The Artist’s Date - by Loretta Bouillon
It is an interesting concept; the “Artist’s Date”. I have been reading Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way and she suggests a weekly date, about two hours a week, to stimulate our senses and feed the artist in us. My initial thought was this….how can I do this in a town of 1000 people, without a theatre, coffee shop, or in a nutshell, anything that I could possible use for an artist’s date? It is good in theory but not very easy to do in this town. This, combined with the fact that it is winter and we live in the north, has been my excuse.
I have come up with more excuses than possibilities for “dates”. Besides having nowhere to go, I have no time. What busy mom has two hours of time a week to spend on something so unnecessary? Or is it necessary?
As I write this, I have taken an unexpected trip to Vancouver. I am happily overloading on hours of artist dates for a week. Can it work that way? Artistic gluttony! I am artistically and culturally starving and it feels fabulous to fuel up. Walking around Vancouver alone is feeding my muse. I am typing on my laptop as I write in a lovely coffee shop, sipping an Americano. Beside me is another writer furiously typing away on her laptop. The two men beside me are discussing a theatre production they are directing.
So far this week, I have wandered through small art galleries, handcrafted jewelry shops, a specialty handmade broom store, a glass blowing shop, a pottery shop, and the Vancouver Art Gallery. I have taken walks with my laptop in tow and sat writing on the seawall, on a ferry, and at a couple of markets listening to buskers. It’s so easy here. I love it and thrive on this energy. But, I don’t live in it. Maybe I should l look at this as an artistic retreat?
As challenging as it is, after brainstorming, I have made a list of creative artist’s dates that I could have in my little town.
o Attending any plays or musical nights that come through our town (once in awhile this happens)
o Visit our little museum (for the twentieth time but take my time and go through it slowly)
o Take a winter walk and look at the nature around me through artist eyes and appreciate God’s creation
o Plan my garden with a drawing (even though I don’t draw)
o Plant something exotic in my greenhouse/garden this Spring
o Paint something abstract with watercolours (I say abstract because I don’t draw!)
o Paint something abstract with acrylic
o Draw something from my kids’ beginner drawing books (I seriously don’t draw!)
o Watch those artist’s videos that I made my kids watch for our art course years ago
o Watch some Jane Austen movies
o Read a Shakespeare play
o Read a biography about a writer or poet
So as I write this, I realize that the possibilities are endless. I just need to be creative about being creative! Here I go!