Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Artist's Way

A while back I discovered a book called The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. It is a 12 week course in discovering and recovering one's creative self. I thought it sounds like an excellent book, just the thing to jump start my creative juices... but I also thought it sounded like the kind of book that might be difficult to work through all alone. It sounded like something that would be easier to do in a supportive, inspiring atmosphere, like with an art or book group.

Sweet serendipity. I found Our Artist's Way-- a group of women online who are just starting to work through The Artist's Way. Perfect timing. I guess the Universe was listening.

We begin with Week 1 work on Wednesday, August 19th, but for now Miss R (our lovely hostess) asks us these questions:

What are your hopes, dreams and wishes?
What do you wish to create?

What are my hopes, dreams and wishes? I wish to say, "I am an artist" and know that it's true. I wish to grow and expand my creative horizons. I dream of letting go of the perfectionism and unnameable fears that paralyze and limit me. I dream of color and texture and big, juicy, vibrant pieces of art that came from ME, from my hands. I hope to connect to others with these same wishes and dreams.

What do I wish to create? A strong bond with the divine within myself. A stronger sense of self. A stronger connection with my Great Creator. A stronger connection to Mother & Father Nature. And of course-- big, juicy, vibrant art. Maybe even sculpted art. Maybe lots of sculpted art.

I've read the Intro and most of the Basic Principles chapter, and so far I'm loving it. I adore this paragraph from the book:
"The heart of creativity is an experience of the mystical union; the heart of the mystical union is an experience of creativity. Those who speak in spiritual terms routinely refer to God as the creator but seldom see creator as the literal term for artist. I am suggesting you take the term creator quite literally. You are seeking to forge a creative alliance, artist-to-artist with the Great Creator." pg 2
YES! And the author expands that concept into 10 Basic Principles which, as I read, I thought yes and yes and yes and YES! This all makes sense to me, this seems plausible to me, this puts into words what I've personally experienced in moments of creating. This gives me hope and joy, I feel anticipation and motivation.

Thank you, Universe, for listening. I am humbled by your generosity.


miss*R said...

oh you are going to love doing this! you are going to shine!
I remember when I did the workshop a few years ago I had the same perfectionism and it does paralyze.. mind you.. it is still there, but it is getting better.. so glad to be working through this with you and all the other creative souls who have joined. Gulp.. what a learning curve for me.. organising an online group.. but we can all support each other as we travel.

Meredith said...

Fantastic statement of intent! That quote is one of my favorites, too.

You *are* an artist. Anybody with eyes could see that already : )

(And a note to Miss*R: You're doing a fabulous job. I really like the idea of separating our comments into a messageboard-type blog. Great brainwave!)

Bohemian Single Mom said...

Great post!
I cannot wait to get into this book project!
I've been reading and doing my morning's gonna be so exciting to work together on this!

intothedawn said...

MISS*R~ Yay! There's hope for me yet! LOL This may be your first time organizing an online group, but I'd have to say you're doing a fantastic job so far-- great ideas to keep us focused and help our group communicate with one another. Bravo!

MEREDITH~ I read that quote and all my doubts about participating just disappeared. I knew it was right!

BOHO MOM~ Me, too! I read more last night & did my first morning pages this today. Terrifying! Exciting! Here we go!

threadsofmagique said...

What a wonderful, inspiring post! It touches on some things I've been thinking about a lot lately. Thank so much for sharing it

Garnet said...

WHOAH! Back in May when I was in my Creative Writing class, I wanted a journaling guide book and this was one of two that I had it narrowed down to. I looked through the table of contents and several of the pages of activities for soooo long at the bookstore, I wasn't surprised when I tried to dig it out of several piles of books around my house, I couldn't find it! I thought I had bought it because I felt so familiar with it! LOL I guess I chose a different book with lighter exercises focusing on writing memoir.

Anyway, I remember now deciding against the Artist's Way for the very same reason you mentioned: I thought it would be much easier to work through with a group of other people, or at the very least a partner of some kind!

Now I'm going to click on that link to your group and check it out. I think I'll pick up that book on my way home tonight. (Have you seen/do you use TAW Workbook? Or do you find using your own journal suits you well enough?)

If I were to join the group, do you think I still could do so even though I'm a week behind already?

sukigirl said...

Thanks for posting about this book.
I really enjoyed reading how you journeyed through this question until you discovered your answers.

I bought a copy a couple of years back and my brother-in-law immediately spotted it and asked to borrow it. I haven't seen it since but I can't get mad at him because I seem to do the same thing with his books.

I think I'll pick up a copy at the library and also check out the groups site. I'm not sure that my head is in the right place now to join but I'm looking forward to reading about everyone's journey.