On the Sketchbook Challenge blog the topic this month is the Artist date, it reminds us the importance of taking some time to get recharged and refilled. By taking this time to date your creative self, you allow that creative self to become more important. Instead of stealing time you are setting aside time to do things that are different and inspiring. I find that since I have done art for a living for so many years I make a date in my studio everyday to work on something. I mentally have a list of things that need to get done and I work on doing them. Like Leslie and Jamie, I love my studio, and although its nothing special, an extra room in my home, its all mine and I collect things and have things on my walls that inspire and move me. So an artist date for me is getting out of my studio and seeing what others are doing or allowing myself to just do things that I don't have much time for anymore and be inspired. When I spend too much time in my studio I do find that my art starts to get a bit forced. I try and walk everyday and I meet with other artist friends and see what they are doing. A friend and I were able to go to the Craft and Hobby show and met our own Joanne Sharpe!! Fun and inspirational at the same time.
I love just going to Michael's, JoAnnes or an art store and looking at papers and stickers, books and magazines all keep me inspired and ideas start to jump into my head so fast I can hardly think straight, so I usually go alone so I can process and don't need to have a conversation at the same time! So I do have many artists dates and I don't want you to think that will change when I share with you my newest artist date.
It is something a bit different that I am doing creatively that is outside my box. Some time back, Jane LaFazio shared a book on her blog called "A Writer's Book of Days".
I am a big fan of Jane and she inspired me to buy it and I got a few as gifts for friends. It is a book on prompt writing, for writers, its a great book, thanks Jane! It gives you daily prompts from which you are to just write what first comes into your mind. It is very similar to what we do as artists and what we do here, give a topic and help to inspire you to set some time aside and create. I thought it would be good to improve my writing as I do a fair amount with my journaling and my blogs etc. I want it to improve, as with my art, the more we do the better we get. I also have some friends that always have wanted to write, but never make time, allowing life to get in the way. We have agreed to do this book together this year, a commitment that I am excited about it and also a bit nervous about. I have set a time aside to write! At first it was a bit awkward but its coming easier already. We also have set aside some time each week to meet and go over our writings.
My writings are messy and I am finding that thoughts and words start to flood in faster than I can write them down, thats okay. I also realized how much I use my computer and hope by writing using pen and paper my handwriting will also improve! Its a nice break and I already see how I write like an artist, painting a picture with words. It is a place where I am recording things I haven't written about anywhere else and I can visualize paintings or quilts coming from my writings. This will enrich the journaling I do in my some of my sketchbooks, for so long its just been about the sketching and often the journaling has been an afterthought. I find that my favorite pages in my journals are the ones where I take the time to really share something insightful or reminding myself of something long gone and maybe forgotten. This writing will help since all of my paintings aren't always worth a thousand words! LOL
Each year when I visit my mom I sketch and journal in a special sketchbook (more painting than journaling), just of her gardens and the valley where she lives. This year I wrote about it and I think I will add my new written pages to this journal. Maybe by gluing the piece of vellum over the painting that holds the writing but allows you to lift it and view the painting. Here is an excerpt from my new written journal that will go with this painted page.
"The afternoon has almost ended and I can no longer see the distant mountains as I did but an hour ago. Instead, running along the valley floor, I can see the thick, grey soup rolling in from the coast... I watch as dusk sets and the fog continues to move in, getting closer and closer, engulfing the giant redwoods along its path. The yard is now no longer visible, hidden by our silent intruder which brings a calling card of dampness and cold. The sun eventually turns off the show and we curl up for another cold night, blanketed by our uninvited guest.
I hope to add to my special sketchbooks, blogs etc by taking more care and being more thoughtful with my journaling this next year.