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Artist’s Way: Week Two

June 11, 2007
Is this the hand of an artist? I’ll say yes. Taken after painting murals all day.

This week: Recovering A Sense Of Identity

This week seems to be about creating the time, giving myself permission, creating a supportive atmosphere.

Mostly, it seems to be about examining how I spend my time. How much of it is dedicated to the needs of others, or avoiding the things that I really want to do. As JC (Julia Cameron, the author) says, “We want to set asie time for our creative work, but we feel we should do something else instead.”

Boy, do I know this one. I always seem to have time to sweep up endless piles of scattered cat litter, but I can’t spare a half-hour a day to work on a painting or just do a sketch of an idea. Or even just think about ideas. Why is that? Because I can’t work if my house is messy. I can’t work if I have other things I should be doing. I can’t do my creative work unless every single other thing that could be considered a responsibility, is considered, addressed, accomplished.

Hmm.

This chapter also focuses a lot on ‘crazymakers’ — people who continually take up more than their fair share of space, time, energy, sucking all the air and life out of YOUR, well, life. Luckily, I don’t have anybody who squarely falls in that category. However, I know the type. I won’t focus on it because, like I said, I’m lucky enough (?) to be my own worst enemy.

But I will focus on the secret doubt. The doubt that says, even if I work really hard and try my best, it won’t ever be good enough because I am simply not good enough. The trickster that somehow talks me out of taking that painting class, tells me that I have to have more experience painting with acrylics before I buy an oil set (like 15 years isn’t enough?), that little sneaky feeling that if I had a show, no one would come.

It’s about doing it anyway. Finding the joy in the doing, not the result. I can get behind that. Just putting paint on a canvas (while frustrating sometimes) is fun. Trying something new is exciting. Messing around is how you find those happy accidents that turn into a new technique, a new style.

She asks us to make a list of 10 Tiny Changes I’d like to make. A few of mine:

  • Put up kitchen curtains (creating a nice space)
  • Walk or bike to work 3x/week (exercise, being a good citizen of the world)
  • Get a new pillow (get enough rest)
  • Finish setting up art space (self-explanatory)

This week I’m going to try to walk or bike to work at least three times. And I will get to the fabric store and look at kitchen curtain fabric. And maybe some summer skirt fabric, too.

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