Sunday, July 24, 2011

How "The Artist Way" became my Way of Life!


The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
This is the book that made Ms. Cameron famous. She has written many since, which I have listed on this blog so you can check those out as well. Her suggestion that we write morning pages and make an art date weekly has proven to be great advice in my life and I am sure many other artists will agree. Several years ago a local art therapist sponsored a group in West Columbia for artists and others to explore "The Artist's Way". As a member of that group, along with my peers we explored many issues a visual artist faces.

We wrote morning pages...
For those of you that do not know what morning pages are, I will explain in my own words. Every morning when you get up before you do anything else, take a few minutes and your notebook or your laptop and start writing. It's like downloading your thoughts without editing.
You do this everyday and within a month, you will notice your art improving and your thoughts are clearer.

We had weekly art dates...
Think about art, write about art and be active in your art community, attend art functions, research galleries, museum, art history, art quotes and learn more about your favorite artists.
I made a commitment to do this and every week, I do at least one art date. These are things like going to the art supply store not just to pick up supplies, but to learn about new products and see ways old products can be used. Going to art events with other artists and connecting, not just to say hello but to discuss art materials, shows, what we are working on and ideas for future shows. Taking an art class, your never too old or too experienced to learn something new. Become a life long art student and your art will never stagnate and you will never stare at the blank page and not be inspired.

By being involved in that group, it showed me the importance of the art experiences I have already had and how I can best serve my fellow artists, especially new artists or returning artists. I volunteered with several artists to assist them in organizing and hanging their first shows. I set up art shows for myself and helped other artists get art shows. Two shows I set up were 2 person shows featuring myself and one other artist. I also helped several artists set up blogs and websites. Often times, I invited others to paint with me.

Now, we truly have the art world at our fingertips. Here on the internet, we can find just about any type of art and actually see and study art from all over the world. This is a wonderful time to be a visual artist as we can show our art world wide by doing research on the Internet to see where our art fits best. You may not have to ship the art anywhere, just post away on various art sites and set up a blog for your own art world.

I hope everyone has a creative streak this week and let it flow! Keep your brushes wet and have fun!

Yours Truly,
Jean Bourque

Photo: "Poker face" by c Jean Bourque


Anonymous said...

This makes a lot of sense! I don't do many of the things she suggest since I am very private, but I do see that I need to get out of my box! Thanks for this.

Artsails1 said...

It's always wonderful to hear feedback. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I really appreciate hearing from you.
Yours truly,
Jean Bourque

Susan said...

Hi Jeanne!
The Artist's Way changed my life too ... and, yes, it is a LIFESTYLE change, a creative change, a way to positively experience the world and productively express ones feelings and dreams in active, artistic ways. I still write Morning Pages; can't live without them. I've been through The Artist's Way twice ... both equally beneficial and insightful experiences. I recommend them for everyone and am glad to see you spreading the word via your blog too!

Anonymous said...

I admire your devotion to your art and the lifestyle that it entails.
That is a very interesting and thought provoking artical.