Monday, March 8, 2010

The Artist's Way - Week Eight

Test boards for commissioned painting

Maybe I’m being lazy, but I don’t think so. Week 8 following Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and I have found that my favorite solo artist dates are the ones when I stay home alone. I blew off the art shows I had planned to check out in LODO and the RINO art district. I didn’t even go to First Friday Art Walk for the second consecutive month in a row. Instead, I spent the evening listening to music while I prepared dinner. Later I watched back-to-back encores of the last two Project Runway episodes while folding laundry. I missed their original airing because of my busy schedule. Watching a reality TV show may not sound like a viable artist date, but Project Runway is the only show I follow because I enjoy watching the fashion designers’ creative process as it unfolds.

After a lifetime of shyness and isolation, and my relocation from Detroit to Denver last year, I am finally getting out in the world, having new experiences, and meeting new people. It’s great, but lately I haven’t been making enough time just for me. It’s only recently that I’ve begun to allow myself to enjoy an after work nap or given myself permission to dance in the kitchen while listening to music and cooking dinner. Heck, just preparing a home cooked meal is an accomplishment in self love! But more importantly, I haven’t been making time to slow down to appreciate what I already have (my health and supportive family and friends), what I’ve already accomplished (moving to Denver and honoring my creative nature), and who I have already grown into (a more confident woman who’s no longer afraid to take risks and express herself).

An added bonus of staying in instead of going out? While I cooked dinner I felt inspired to cook different dishes next week and wrote out my grocery list. Normally I spend Sunday afternoons standing in the center of the kitchen, pen in my right hand, empty grocery list in my left, staring into barren cupboards, stumped as to what I want to eat in the coming week. But Friday night, as the pasta sauce simmered and the noodles boiled, I felt yearnings for the comfort food I ate growing up: meatloaf with ketchup, tuna noodle casserole, brown sugar baby carrots, banana bread, pumpkin pie… Not as one meal of course, but smells, textures, and tastes I would like to experience again.

Who would have guessed that when I began to unblock my creatively that I would find myself inspired to cook – and the Midwest comfort food I grew up with no less? And as I got caught up on episodes of Project Runway, I was grateful that I brought my old sewing machine with me when I moved to Denver last year. Just the thought of dusting off my old Kenmore 12-stitch reminds me of my other forgotten passion – sewing my own clothes.

Despite resting and deepening my connection with the creative Spirit Friday night, the week was not completely without art. Monday I attended Eric Matelski’s First Monday Art Talk at Dazzle Jazz Lounge where Nemo was the featured artist. Saturday morning I showed my sketch and test boards to my commissioned painting customer. And Saturday afternoon my friend and artist Stephanie McCandless and I visited the William Havu Gallery to experience Amy Metier’s abstract oil paintings. And because I had gotten my laundry and grocery shopping out of the way, I spent the greater part of Sunday painting.

Next week I’ll embark on chapter 9 of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and “Recover a Sense of Compassion” while asking my self “What Will Set Me Free?” at Rev. Cynthia James’ weekend workshop.

New episodes of Project Runway are aired on Thursday nights on Lifetime at 8 pm Mountain Time. Encore episodes can be seen Friday nights at 7 and 8 pm Mountain Time.

Visit for a list of artists and dates for future First Monday Art Talks.

To see Nemo’s art visit

William Have Gallery is located at 1040 Cherokee St, Denver, CO 80204. Visit for hours and Amy Metier’s show dates.

Learn more about Rev. Cynthia James and purchase her book What Will Set You Free visit Register for her upcoming workshop of the same name at

1 comment:

  1. Well, it looks like you took time out and became mindful of the daily wonders of life; home-cooked food, alone time and music! You are living a good life and it's always nice to stop and make yourself aware. Have a great weekend and keep enjoying your time, space and creativity!