Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Artist's Way

When I start to think about where/when I began this journey, I find that the exact point is difficult to pick as I can always find some earlier time in my life that seems appropriate. SO while I can see how this thread has been winding throughtout my whole life, there is a time that does seem useful as one of milestones of my wandering way. In my very early twenties, after I realized that I was not pursuing anything that really mattered to me at university and subsequently dropped out of Reed College (all the best Reedies have, ha ha), I set out after those things that did matter. In the course of that, I came across the book, The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. It made a huge difference for me and the crafty things I was creating started to bring my desires for art into focus and this book became a workbook for me. On the strength of what working with that book did for me, I knew I had found "my thing" and I was reunited with my long lost love from childhood, drawing.
I have included a link to the official website of this book and I highly recommend this book to anyone, regardless of occupation or creative fixation. The author's belief is that all people can benefit from bringing art and creativity into their life and toward this end, writes about how to go about doing that. The book is full of ideas and tasks that feed the creativity in all of us. Though I read this book more that a decade ago, as you can see, it has stayed with me. One of the concepts that really stood out for me was her notion of taking yourself on out various art fieldtrips such as going to museums, enrolling in a weekend workshop, attending a foreign film festival and so forth. There was also a reflective writing part of the process that she recommended which I found to be quite useful. I am sure you can find a used copy online for next to nothing so get one and take yourself out for some fun.
The drawing I included with this blog is of a tulip I did some years ago. It was one the drawings that sold on the night of my first show in Portland. Fortunately, it is in the collection of a dear friend so I get to visit this drawing, which was hard to part with because I love it so, whenever I visit Portland. This is one of my favorites from the photorealism obsession I eluded to in a previous post.

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