brushstrokes instead of words.”... Painting Your Way Out of a Corner offers plenty of starter exercises, step-by-step guidance and many of Barry’s own journal paintings as examples and inspiration.

Review: Bookpage

Much more than just a wonderful guide for learning to paint, this book is a glorious gift to anyone who yearns for a more creative life!

Quote: Michael J Gelb, author of How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci

There are two ways of spreading light—to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it. This book combines both. When you paint in your journal, you are the candle that creates the light that shines on your inner thoughts and fears, and the journal reflects back this light to make you aware of the creative choices you must make to navigate through the difficulties of life.

Quote: Michael Michalko, author of Thinkertoys and Creative Thinkering

review and video of Barry discussing her books

Review: Blog review

Barbara Barry provides a practical and workable solution to the most daunting problem for all those who yearn for self-expression through art: How to get started. Her prescriptions for painting as journal-keeping and her imaginative exercises show her skills as a teacher and her respectful empathy for the beginner’s fear of the blank page and the inner critic. So often, just getting going is the problem. This book will make you want to jump in.

Quote: Betty Edwards, author of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

Questions and Answers - In putting pen to paper, Barry has now written Painting Your Way Out of a Corner, a book that couples the information and techniques from her course with psychology and brain function research to show people how to get the most from the painting experience. But, as Barry herself explains, painting and writing are one in the same...

Quote: Strategy Magazine

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