Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Artist's Way - Week Four

"A Good Cry" 2009
Acrylic & Mixed Media

During week four of following Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way I found myself resisting the morning pages. I only wrote four out of the seven days. On the days I did write my pages, it was struggle. It wasn’t until the week’s end, when I was overcome by a good cry, that I began to realize I need the morning pages to exercise my demons and keep my creativity flowing. I couldn’t help but laugh at myself when I read in chapter four on page 80 that, “extreme emotions of any kind – the very thing that morning pages are superb for processing – are the usual triggers for avoiding the pages themselves.”

Throughout the week I didn’t think I was avoiding the pages. But as I stayed up late each night putting the final touches on my essay, I Find Myself Painting, it wasn't difficult to resist sleeping in the next morning. It didn’t take much to justify how skipping my pages was in my best interest if I wanted to get to work on time and get my piece turned over to the publisher of the anthology, Speaking Your Truth: Inspiring Stories from Courageous Women, by the deadline.

I made a conscious choice this week to limit my socializing to catch up on rest and I refrained from attending First Friday Art Walk. Instead, I attempted to re-watch my DVD of Louise L. Hay’s movie, You Can Heal Your Life, for my solo artist date. But only minutes into the film I succumbed to a nap on the couch and didn’t wakeup until the credits were rolling. I don’t think this is what Julia had in mind for reconnecting to my creative Spirit, but I felt better getting some rest.

Despite my mediocre attempts to write my daily morning pages, and sleeping through my solo artist date this week, I was reassured that I am still making progress when I read on page 83, “Remember that the more you feel yourself to be terra incognita, the more certain you can be that the recovery process is working.” Well, I felt like I was having an out of body experience when I was interviewed this week by Maryann Swartz for her forthcoming book titled, Fifty Interviews: Artists. As she drew my story out of me with her questions I couldn’t help but feel like I was talking about someone else as I outlined the unfolding of my art and writing careers over the past year.

I continue to be offered more opportunities to show my paintings and share my writing. Even though these are things I want, and that I’ve been working toward, some days I feel it’s happening too fast or that I don’t deserve the rewards of my hard work. As I write this, I am further realizing the importance of writing three daily morning pages so that I can work through these feelings of self doubt and insecurity in order to get out of my own way and just let life, and the creative process, unfold.

I'll be honest, there are times I want to dropkick my copy of The Artist’s Way across the room, particularly when I get to the end of a chapter, read the suggested exercises, and think, “There is no way I can squeeze one more thing into my schedule.” But I persevere. With my avoidance, hiccups, and imperfections I continue on this 12-week journey.

Check back next week as I embark of chapter five of Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way, prepare for my next board meeting at the Denver Art Society, check out The Love Show at Core, and attend Laurie Maves artist reception for her opening at Vain.

To learn more about the teachings of Louise L. Hay, and her movie You Can Heal Your Life, visit

For more information about the 50 Interviews series of books and Maryann Swartz, visit

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