Whew. It ended up being a rough week when I went back to work. Between the weather, time change, and working my butt off during the day, I think I went to bed by 10pm every night this week.
While we were in Florida, I started reading The Artist's Way based on a recommendation on Melody Ross' blog. It seemed like the next right step in my artist process. I liked the "You Think You Know Me" class... still working on my book. It had a similar introspective approach. But this book takes it much deeper. Makes you think hard about all the negative and positive things that make you who you are.
The author, Julia Cameron, insists that you have to do "morning pages" and a weekly "artist date" to unblock your creative self. Morning pages are 3 pages of journaling every morning, first thing in the morning. The artist date is 2 hours every week that you spend doing something by yourself that feeds your artist soul. At first read... it seemed like a hefty commitment. :-)
But since I was reading on vacation, I figured I could start doing the pages while I had plenty of time and see if I ended up liking them. I wasn't so good at getting them done first thing in the morning on vacation, but I did them every day. So when I got home, I resolved to get up early every day and write my 3 pages. For the past week, I did just that. Talk about painful! That's another reason I've been tired and going to bed early. I have to get up 45 minutes before we go to the gym to get the pages done.
But I've found that I actually look forward to writing the morning pages. It's quiet and the sun starts coming up as I'm writing. It's a peaceful and calming way to start the day. I love it. And the words come fairly easily, too. I'm certainly not a great writer by any means, but I can use it as a chance to brain dump whatever's rolling around in my head. Which is exactly the point of writing in the morning, get the crud out of your head so you are unblocked for your day.
I have taken myself on 2 artist dates so far. The first day was in Florida when I went shopping around downtown Dunedin. It was like shopping with purpose. Looking at the things I liked in the sense of "could I make that?" Rather than, "oooh, I'd like to buy that".
Today for my artist date, I visited a local shop that I recently discovered on the internet. It's called European Papers. How perfect for a scrapbook artist! They have a gallery on the first floor and a store/workshop upstairs. They are currently exhibiting a travelling display of artist trading cards. There are 700 cards from all over the world. 700 fit-in-the-palm-of-your-hand pieces of art. Some of them had so much detail and others were a simple drawing and a few words that packed a big impact. Some were about beating cancer, others were comic. It was a fabulous display and the gallery is so quaint.... I highly recommend it. This display runs through December 9, 2006. And I learned today the next exhibit in the gallery will be handbound books.
So that's what's new with me... spending a lot of time unwinding and thinking about art, not really creating so much (although, tonight... it's on like donkey kong... as my husband says). Happy times.