Monday, April 5, 2010

The Artist's Way - Week Twelve

Twelve chapters and twelve blogs in twelve weeks – could I do it? That was the question I posed three months ago as I began reading Julia Cameron’s classic book, The Artist’s Way. Could I read a chapter a week, write daily morning pages, and go on weekly solo artist dates to “discover and recover my creative self” while working a full-time day job, meeting painting and writing deadlines, and writing and posting a blog about it each week?

Preparing to paint
Photo courtesy of Sean Richardson

It was an ambitious endeavor to follow the “spiritual path to higher creativity” as outlined in The Artist’s Way and to post a blog about it each week, but somehow I managed to do it. Did I do it perfectly? No. Did I write morning pages? Not every morning. Did I go on weekly solo artist dates? Not every week. Did I fulfill the weekly tasks as suggested at the end of each chapter? Not always. But I read a chapter a week, I wrote my morning pages more often than not, and I went on solo artist dates when I wasn’t on deadline to complete the essay that’s being independently published in a book later this year and finish new paintings for upcoming art shows.

Two weeks into The Artist’s Way Tarcher/Penguin, the publisher of Julia Cameron’s book, found my blog and contacted me about being a guest blogger on their website. As I received more comments through twitter, Facebook, and directly on my blog, as a result of the additional exposure, I realized that I wasn’t just doing The Artist’s Way for me. As I lived my life in a fish bowl for three months I had a responsibility to serve as an inspiration for others; this meant being authentic and honest about my experiences – no matter how challenging.

"It Begins With Me"
48"x 36" Acrylic & Mixed Media on Canvas

I gained a lot of insight into myself and my creative process through writing the daily morning pages. Writing my weekly blogs were also enlightening experiences. But it was the emails from complete strangers – artists living in other states – asking me how I work full-time and make time to honor my creativity that had the deepest impact on me. It was through those email correspondences that I realized that my experience with life-threatening depression nine years ago is not unique and that my need to express myself creatively and the struggle to make the time to do so is not just my own.

I’ve been asked by friends and fellow artists if I will read another Julia Cameron book and blog about it, but I don’t think I will – at least not at this time. I’ve been invited to show in a couple of more group art shows and another solo show so initially I will be putting my energy into those projects. But what is calling to me the most right now is dusting off my book manuscript and finally finishing it. It is non-fiction about the role art therapy and spirituality play in my life to love myself, to ward off depression, and live a life that is fulfilling and balanced.

Painting in the dinning room
Photo courtsey of Sean Richardson

To support me through the ambitious endeavor of finishing this book I will be attending a 7-night writing workshop cruise hosted by Hay House publishing in June. It is Hay House’s policy to only accept manuscripts from agents. But participants on the cruise will have about 6 months to finish their manuscripts and submit it directly to Hay House without an agent. Someone on the cruise will be awarded a publishing contract and a $10,000 advance.

Check back next…week? Hmmm…I don’t know when I’ll post my next blog. In the meantime, keep following your bliss and merry art making!

To learn more about Julia Cameron’s publisher Tarcher/Penguin please visit

My latest painting “It Begins With Me” will be on display at Strings Restaurant in Denver from mid-April through late May. For information on Strings visit