Wednesday, February 3, 2021

No Woman No Cry and Other Portraits

Though this webpage is basically about my artistic journey, I had to take a moment to praise Julia Cameron and her contribution to that journey with her book The Artist's Way

I was thrown into an artistic block on January 12, 2018 when my muse, lover, best friend, confidant, and protector died. The pandemic only exacerbated the entire sense of uselessness. I struggled to find artistic purpose and found it only while making small pieces of jewelry I gave away. This was satisfying, but I was unable to go further. 

It was time to do something about this self-inflicted creative block (they all are, frankly). I went online and purchased a used  copy of The Artist's Way published in 1992.  I don't remember having an artistic block in '92, so I don't recall reading the book. However, I am familiar with similar processes to unleash the artist within. I gave workshops for years at my art studio in Asheville, North Carolina and before that in San Diego, California, that focused on this phenomenon. Guiding and allowing students to find their inner artist  and facilitating that journey has always been central to my teaching philosophy. Now it was my problem and I couldn't help myself. I humbly sought guidance.

Cameron's program is simple:

  • Write 3 pages every morning about anything (don't look at the pages, just write)
  • Go on artist dates with your artist at least once a week (difficult during a global pandemic, but doable)
  • Restock the idea bank from the artist dates (allow yourself to make art from these ideas)

I returned from an artist date, went straight to the studio and produced the painting below.  I barely remember painting it. It simply emerged. This is what we as artists seek; that experience when YOU get out of the way and the artist, the creative within emerges. It is not the best painting I've ever done nor my favorite, but it does represent a watershed moment for me as an artist.  I am appreciative of Julia's book and it is never too late to start from scratch. I do it every single day. 

I was listening to Legend: The  Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers on the way home from my artist's date that day. What else could I call it?

My new mantra: It is easier to paint than not to paint.

I also like: Don't give up.


                                                                                   No Woman No Cry  

                                                                                   10" x 20" 

                                                                                   Acrylic on canvas