Saturday, February 24, 2007

Artist's Dates

Welcome to week 2! Jessie has written a wonderful post about the week ahead along with some gentle encouragement. I don't have much to add, but Melba has asked for some inspiration for her Artist's Dates, so I decided to tackle that topic.

This group has grown large!! It's wonderful and inspiring, however, it also means that it takes a lot of time to visit everyone's blog in a day (which would be very hard to keep up with on a daily basis and get anything done!) Jessie and I decided from the start that we wouldn't let this overwhelm us, so I want to ask for your help. Not that you really need to be asked, I've seen already that you have been visiting the other blogs in this group and leaving supportive comments. That's awesome! We *all* need encouragement and support. So, if you have time, I ask that you pick a few blogs (perhaps ones you've never been to before?) and stop in for a visit. Leave some encouraging words if you are inspired to do so, but it's not required. I think just being a witness is very powerful. Do this when you can; the circle of support we've formed in this group is a huge part of what will keep us on track through the next twelve weeks.

Ok, I got off topic there a little bit, but that just popped into my head because I just clicked through every blog in this beautiful group of creative souls, looking for artist's date inspiration and these aren't all of them, but here are some great places to start looking for ideas!

I'd love to hear YOUR ideas! Put a link to a post about your artist date here in the comments (when you do yours this week or about last week's date or future dates) or just leave a comment with artist date ideas. I'm going to put an older post here that I wrote for the Artist's Way group last year because it was helpful for me to re-read and it has a bunch of artist date ideas. I hope it's helpful for you too! At the end there are ideas for ad's when you can't leave your house. This can be particularly helpful if you have small children (or you're snowed in or sick) and really can't get out alone. So, any other ideas for at home artist's dates would be great! One of my favorite artist dates to do it home is to have an art picnic, which I wrote about for CaC and I know some of you have tried and enjoyed. Whatever you do, have fun. Invite your creative spirit to play!


One of the basic tools in The Artist's Way is the Arist's Date (I may refer to artist dates as ads and morning pages as mps.) For some this is no big thing, in fact it may sound wonderful!...What? I get to go out by myself and do something fun? Sweet!!...For others, it's scarier...Go out by myself? How boring. or What will people think of me? or What the heck will I do? or I really don't have the time. Either way, the ads are a wonderful way to get to know your creative self better. That part of you deserves a treat, take yourself out as if you were a hot date. ;-)

What constitutes an Artist's Date? Well, it has to be done alone. You can't take your hubby, your mom, your friends. As for what you do on your date, well, sky's the limit. I recommend being playful, being adventurous and daring and creative, listen to that small voice inside you, ask it what it would most like to do, what sounds like fun? If it helps, schedule your date in advance and write in on your calendar, so you won't forget.

Sure, you could do something artsy, like go to a gallery or a museum (many museums have a free night, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is free from 4-9:45 every Wednesday night. You can often get museum passes at your local library. Galleries are also free and a fun way to see a variety of art.) But you don't need to do something that you "think" is what a creative outing should be. One of my favorite ads was a trip to a local greehouse. I spent about 45 minutes just wandering through the lush greenness, taking in the smells, giggling at the ancient bonsais, admiring the orchids. In the end I walked away with a sad little plant from the clearance area. Turns out it was a prayer plant, very cool synchronicity I thought. Your ads don't need to be expensive, I think almost all of mine were free.

Julia talks about Artist's Dates as being a way to fill your creative well, or stocking the pond. And it's interesting how effective this can be. Plus it's a fabulous self-nurturing tool that everyone could use a little more of.

Need some ideas? How bout: going to a flea market, browsing through gorgeous fabrics at a fabric store, going to a dollar store and buying something silly, going to a stationary store to pick out stickers to decorate your journal with, people watching, take your camera on a walk, take a bubble bath with candles and no reading material, draw in a coloring book, go to a bead store, check out the walking trails around your area and pick a new one to check out, make a chalk drawing outside your home or in a public place...maybe write an inspiring quote, go to a poetry reading, try a new restaurant, see an independent film. The idea is to think about what intrigues you, what fascinates you, and then go explore! What if you're stuck at home? Well, a bath is one of my favorite ways to have a date without leaving the house. But you can get creative with it, look through old photos, go on a treasure hunt in your attic, paint your toenails different colors. Play, explore, get silly, amuse yourself, stock your pond, have fun!

So you see, imagination needs moodling--long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling, and puttering. -Brenda Ueland


Anonymous said...

I combined an errand and me time to get my "artist date" this week. I was running low on paint so I took off to the local craft store, stopped off at starbucks first for a coffee and scone and then wandered aimlessly around the paint/art isles. It was bliss and I enjoyed not rushing in and out like I normally do...of course I had to eventually pull myself away and get the cars oil changed, lol.

tammy vitale said...

I was doing well at visiting all the sites, and then more were added...I'm trying hard...but there sure are a lot of new folks to meet!

My artist's date was a trip to Joanne's and allowing myself to wander with no time limit. Week 2's is supposed to be the big Craft Show in Baltimore, but it looks like freezing rain may change that (and I was taking Husband, so I guess that doesn't really count).

Ok, then this week's artist date was taking pictures along the North Beach Boardwalk as I walked last week's walk. =]

Laura said...

The artist date ideas were great, Leah! Thanks. Actually, your entry helped me think about the dates in a different way---I have many more ideas now~!

Olivia said...

My Artist Date was quiet and perfect for where I am right now:

This certainly is an exciting journey we're all on!

Riggwelter said...

is it too ate to join? This looks like just the thing for me. My blog is


miss*R said...

I am so, so sad that I couldnt get the book (I live in Australia and it won't be available until the middle of the year) However, I am going to buy the Artists way tomorrow and will start that..

Jessie said...

I went to a favorite restaurant for lunch and then to an art gallery next door. I wrote about it here:

This week I'm hoping to find a pool and go swimming...something I haven't done in a very, VERY long time!:)

Paula said...

A way to keep up with the blogs without having to click on each (for people like me who don´t update every day) is to have your list in
There you suscribe to all the blogs and see at a glance who have updated theirs. You can always read it from there or go to the blog to leave comments.

My Artist Date was exactly that. Surfing and meeting these wonderful women, making interesting stuff. :)

Anonymous said...

I am so happy I came upon this blog!
I LOVE Julia Cameron's books,& I have The Artist's Way.
I'm moving this week and it'll be the first thing I unpack!
Can't wait to start posting my artist dates here!

June said...

I had a ball walking around Dick Blicks, a local art store. I just get a little overwhelmed in there (I get overwhelmed alot, check out my blog to find out why), and just like a kid in a toy store I want to cry when I can't get what I want!

Anonymous said...

hi Jessie!
I would LOVE to be linked to this blog.
I want to share my "Words of a Bohemian Mom".
Thanks...great to meet you too!

Butterfly said...

I am new to blogging but would love to join this group. Hopefully my blogging knowledge will improve over time!

Carol Rose Parker said...

I have gone through most of the exercises in Artist's Way, though not recently. I am a new blogger, and not sure how to get connected with the rest of the blog world. I like this opportunity for connection, and would like to see how it could work out. Please add me to your blog roll:

Elizabeth said...

Hello... is it ok if i join in too, although you've already started?
Would love to 'do' JC's book with a group, instead of on my own - very exciting!!!
My blogspot for the course is...

melba said...

Thank you!
This sure helps!

My first artist date was going to church.(which was my only time alone all week!) I wrote a little about it

Caroline said...

Thanks for linking to my AD and also some more so I get inspiration too!

Karen said...

I just want to say "Thank you" to all of you! Because of this group, I'm doing Finding Water in a more committed way--and because of that, I take my first piano lesson on Thursday morning!!!

I am excited.

lila said...

I started out on what I planned to have for an artist's date...a trip to a local plant nursery and garden center...of course it was really too early! I did see some wonderful garden statuary and a fantastic metal garden bench made to look like a huge blue butterfly...yours for a mere $2,500.00! I'll see if there is a photo and post it...tomorrow I will do may walk!

GeL(Emerald Eyes) said...

Hi Leah,
I love the warmth that this group exudes. I was a week behind in joining, so I'm taking things at my pace, to keep with the obvious tone of her books, while inching at catching up.

These "a. dates" are good ideas.My artist date was the one thing I had already done for myself the day before I found this group! My body and soul had felt deprived for a long time. IT was so nourishing and it wasn't elaborate or wow like many I've seen posted.
I had looked forward to this for over a month, with weather and other "must do's" preventing that excursion.

It was merely giving myself the afternoon and evening, as long as it took, to meander with little thought of time. It was combined as a partial errand, but that necessity of hunting for a formal gown was still pleasure because the time was mine. (My hubby "Gem") and I love to dance and have several galas including one for his workplace that required me to update my 10 year old gowns: all 2 of them)

I enjoyed searching for colors I liked on the clearance rack and hoping something would fit from the leftover "after holidays pickings." I did NOT enjoy wriggling in and out of clothes, but I had already planned to treat myself to strolling in other non-shopping areas, like a bead place where I greatly enjoy talking to other artists who make jewelry.

Some remnants of The Artist's Way were with me long before I read that book. I did go out wearing favorite comfortable clothes, instead of flying out of the house in studio clothes. (Those are called "shmates" in my neck of the woods.)

I'd love to go on an artist date seeing model homes. In our area, they stopped having many of those and just have the offices. I LOVED seeing the decorating and architecture in new homes. OH, that was heaven.

Even though I haven't been able to post yet, I will by Friday. Thanks again to you and Jessie for welcoming me in. I'm enjoying reading those who have tackled week one already. I just finished... this morning after morning pages.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I love going to really obscure films, going tp poetry readings or walking by the river. I should remember to take my camera along with me more often. Thanks for the list of ideas and for visiting my blog.

Sophie said...

I am so inspired - i am writing
creatively again for the first time
in a long time and words are
just beaming through me -
i have always loved getting up early and morning pages are
quite magical!
I am so thrilled as i peek around
at all the artists dates!

MAHIMA said...

i just discovered this blog. and i love it already! :)
well, i go for many, many artists dates.
when i'm mad at everyone else, when i want to think, write, or create without pressure, when i want to go explore someplace new, when i'm inspired, when i want a coffee....
some of the things i find are simple and accessible ways to enjoy artists dates are:
go to a cafe with just your journal and many many inspiring thoughts/ideas. order your coffee and doodle, write, journal away.

go to a good bookstore, one with a small cafe, or couches. sit there with a selection of books: try pick a range, some arty, some thought provoking poems, some humour. pen down- in words and doodles and drawings and different fonts your thought process:
a quote you like, a joke, a photograph, an association something sparked off in you...

take your journal/sketchbook, walk across a stretch of road drawing, recording what you see, smell, hear, love.

run a nice warm bath and soak in it while you muse. :)

Michele - Coach4Women said...

This is great!!! I often ask women to take artist dates or just date themselves. I've discovered it is always challenging to come up with ideas, if you aren't use to taking care of yourself. I think your blog is wonderful!!! I also love what you've written to support yourself and others.

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