I never thought I was an artist when I was growing up. I was told that I couldn’t draw, and I guess I thought that drawing is what made you an artist. And it became a self-fulfilling prophecy because the artistic abilities I do have weren’t nourished. I found and read the Artist’s Way in 1992 when my life took a total shift away from an abusive situation to one where I was the one in control of my life. It’s funny to say that now, because there are so many days when I don’t feel like I’m in control. But I do get decide what I am doing on any given day. I do decide if I’m dyeing, what I’m dyeing, if I’m designing and if I’m learning.
Anyway, back to the Artist’s Way. I did morning pages for probably 2 years straight. I did them religiously. And they did help me find myself and my inner artist again. They helped me figure out my feelings and what my next steps were. I really like to write, but sometimes I decided not to write daily.
Along with daily morning pages, Julia Cameron you must commit to go on an Artist Date once a week. Man, I had such a hard time doing that. What to do? Where to go? I would go to the LA County Art Museum, duh. That’s a no brainer. I went to farmer’s markets. I went to funky shopping districts, like Main Street in Santa Monica, Melrose Ave., or Brentwood area in LA. I went to great bookstores like the Bodhi Tree (where I even went to a book reading by Cameron) or even to the nearby library to just look at magazines. But they felt disjointed and weird. I never really felt filled up by them, something wasn’t quite right.
I stopped doing the morning pages after I went back to teaching full time. In the summers, I would dabble in the pages, but it wasn’t really lasting or nurturing for me. Now that I am a full-time artist, I have developed the habit of morning pages. Writing them helps me to build my daily intention. It is helping me become a better writer just by the shear practice of writing. To get back to that practice of writing every day, I joined 750words.com. This website is a community where you can write your morning pages, digitally. It reminds you if you forget and it is a place where you can put in searchable words to find your thoughts later.
Back to artist’s dates, they continue to be hard for me. And with these pandemic times, going out and venturing in public just hasn’t been reality for me. Pre-pandemic, we would take trips to DC or to Longwood Gardens to be a fun day away from the farm as part of a staycation when Bill was off from work. Every time I step into the Longwood visitor center, I begin to feel like this is an artist date. I see amazing still lives, colors and closeups that could make beautiful photographs. With each view of flowers, the water scapes, and tree houses with their almost art deco look, I get filled up inside. We stroll through the large greenhouse with its orchid room and green wall and delightful children’s garden. I take so many photos.
We usually plan to eat lunch at 1906 Restaurant. Lunch is always artistically and physically filling. Each course is unusual and so, so good. It is a great place to take a rest, cool down and reflect.
When we leave, we were full of new inspiration and new motivation. We will definitely go back to Longwood for seasonal artist dates when we feel safer within this covid pandemic. Click here for information about the gardens.
Incorporating these 2 practices: writing morning pages and taking artist dates are so integral in integrating my dye work, my creativity, and my intention for the day.