Taking Myself on an Artist Date

In her book, “The Artist’s Way,” Julia Cameron encourages creatives to schedule a regular artist date. The idea is to do something creative that is not your usual medium so that you can return to your own art, refreshed and renewed.

It had been several weeks since my last artist date, so I looked forward to attending the Prairie Village Art Fair and reveling in the creative spirit of other artists.20140531_105757

As I roamed among the booths, I was astounded by the various ways to express art. Woodworking, ceramics, blown glass, water colors, oils, leather as well as the more unusual yard art and even sequins carefully nailed on boards to create portraits.

A few art forms made me wish I had about $2300 extra to purchase something special for my living room wall. Others I just passed by, not attracted to cartooning or jewelry made out of only black and white beads.

As I walked by some of the booths, I thought – how like writing. Just as I rejected certain art forms that didn’t appeal to me or fit my décor, so publishers sometimes reject my words because they don’t fit their needs. I didn’t reject these artists themselves, just their work.

I need to remember that nugget of truth the next time an editor writes those dreaded words, “Sorry, this story doesn’t fit our current needs.”

The art that attracted me most was a photograph of lily pads, caught within the warm colors of a sunset. “That photo helps me feel at peace,” I told the artist. He smiled.

Other art forms I liked included outdoor scenes, a photo of a barn door with an inlay of actual barn siding, a grove of trees with a few real twigs inserted. It was the art that represented nature that appealed most to me because it reminded me of the country, of the colors and textures I love most.

Then I realized an additional value of my artist date – to help me underscore how I worship God best – within the palettes of nature, the turquoise of a Kansas sky, the chestnut bark on my willow tree, the purple clematis that climbs my back fence. These are the pastels and oils of my life, these art forms that have been created to glorify the Almighty and give me joy.

So I left the art fair and drove home to sit on my deck and enjoy the art of God.

©2014 RJ Thesman – Finding Hope When Life Unravels – “Intermission for Reverend G” – http://amzn.to/1l4oGoo

The Artist’s Date

In her book, “The Artist’s Way” (http://amzn.to/1ajQmPn), Julia Cameron suggests that artists schedule an artist’s date. This includes any type of artist who desires to build on the relationship between her work and her soul. Potters, sculptors, painters and wordsmiths like me.

The artist takes a break from a current project and does something else creative – a stroll through an art gallery, a visit to a fabric store to feel the different textures, an afternoon with the journal in a quiet spot. When the artist returns to the current project, the creative juices are revived and ready to pour forth again.writing4502.jpg

I’ve tried the artist’s date, and I like it.

After several hours of wordsmithing about Alzheimer’s and dementia; my brain, my fingers and my inner voice grow a bit weary. Then I know it’s time for an artist’s date.

Last Friday, I took myself on a date. I wrote for a few hours in the morning, then met a friend for a leisurely lunch at Chipotle (love that vegetarian bowl with lots of guacamole!).

Then I took some of the books I have read and don’t want to reread over to Half-Price Books. I needed a new journal and found the perfect one with the wire binding and a colorful cover.

I browsed through the Clearance Section to find more wonderful books to read and added three to my vacation reading list, except I couldn’t wait and started reading one of them already: “Good Grief” by Lolly Winston. She is my new best friend, and her book was on sale for $1.00.

What a treasure! An artist’s date and a bargain on the same day.

After Half-Price Books, I needed a bit of refreshment. Once a week, I allow myself a small carb treat, so I drove over to Dairy Queen and ordered a mini-Blizzard™ – Georgia Mud Fudge – really chocolatey and really good. Then I sat at a table by myself, started reading “Good Grief” and slowly enjoyed my Blizzard™.

Then a brief stop at the grocery store to get the food that was not chocolately and filled with carbs but is much better for me. Then back home for more writing.

Sure enough, after my artist’s date, I was revved up and ready to write again. Either that, or my body was on a delicious sugar high.

If you’re an artist, aka a wordsmith, try the artist’s date once per week. It’s a great way to get away for a while and connect with your creative soul.

If you need company, I’m always available for a DQ Blizzard™.

©2013 RJ Thesman – “The Unraveling of Reverend G” – http://amzn.to/184haSS