Deirdre West’s first illustrated travel memoir, Balanced Between Shadow and Light: A Painter’s Journey, combines prose with images of classical realist oil paintings to weave a captivating story of a woman in search of her destiny. Her quest, to relearn how to see, not only with the eyes but with the heart and the mind, takes her from classical art instruction in the figure painting atelier of renowned artist Kamille Corry, to the heart of Mexico.
From the heart of the Barrancas del Cobre Canyon to the birthplace of the world in Teotihuacan, Deirdre takes us on an exhilarating journey of bullfights, salsa dance classes and the dark festivities of Dia De Los Muertos,
Combining the history and local legends of her destinations with the perspective of a painter, Deirdre has created an illustrated book that will appeal to anyone who has ever dreamed of painting in a foreign country.
Artist Deirdre West's second illustrated book, Painting a Visible Translation: A Painter's Journey From Italy to Morocco, continues Deirdre's explorations. In Morocco, she is unable to speak either Arabic or French, yet manages to hire locals as models with often amusing cultural misunderstandings as a result.
Deirdre begins her trip with a travel companion, decorated Army Captain Adrian, who struggles with reintegrating into society after deployment, then facing his memories as he travels to a Muslim country for vacation. With pathos and humor, the two embark on the journey of a lifetime which explores the balance of relationships with the pursuit of art and adventure.
Interspersed are journal entries from when Deirdre was a art student at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy accompanied by color images of the art she created in both Italy and Morocco.