Thursday, August 7, 2008

Of Artist Dates and Morning Pages

When I was blocked (artistically) and couldn't draw or paint a thing, I had a book jump out at me. Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. The book was perfect for me.

I still regularly practice Morning Pages. I stopped for two months late this spring and I felt myself getting very translucent, curled up, and dried out, like a fallen leaf. So I figure I'll be doing my three pages a day until arthritis makes it impossible. Julia Cameron said it would be like that...

But the Artist Dates I have not done so regularly. Only a few a year, I am discouraged to report.

Tomorrow, though... tomorrow.

I knocked myself out today on the job (and was still crushed and grumpy at day's end because I only accomplished about 3/5 of what I wanted to - I am my worst slave driver) - in order to be able to turn off the cell phone, get away from the e-mail, ignore work completely, and waltz off solo into wherever, with no itinerary, tomorrow.

A whole day to myself. What will I do, where will I go, what will I eat? I have only a deliciously vague idea and that is almost more fun than tomorrow will be. I have gotten the whole family into my idea of a Road Trip - where there isn't really a destination, just a direction, maybe, or a road we'll start on, or a guiding principle like "the road less traveled by" (that can get you in trouble). Or there is a destination, like a town we don't know yet, but nothing else. Saturday dearest is planning one of these to Lynchburg, because I've said so many nice things about it, and we've driven through it a few times and it tempted us to linger. But tomorrow I will do one alone.

I confess I discovered this type of daytrip the wrong way. When we were younger our explosions were so intense, sometimes, that I had to boil out of the house, slam into my car, and drive away for the entire day. I discovered a number of interesting places on those day long roars (Clarksville, VA, for instance - or the area around Bahama, NC - or a cool grill in Siler City, NC), but always in a mood.

Tomorrow I plan to wander a couple of old friend libraries (Davis at UNC Chapel Hill - I miss the massive old paper card catalogue - over a million volumes, probably ten million cards - I could find anything in there; and Haines, the Art Library at UNC), go to one of my favorite little art museums (the Ackland), wander the funky shops in West Chapel Hill and Carrboro, spend time in record stores checking out some new grooves suggested by DCup, eat heaven knows what heaven knows where and often, and maybe sketch a little. Artist dates aren't about doing art, though - they are about recharging the imagination. Some poetry, new music, people watching, new food, who knows what will happen.

I'll take my camera and see if anything interesting is willing to pose for me.

I can't say how much I am looking forward to this.

>>>> Appendix de Grenouille #21 <<<<
What could be more exciting than to arrive, in the nick of time, with the winning move? What dragonflies would have a chance against the perfect timing and grace of Grenouille? He was carried from the field on the shoulders of his companions, who took him out for algae pie and tall frosty glasses of bleer, a cloudy green drink made from fermented pickerel weed.

It's a shame he can't tell his team mates apart. He dismissed their names from his memory years ago, because he could never risk using them.


Alex said...

The blessing of having many artistic hobbies is that when I'm blocked in one area, I can usually let it out through another medium. The curse is that I'll never be really good at any of them.

Anonymous said...

That sounds really wonderful. I used to work from home and a couple of days a week, I would take a different route back to the house after dropping the kids at school. It was my wandering time with the camera. I miss that.

I hope you have a lovely day and a great road trip when the family goes with you, too!

I'll be curious to see if you got any pix and what you thought of those tunes.

Randal Graves said...

Artist dates aren't about doing art, though - they are about recharging the imagination.

I should try one of those out. Hope yours goes well and the batteries are refreshed.

Steve Emery said...

Alex - I stopped worrying about being any good - I'm trying to just love doing it and challenging myself each time.

DCup - Time to wander is so nice - maybe beyond nice, it might be essential. I did get some today - it was great. More in a post later.

Randal - thanks for the comment. I had a terrific day, and did indeed come back energized for more artwork. I also came back quieter and more relaxed, which will be better for my family as we do our roadtrip tomorrow.

Liberality said...

"When we were younger our explosions were so intense, sometimes, that I had to boil out of the house, slam into my car, and drive away for the entire day."

Been there and done that! lol ;)
but I don't do that as much anymore. Have a great trip tomorrow too.

Steve Emery said...

Liberality - Thanks - I did have a wonderful day. I will post several items from it...