Artist Dates

Sunday Blog 36 – May 15 2022

a weekly expedition to explore something that enchants or interests you

Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, in a 2015 blog

About seven years ago I got serious about that classic book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and began my Morning Pages (three pages of hand-writing -stream-of-consciousness/ blurting/ dumping and certainly no editing.)

I started to work through the exercises she sets each week to uncover any artist wounds you may have seen over the years (here’s looking at you, art/ signing/ English teacher…) although fairly early on I began to wane in my zeal. I think I still have the letter I wrote to the tutor I had in the 90s who told me my play sagged in the middle. (That’s week One’s exercise, where you write to someone who crushed your artist spirit, so it’s an indication of how soon I flagged.)

The Artist Date is a great concept – a weekly date with just you and your creativity. You can’t take anyone with you, because then your creativity is having to play gooseberry instead of feeling centre-stage where it belongs, for at least one hour per week. You don’t have to do anything very high art either – just something that enchants or interests you, as Julia says in the quote above.

Today was a treat – the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition where you get to see details of this incredible fresco close up in replica form. There is an app (of course) where you can scan a code and listen to a description of each panel while you marvel at the craft.

Interestingly even though it is an exhibition of replicas there was an echo of the bustle and crowd of the Sistine Chapel as we all milled around the images and kept on having the tap the QR code for the next bit of audio (and it always took longer for us Gen Xers and Boomers while the Millenials tapped and listened.

But I digress. This is just to say, taking your Artist out each week is a wonderful habit to get into. Thanks and big love to Julia Cameron.

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  1. Love the idea of a play date. I have also just revisited The Artist’s Way after dropping off the weekly exercises when I first dipped into the book more than 10 years ago. At that time I blamed being a Mum to young children. Now with no children at home I can not use them as an excuse. Once again I have found I did the first couple of exercises but then things have stopped. I need to make a date and schedule to do it each week. A Play Date – a great idea. Thank you.

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