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
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?
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.