There are always ways in to creativity, I tried an Artist’s Date this month
April’s writing has been hampered by the school holidays and my hand injury. I did work out I could type using voice dictation but frankly by the time I had made corrections to Google’s guess at my brilliant prose, all the flow had gone. If the problem persists I may have to overcome my embarassment and ask someone to type up my work. Instead of getting frustrated with my lack of creative output, I have take the chance to indulge in Artist’s Dates.
Taking Artist’s Dates is a key practice from The Artist’s Way by Julie Cameron. She suggests we take a couple of hours each week to engage in something different and I have a list of ideas that you can do cheaply. I tend to take it as advice to play more. That the act of being creative even just a little bit, has the effect of making your life more playful.
There is a great quote from Tim Burton, “Anyone with artistic ambitions is always trying to reconnect with the way they saw things as a child.” Well, as a child I had a wild, untamed imagination. I had dreams and pretend friends and a passion for singing and dancing. And so when I try and connect with both my inner child and artist, I am wistful for the child who could become completely absorbed in her play and try and take this principle into my Artist’s Date.
To recapture my dreamy inner child, I have been revisiting my childhood with a series of Anne of Green Gables novels on audiobook. Recently listened to Anne of the Island and found the perfect quote to inspire my date.
I feel as if I had opened a book and found roses of yesterday, sweet and fragrant, between it’s leavesL. M. Montgomery
It was finally time to get out my flower press. This was a find in another recent Artist’s Date where I looked around the charity shops for anything that inspired me. I think I had a go at flower pressing as a child inside the Complete Works of Shakespeare but this made it a more formal pursuit. I picked some dandelions and wild growing bluebells to try out.
The flowers are pressed between corrugated sheets of card and onto acid free paper so you could make something with the final product.
After a week in the press I had slightly mishapen flowers but a pretty first attempt. I put them back a bit longer as clearly the idea is to take them out once dried. The advice is to always pick your flowers on a dry day. To finish off my week I bought a seed bomb of wild flowers for my backyard to see if I can make my own flowers to press.
Like all art when you first try it, it may not be the most beautiful thing ever created but this was a great chance to try something new.
Have you tried Artist’s Dates? How does it inspire you?