The Artist’s Way

A book authored by Julia Cameron

Groups of creative people get together to talk after reading chapters and doing the tasks at the end of each.  It is a “Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self”.

We had five ladies in our group meeting once a week.  We shared stories from our lives and, in a way, it seems to be a type of self-analysis, trying to find what may be hindering us from finding more creativity in our lives.

I’m sure I wouldn’t have signed up for the bus trip to Savannah GA and Charleston SC if it wasn’t for the exercises in this book.  We were told to make a Treasure Box to put things into that we would like, even if it is something we would never do or buy for ourselves or never expect to achieve.  I put that trip into the box even though I knew there was no way I would ever sign up for it.  Low and behold, I thought “why can’t I go on that trip?”  And that propelled me to actually sign up for it.  When I put my deposit down, I figured I would probably cancel before the deadline, but I surprised myself by actually going.  Since my husband has finally decided he just doesn’t want to travel anymore, it seemed like something I should try on my own, and I’m proud of myself for going through with it.

I have had this book since the late 90’s and was in a group once before but didn’t follow through that time.

A big part of this program is something called, “Morning Pages”…a journal that you write in every morning, first thing, stream of consciousness…just whatever comes into your mind.  With time, it helps to elicit deeper things that may be bothering you and free you from them and reminds you of things you want to do.

Another part is making lists of all sorts of things – goals, things you have always wanted to do, places you would like to go, people in your life who were helpful to your creativity, and people who were destructive to your creativity…and on and on.  Writing something on a list helps to enlist your subconscious into making it a reality.

Weekly Artist’s Dates are encouraged with yourself – to make a date with yourself to do something creative or fun…anything your want…it can just be a shopping trip.  Actually write it on the calendar.

Some of the things that I feel could be credited to these practices were:

Bus trip as mentioned above (see for a complete write-up about it).

Bought a tablet and learned how to use it so I could take it on the bus trip to enable me to email in the evenings and read books or play games on the bus.  This may not sound like much, but believe me, it was a project learning how to use it.  And I am still enjoying using it every day.

Getting this blog up and running with a gallery of my paintings, thanks to my son Mark doing all the preliminary framework and teaching me what I needed to know to input data and photos – I didn’t really even understand what blogs were at the beginning of this exercise, so my son had to teach me a lot.

A blog for my husband – my son Mark put this together too – and I spent a lot of time putting up all of his information and photos.  His was a lot more work than mine, because he had a lot of old photos and even photos from slides that had to be digitized.  Check it out at:

I’m signed up to show some of my paintings in November and December at Marie’s Café in Medina.  I have done that several times in the past, but signing up means I need to get busy painting and framing.

Learned a painting technique called “Encaustic” which I love.  It involves using crayola crayons, a travel iron and paper or foil.  The crayons are melted on the iron and then transferred onto paper making beautiful abstract patterns.

Attended the painting group in Brunswick and the painting group in Medina at A.I. Root several times.

Joined the Photo Club in Medina (Photographers of the Parks) after attending a few tutorials and meetings.  Started taking more photos and entering some in their monthly contests.

Painted some peonies from my garden and other subjects.

Our group sessions are now over, and we have completed all the exercises in the book.  But we can continue to journal daily, and the group may get together from time to time for a visit to the art museum or other interesting place.



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