Drawing, art, and writing

I’d definitely recommend Natalie Goldberg’s book (Living Color: A Writer Painter Her World) to anyone drawn to multiple artistic media.  I just finished it.  She writes compellingly about her process both as a writer and an artist.  Remarkable. I had a delightful time yesterday morning at a downtown art store acquiring pastels, pastel paper, and an interesting drawing pen (in a brush format). It was a revelation.  I had no idea how varied and rich pastel color sticks and pencils could be.  But I still haven’t drawn anything, in spite of a couple of blog posts! This was my inspiration for thinking about pastels:  a wonderful piece by Carl Peverall from the Toe River Studio tour a couple of weekends...

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Thanks for this opportunity

I have had the Artist’s Way book and Journal for more than 10 years and never really did much with it.  A few weeks before I found the ad for the course  in the Mountain Express, I came across the book and journal and thought, I ought to do something with this.  So, I promptly set them aside for another day.  I am really good at procrastination!  When my attention was drawn to the tiny ad in the Express, I knew that I was receiving some powerful guidance to take the course. I am so grateful for this opportunity.  I have been an artist since childhood but over the last 20 years or so, I have produced almost no art.  My creative juices seemed to just stop flowing as I immersed myself in business and other non-creative activities.  I even stopped playing music for many years.  Last year, I picked up my guitar and started playing again.  I even started writing some music and playing with some other musicians at the little Unity church I attend occasionally.  Finally, my creative juices are flowing again and the opportunity this course offers for me to do even more is very exciting.  In just the first 3 weeks, the difference the Artist’s Way is making for me is profound on so many levels.  Frankly, on some levels that I did not expect, but that I welcome with open...

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Writing, drawing, and creating

It was a revelation, fishing around my study desk at home (in Clemson) this weekend to see that I had not just one sketch pad, but five (!), plus a watercolor tablet.   They’re all blank (I think); I guess I’ll need to check.  Hmm. There weren’t any pastels, but there was a watercolor set.  I’d already brought all of the colored pencils, charcoals, and drawings from my previous drawing classes up the ‘hill.’ I put the watercolors and brushes in my stack to bring back to Asheville. I’ve been thinking through the morning pages that perhaps my blog (and an excerpted book) is actually where some of my creative energy is actually moving and evolving, not into drawing or pastels or painting.  But perhaps that’s not that as clear as it could be. I checked out a marvelous book at the library on Friday called Living Color: A Writer Paints Her World (by Natalie Goldberg).   I don’t know anything about her, but her message is...

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An early reflection on the The Artist’s Way process

I’ve found the two classes, and the weekly exercises to be revealing and interesting so far, and I’m also aware that I’m in a much more relaxed and expansive space this summer than in my normal work environment. I thought after the last class about how I dragged myself to two series of drawing classes after long days at work last year.  It was fun, but more draining than rejuvenating, although I did ‘enjoy’ the classes.  I did some drawings that I was quite pleased with, though, and regrouped with more artist’s supplies. Tim (my husband) and I bought a lovely pastel painting of a mountain landscape with meadow flowers at the Toe River Studio Tour this last weekend — it was a revelation to see what the artist was able to do with pastels, creating colors and textures with a prepared paper background.  I put my name on the list for a potential fall...

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Jenna’s Experience of the Artist’s Way

I first learned about the Artist’s Way through songwriting workshops, when time and time again people would refer to the infamous morning pages as a powerful tool for unlocking creativity and dismissing the inner critic. Like so many folks, I wound up with a copy of the book on my shelf, where it stayed for a few years, untouched by in large. Every now and again I would attempt to start the course by myself, only making it a few chapters in before abandoning the morning pages and the readings all together. When I heard about the Asheville group starting up in January, my heart leapt! I thought, with the support and accountability created through group process I just might be able to explore the course in its entirety. Indeed, I heard the still small voice saying “yes” and yet was reluctant to sign up because of financial reasons and the time commitment. I’m relieved that come the first day of the class I cast aside “sensibility” and triumphantly thought, I cannot afford not to do this. In retrospect, it’s somewhat frightening to think that I was ever debating it. I can certainly say that it was one of my best decisions in 2010 and by far and away one of the best investments I’ve ever made. A few weeks into the course I found myself wondering, how on earth have I had this book and never truly tapped into it?!? Within the reading I found true gems that helped me develop a better understanding of myself and illuminated desires and supportive practices to live a more authentic and creative life. Sharing in the experience with a group provided a space to reflect and learn through other people’s experiences as well. While it is very much a solo journey, the collective energy of our community created a sort of momentum that nurtured my development and supported me in taking the baby steps that led to leaps down the pathway of uncovering my dreams. I’m still amazed by the synchronicity and abundance that I experienced over the course of the 12 weeks, a chain reaction of sweet and subtle goodness that created unimaginable joy, completion of projects, life-altering experiences and unforeseen opportunities. For me the class served as an anchor point in my week, an invaluable time to get grounded, refocus, and prepare for take off. It’s not rocket science. There’s no surefire recipe or secret code. However, the Artist’s Way offers some key ingredients that helped me connect with something much larger than myself. It has truly been a spiritual journey and throughout the course I experienced a deep level of clarity, spaciousness, and possibility. A strange sort of...

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