The Artist Date

Years ago as I started on my journey to unleash the Creative in me, I followed the journey laid out in Julia Cameron‘s The Artist’s Way.  One of the tenants of her program for recovering your artist is to go on a weekly Artist Date,  solo outing designed to energize your senses and imagination.

When I was a new, baby artist, I religiously followed Cameron’s prescription.  But as years and decades passed, The Artist Date became a way of life.  Recently though, I have missed time alone with my artist.  Don’t get me wrong, I create all the time.  You see, I live in a house with three other artists and travel with a bag full of art supplies so that where I am, art is.  But collaborative art or art in the presence of another is the rule these days rather than the exception.

So this weekend as artist hubby work3e and artist roommates busied themselves with an event, I slipped away…alone.  Unexpectedly, my phone got left behind, and suddenly, I was caught up in a day of sensory overload and wild, excursions with my lone artist self.  Ahhhhhh….. I felt my breath deepen, my heart beating hard and excitedly.

The mission…find a few pieces for a sculpture I am doing for the Tea Bag Challenge.  Kathleen Conrad of A New Creation is inviting the world to make something of their used tea bags.  I met her as part of the Flying Lessons E-course I am doing with Kelly Rae Roberts.  At first, I just saw the Tea Bag Challenge as an exercise in creativity.  But as I walked through a series of antique and junk shops looking for inspiration, the project shifted into something very meaningful.

I realized eventually that I was walking through shops I had walked through with my mother on the very last afternoon I had spent visiting with her 20 years ago.  At times, I recalled parts of our visit that I had not thought of in years. I will share more about that special story next week when I reveal the art work I am doing for the challenge.  For now, let me offer some images from my artist date.

Come along with Me

The way is open!

I used my camera to document some of the tea cups I found.  Did I want a full size cup?  A small doll set?  Should the cup remind me of a specific memory or simply reflect a feeling?  What color would help me express my story?  Would the shape matter?

This cup had dynamic colors and an interesting shape, but didn't have a personal connection that I could associate with my mother.

These tiny doll cups and saucers might be very manageable for my art project, but I wanted something with more curves.

This stack of blue china reminded me of the dishes on which my grandmother served us grilled cheese with tomatoes and mayo and even matched the set of doll dishes my mother played with when she was young.

In the end, I found the perfect cup and chose an oversized saucer to go with it.  It is resting now on our fireplace mantle with a picture of my mother and a pitcher of red zinger hibiscus tea, my favorite.  Engaging my artist by using the technique Julia Cameron stressed in The Artist Way helped me to bring a special meaning to what I originally perceived as a mundane art challenge.  You just never know where inspiration will hit. I hope you will consider following the progress of this piece.  I know it will evolve into something even more lovely as I continue to work on it. That is the nature of art.

Show and Tell

How do you energize your artist self?  When was the last time you went on an artist date?  Was it intentional or did you go just by chance? How did it feel?  Are there other ways you energize your inner artist?  How is that reflected in your work?   Feel free to share your answers in the comments below, or write your own blog response and let us know where we can find it by leaving a link. Let’s learn from one another.

Creatively Yours,


About Rachél

Hi, I am Rachél.... the quirky, big-hearted soul behind Creativity Tribe, a sanctuary for your creative spirit. As a life coach and artist, I know the importance of community, celebration, and transformation. Creativity Tribe is abuzz with connections to other creative bloggers and offers tips and stories to inspire your creative lifestyle!
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10 Responses to The Artist Date

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I loved the story and your beautiful pictures – what kind of camera do you use? I am using a point-and-shoot and can’t seem to come up with the bright, clear pics that I see on other people’s blogs – yours being one of them. As I said before, I can’ wait to see your sculpture and hear more of your story. Thanks again for linking this post to my blog!

    • Rae says:

      Kathleen, I use the camera on my cell phone most of the time (an Hero HTC) most of the time. For these pics, I also used an HP Photosmart (but honestly it is NO BETTER than the cell phone and much more of a hassel). The trick for me…and this is something Kelly Rae talks about in Flying Lessons….is to run them thru Picnik. I can do ALL kinds of cool things there. I simply take a picture and hit the SHARE button on my phone, upload it to a Flickr account I use for my uploads, then from Flickr, I edit them in Picnik…the two are linked. I have been very pleased with the results. BTW, thanks for visit and for sponsoring the challenge!

  2. what a lovely time out you share here with us. Looking forward to see what comes of all this.
    walk in beauty.

  3. julham says:

    I am just reading Julia’s autobiography. Very interesting!!She was quite the wild woman. I love the morning pages, but have never been able to get my head around the artist date. Could be the small town I live in (not a load of inspiration from a city standpoint)..more time spent by myself..? I am not sure. BUT your day looked like a ton of fun.So far loving “challenges” and “community” for my inspiration.I cant tell you how often I stop and give my computer a little love…thank the heavens for the internet! Off to figure out this new teabag challenge…

    • Rae says:

      The first big date my hubby took me on was a surprise visit to see Julia Cameron at an intimate speaking. We had both done the Artist’s Way before we met and the speaking engagement made that string of our history come into our relationship so that we could share it. Now we refer to her as Aunt Julia!

  4. Abby says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂 The whole reason I ever started making art was because of The Artist’s Way – I took the class about 5 years ago and have been making collages ever since! I haven’t done an Artist’s Date in a while though, I will really have to get back to that – Thanks for sharing! Abby/111 Collage Design

    • Rae says:

      Abby, I think The Artist’s Way changed life for LOTS of us. Seeing your awesome collages is another affirmation of what comes of regularly showing up to the art!

  5. inkspeare says:

    I loved the story and the pictures. I am familiar with the Artist Way and it has been a wonderful tool for me. This is funny, I collect that vintage oriental dinerware – the first picture. I enjoyed your post a lot 🙂

    • Rae says:

      The dinnerware is beautiful. I imagine it makes a lovely place setting. A shame to put food on it though. lol I enjoyed visiting your site yesterday. Good to connect with you!

  6. Pingback: A Cup Full of Gratitude: Tea Bag Momma | The Art of Collecting Yourself

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