My Kitchen Table

Sketches from My Life

Pilar Pobil was born on the island of Mallorca, off the Mediterranean coast of Spain, and it was there that she first learned to love the colors that suffuse her art. The tales contained here are those she later related to her own children around the kitchen table; many of them describe her childhood and young adulthood in Mallorca, filled with mystery and excitement, privilege and deprivation, and always a fierce will to face life on her own terms.

Other stories describe her meeting in Mallorca with the Utah man who would become her husband, her journey to a faraway country, the birth of her children, and her discovery of her artistic impulses and abilities. All are woven with the threads of color and culture of her two homes. Filled with wit and insight, My Kitchen Table reveals foremost the voice of a woman determined to be true to herself and to her art.

Accompanying the narrative are some fifty color reproductions of the paintings and sculptures for which Pilar Pobil has become known. This is a volume that art lovers everywhere will treasure.

"Like her paintings, Pilar’s stories overflow their pages. They fold us into their embrace, so we feel and see her dancing in and out of our minds, a curious and mischievous child, a young woman in love coming to a foreign land with a foreign culture and tongue, the heartbreak of her losses, and the continual renewals that have ripened her art. Pilar’s book, like her house, is a magic kingdom and she is the fairy princess who presides. She paints her shoes for social engagements. The seats of her chairs beam faces. Her electrical wiring metamorphoses into fantastic snakes. The garden that leads to her studio is Salt Lake City’s Giverny. Paintings are everywhere and talk to each other with glittering non sequiturs. At the center of it all is her kitchen table, the place from which she serves the voices and visions of her life. The subtleties of her telling, like the bold clarity of her judgments, are those of an artist whose inspirations are a feast she graciously invites us to share."
— from the Foreword by Robert D. Newman, Dean of the College of Humanities, University of Utah

A finalist for the Utah Book Award in Nonfiction.

Pilar Pobil lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Table of Contents:

List of Illustrations
List of Color Plates
Author's Note
Foreword by Robert D. Newman
The Kitchen Table

Mallorcan Tales: Growing Up
1. My Early Life
2. My Grandfather's Cook
3. La Difunta (The Deceased)
4. Uncle Julian, Aunt Marita
5. Don Rafael el Cura
6. Carlitos
7. The Arrival
8. Tonina
9. Stories of Pigs
10. Mi Colegio
11. Dark Stories
12. Lisboa
13. A New Story

Desert Paintbrush: Becoming An Artist in Utah
14. First Impressions
15. The House Across the Street: A Neighborhood Story
16. About My Art
17. The Planet Ranch
18. La Ermita de Valldemosa
19. Los Narcos
20. The Mayor
21. My Memorial Day, 2000
22. 9-11 in Italy
23. Epilogue

Art in Pilar's Garden

Praise and Reviews:
"Genuinely engaging to readers, Pobil's fascinating stories provide insight into the life and artistic development of one of Salt Lake City's most renowned artists."—Utah Historical Quarterly

"A very special memoir. Written with wit, wisdom, and occasionally flashes of insight."—The Midwest Book Review

"This beautifully illustrated book is a delight to read while giving us a colorful 'history' lesson."—The Bloomsbury Review

"Demonstrates that Salt Lake City artist Pilar Pobil not only has the vision of a painter and sculptor but the voice of a storyteller as well."—Salt Lake City Weekly