The Artist’s Way: Week 1

Published February 9, 2014 by Susan Woodward

Okay, so I am working through The Artist’s Way with a group of ladies in the area…it seems like a great thing to be working on during this really freezing cold tundra we are living in these days.  This whole Polar Vortex has brought crazy-cold temps, and even skiing is not as much fun because of it.

As much as I love hibernating in the winter with mugs of hot drinks, fuzzy jammies, a warm blanket and endless streaming on Netflix (OMG…BBC TV), it’s a really good idea to still the old creative juices now and again.  Last winter I spent this time period working up a sweat and pushing my physical limits.  This winter I am stretching the internal limits a bit.

the-artists-way_17liSo…I guess the way this Artist’s Way works is that, for twelve weeks, one works to get into the following habits:

1- Morning pages: non-focused purging of the mind each morning, ideally on paper.  The goal is to write three pages every morning.  Well, I get up at 5 already, and am out the door by 6 for a 30 minute commute, so that’s pretty much not going to happen.  Since the idea is to purge the mind of junk before beginning the day, I am doing so verbally in my car while I drive.  I already do a form of this after school on my way home from work…venting my frustrations before entering my sanctuary, so to speak.  So now I am doing it twice a day…twice the purging is probably a good thing, anyway.  Fortunately, with modern technology being what it is, I don’t have to worry so much about the folks driving next to me thinking I am a lunatic talking to myself; they probably assume I have a blue tooth.  It’s no longer considered a one way trip to the psych ward if one is seen talking to oneself because it’s most likely they are using this modern technology.  What a great cover for me!

2- An Artist’s Date: once a week, we are supposed to take ourselves out on a date alone to court our inner artist.

3- A Nature Walk:  connect with Nature at least once a week.  (During the Polar Vortex?  Ummm… that’s not working out so much so far).

Here we are, then–Week 1: Recovering a Sense of Safety.

Our group was challenged to explore our Monsters, those nay-sayers and negative entities in our pasts that have had an influence on our creative selves.  Ironically, it seems that some monsters decided to rear their ugly heads this very same week.   As a result,  I have been working hard to recover my sense of safety.

My morning “pages” have centered around my feelings of betrayal and renewed sense of violation from these “Monsters”, and it is true that purging the stream of consciousness verbally has helped.  So did writing and deleting emails.  Even though it took several days for the negativity to subside to something more manageable, it is synchronistic that this particular “Monster” attacking my creative expression happened to emerge during my first week of The Artist’s Way.

For my Artist’s Date, I went to visit a Balloon Manor exhibit that was held in Rochester this past weekend: a five -story representation of Jack and the Beanstalk created entirely from balloons!

Jack and the BeanstalkFrom a five-story beanstalk to a life-sized “Jack” and his mother, every single detail was a balloon.  Flowers, a vegetable garden, apple trees with birds and bugs and half eaten apple cores… the detail work was phenomenal.  The entire Sibley Building smelled like latex!  It was so awe inspiring, though, to see what the creative imagination can put together with simple materials.  Absolutely fantastic!

To top the visit off, the Aerial Arts of Rochester was there to perform Jack and the Beanstalk on silks!  I was glad to get to see Illy, Will, Kim, and Chris flying through the air, even though it is still bittersweet due to the fact that I shall not be able to do silks again.  Damned injuries and vertigo!  But I do have the memories of having tried ot to the best of my ability.

Illy and WillIf you click on the picture of Illy and Will, you will see one of the video clips I took of their performance!

Week one was rough facing those monsters, but working the Artist’s Way will help me to tap back into the creativity.  I have my NaNoWriMo book to finish!!  🙂

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One comment on “The Artist’s Way: Week 1

  • I loved the Artist’s way when I did it! And I always love hearing about what people decide to do for their artist date, always looking for artist date inspiration. The Balloon festival looked awesome! I’m chronicling my journey towards a more connected way of being, over at Soul Cake 🙂 xx

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