artist date: play messy

art play, Carly Swenson 2012
art play • Carly Swenson • 2012
detail image 1, 2012
detail image 1 • Carly Swenson •  2012

A friend of mine recently began her own journey with The Artist’s Way.  As we discussed our experiences with Julia Cameron’s book, our conversation naturally moved to artist dates.  These are essentially weekly homework assignments.  Artist Dates are easy in concept–take an hour for yourself and play.

Go somewhere.
Do something.
Relax and let yourself be inspired, playful, creative
anything mentally or emotionally nourishing.

She explained she always loved art, but hadn’t done much hands-on art since high school (about 10 years ago).  I offered that she was welcome to hang out with me in my studio some evening and just play around with a canvas. The final product was irrelevant.

Sitting on the floor in my studio I explained what and where things were.  She was obviously overwhelmed but enthusiastic.  She spent almost 45 minutes just watching me work and asking questions before she finally took a deep breath, picked some acrylic paint and began.  She gradually gained confidence as she worked, but I know she was still nervous and overly critical of her work even as she finished.

I know next time, she will embrace the process even more.

Untitled, Trishell Bates, 2012
Untitled • T. Bates • 2012
detail image 1, 2012
detail image 1 • T. Bates • 2012

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