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!