The Artist’s Way

 

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I am rereading Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.  I found the book while digging out our house in preparation for selling it.  I read The Artist’s Way in 2011 when we were on vacation.  I had just sold a fountain to Costco–my first solo design.  I was feeling flush, so promptly took my new found wealth and spent it, booking travel to Europe.  I only remembered I took the book on our adventure when I found an Oceania menu stuck between pages 138 and 139.

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Oh my goodness, did I eat a lot on that trip.  I recall sailing into Venice while eating figs slathered with cream cheese.  I gained close to a pound a day for the ten days of travel.  It was a spendid oinkilicious feeding frenzy.  Naturally, all those good meals were washed down with vats of wine glorious wine.

But I digress. Finding this book again, actually titled, The Artist’s Way A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, at this particular time is no accident.  I’m reinventing myself creatively.

I got rid of all my canvases, paints, and most of my brushes.  Jim and I dropped them off with acquaintances who are having monthly garage sales to raise money for a dog shelter.

Last night I told a group of party-goers I’d dumped those things and they looked horrified.  “What!  But you’re a painter!  Won’t you miss it?”

Nope, I won’t.

I feel a weight has been lifted.  I have painted for money for decades.  I do not associate painting with pleasure.  To me it’s a means to an end.

I need to create, just like I need to breath. But I want to create for the joy of the process.  I decided to state my truth.  I want to write.  By saying it outright I own it.  I will manifest it.  I will write.  I will take classes in creative writing.  I will journal.  I will blog.  I will trust the universe will give me what I need to live my dream.

I kept my colored pencils.  Perhaps I’ll write and illustrate children’s books.  I know I’ll do one for my grandson, Tate.  Other than that, I don’t know.  What I do know, in my gut,  is it will happen.

I’ll also continue to play around with my Brother Sewing machine, felted wool and vintage buttons.  Perhaps I’ll sell my wares at the monthly Saturday Morning Markets that take place 29 floors below our new home.  I’ve named it Cloud Condo.  I picture days when we’ll be enveloped in clouds, unable to see past the edge of our balcony.  Won’t that be eerily fun?

The Artist’s Way is waking me up.  Julia has me writing my “morning pages” daily.  Three Mead notebook sheets of whatever spills out of my mind.  And I’m not to reread them.   After I write I feel centered.  More Alice, less angst.

There are also exercises.  Jim did one.  It is in the chapter titled A Sense of Abundance.  The chapter centers our attention on our relationship to money and on allowing ourselves luxury.  Luxury means something different to everyone.  To me those cream cheese laden figs were luxury.

Each chapter has exercises.  The Sense of Abundance chapter includes an exercise called “money madness.” Jim did that one. Here is what he wrote.  I particularly like two things he said, “Money equals money.”  And “Being broke tells me I didn’t make good decisions.”

That speaks volumes to me.  I’ve been in relationships where people don’t take responsibility for their financial situation.  They lay blame on everything but their own choices.  Jim, my excellent gentle husband, hasn’t got that “It ain’t my fault” mindset.

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As I write my morning pages I record the many things I am grateful for.  Everything from little joys like cream cheese, marvelous necessities like opposable thumbs,  and the gift of this union.

Each week I am supposed to take myself on an artist’s date.  All alone.  Something that feeds my imagination.  Today my artist’s date is going to see the movie Incredibles 2.  I adore animated films, Jim, not so much.  So I and my inner artist are having a date!  Yay!

 

 

 

Got it done!

In an earlier blog post, I referenced a commission I had to create an evening purse repurposing an elegant evening jacket, yards of vintage silk and lace, along with some random faux pearl baubles.  These bits and pieces had once belonged to friend Sheryl’s mother-in-law

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I did what I always do, took on the work with not a clue how I would manage to make it.  The final result surprised even me!

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The front of the bag.

 

The back.
I used the little pasty looking fripperies where the handle attaches to the bag.

I learned a lot from this enterprise.  It boosts my confidence to take on more complex designs.  For now, my Brother sewing machine is put away.  We are working hard to get this home on the market early next week.

It’s hard to believe how quickly this move came up!  Was it really only three weeks ago Jim and I took our misty St. Petersburg bike ride?  Our new home will be about 800 square feet smaller than our current home.

We’ve been purging like crazy.  Fortunately St. Petersburg acquaintances are holding monthly garage sales to raise money to fund a dog rescue.  Several times a week we load up our mini-van, Gracie, and make the forty-five-minute drive to Jean and Art’s.  They are delighted by the donations, while we are thrilled to have a place to send everything.

 

I actually got rid of all my mountains of art supplies.  Canvases, gone!  Bags filled with Golden brand acrylics, gone!  Drawers filled with scrapbooking supplies, history.  Paintbrushes, boxes and boxes of brushes are a thing of my past.  My cow painting is my official swan song.

I did, however, keep my sewing stuff, button collection, jewelry making supplies and my Prismacolor pencils.  Time to reinvent me.  Perhaps I’ll write the children’s books I’ve long dreamed of creating.  Life is a wonderful adventure.

I manifested a condominium​!

Our friends, Doug and Charki, live in St Petersburg.  Charki is a firm believer in the power of positive thinking.  She suggested I picture our new home firmly in my mind and simply walk toward it as if it already exists.

So that’s what I’ve been doing.  What she DIDN’T tell me is how fast the thinking could make things magically appear!

Two weeks ago they invited us to come ride bikes around the city.  Charki had learned there might be a unit coming on the market that could be in our price range.   Why not hop on bikes and check the area out?

It was a misty day, but still fine for bike riding.  My goodness, the sedentary lifestyle I’ve adopted has taken its toll!   I was sore for days following our six-mile ride.

First stop, Whispering Waters, the building Charki had mentioned.  Only three stories tall but with nice screened porches and in a good location.

Then we proceeded into the heart of the city.  Charki wanted to check out Saturday Morning Market and buy gifts for friends.  The market happens weekly, October through May.  It’s a combination of farmers market, food vendors, and crafters.  She found two pretty necklaces.

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Beside the market, I noticed a tall building I’d identified on realtor.com.  There was an available unit on the 9th floor. I said, “Hey, how about if I go in the lobby and see what’s what with the apartment?”

So we peddled over, locked up the bikes and entered the lobby.

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I approached the young man behind the desk, Jordan, and asked him about the unit for sale.  He offered to have a realtor there in fifteen minutes. “No, thanks,” I said,”we are already working with someone.”

He said, “How about if I call the owners and ask if Juan, our maintenance man, can show it to you right now.”

And he did!  Sadly the view was of a roof loaded with air-conditioners.  Not pretty.

On the car ride home I called our darling realtor, Judy, and she said, “I’ll meet you there tomorrow.  There are several other units for sale.”

Back we went on Sunday.  Up up up to the 29th floor where I proceeded to fall in love.

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You can see that roof full of air conditioners on the right-hand side of this picture.

 

On a clear day, looking left you can see all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.  At least that’s what we’ve been told.  We’ve never been there on a clear day.  Florida in summer means rain rain rain.  Looking right is the Tampa Bay.  Below is a pool, putting green, weight room (I don’t intend to ever go there…shudder) and several other big rooms for giving large parties, if you so desire.

We sat in one of those rooms and stunned our realtor by making an offer.  It was accepted.  We close on July 12th.

There are things here I will miss a lot, in particular, several close friends we’ve been lucky enough to make.  I’ve already arranged a standing date to drive out here and share lunch with them once a month. And I’ll continue to come to the ‘burbs for book club.

Meanwhile, I’ve learned there are classes in creative writing just a fifteen-minute walk from our front door.  The library is a ten-minute stroll.  Perhaps I’ll eventually peddle my purses at the Saturday Morning Market!

The Power of Positive thinking worked again!  YAY!  Now, back to cleaning closets and purging our stuff