Monday, February 1, 2010

The Artist's Way - Week Three

Image courtesy of Google Images

Week three into Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way and I feel like an emotional basket case! Thank heaven for morning pages so that I have an outlet to purge my pent up emotions that the weekly readings and exercises are surfacing. I’m starting to understand that to unblock my creativity I have to deal with my unresolved anger and resentments – but most of all – fear.

This week I began hosting the women’s writing group I am a member of at my apartment. We’ve been meeting every other Monday in a coffee shop in downtown Golden, but we were finding it difficult to complete our writing exercises and share our work amongst the chatter of other patrons and the hiss of latte’s being steamed. It was an honor to open up my home to a group of women I respect and admire. However, I was nervous about them entering my private sanctuary. It’s where I give birth to my ideas and where the paintings I am currently working on are in their “ugly duckling” stage. Thankfully I kicked fear to the curb, let the girls come over anyway, and gained confidence in letting them see a glimpse into my creative process.

Image courtesy of Motion Underground Dance Studio
Englewood, Colorado

Fear reared its ugly head again this week when I met with two prospective commission painting customers. I’m not sure what scares me more: negotiating the price and asking for a deposit or the thought that after all my hard work they won’t like the finished piece. Despite my fears the appointments went well.

The first was with a local dance studio. I’m excited about this project because of the size of the space that is going to allow me to paint big! I just haven’t quite flushed out my ideas for the series of 48 x 48 inch paintings. I’m sensing a solo artist date in my future in the form off a drop-in hip-hop dance class at the studio to inspire me.

My second appointment was with a woman I met at my artist reception in November. A painting she was interested in was purchased that night by someone else, prompting her to ask me to paint a commissioned piece. In contrast to my first appointment, when I entered her bedroom where she wants the painting to hang I was immediately inspired and began sketching. I shared my idea with her and an hour later I found myself on this week’s solo artist date at Michael’s spending her deposit to purchase the needed supplies.

Another fearful experience I had this week was asking friends, family, and fellow writers to proof read an essay I am writing. It is about the role painting has played in aiding me in overcoming my battles with depression. It’s going to be published in a book this summer titled Speaking Your Truth: Inspiring Stories by Courageous Women. I thought it would be scarier to share my deepest feelings and darkest experiences with people I don’t know very well. I was startled to discover that the harshest criticism came from the people who know me best. So I’m back to the editing process where I’m trying to write honestly about my experiences, while not hurting those that I love.

Image courtesy of Google Images

The scariest thing that happened to me this week was getting a wake-up call from my doctor. As a follow-up to a recent routine exam, they called to let me know that a test came back showing abnormalities. To be on the safe side they want to take a biopsy. I’m grateful I’m reading The Artist’s Way so that I can receive Julia Cameron’s gentle reminders to care for myself because without my health I wouldn’t be able to paint and write. With Julia as my guide I am listening to my body’s whispers that I need to slow down and choose my projects wisely so that I have time to care for myself before my body starts shouting at me because of something more serious.

I spent the weekend evaluating how I spend my time and focus my energy. As a result, I declined from participating in an art show this coming First Friday during Art Walk. I know I could finish the painting I was invited to show, but at the expense of getting little sleep this week. Since I currently have ten paintings hanging at the restaurant Larimer Hot House in Denver and I am starting one of the commissioned paintings I decided I have enough on my plate. I could allow myself to be fearful that if I stop saying yes to every opportunity that they’ll stop presenting themselves. But I have to trust that as long as I keep painting I will keep showing.

Check back next week as I “Recover a Sense of Integrity” as I work through chapter four of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, finish the final draft of my essay that’s getting published, and try to make time to paint.


  1. Looking forward to following your journey as an artist, writer and woman. You are an inspiration to me.

  2. Thank you for sharing your amazing and wonderful life with us. I am in the midst of a similar journey and it is wonderful to hear yours! Blog on dear one!

  3. It is fun for me to watch you open up and trust your truth. I have learned that fear is often time really excitement. Shift how you see it and cut thru it as the true courageous warrior that you are. You are doing it all!

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