Artist's Way Tools

Recently, Antrese Wood, from Savvy painter, had a wonderful interview with Julia Cameron on Facebook Live. We all remember Julia Cameron from her infamous book, “The Artist’s Way”.  Julia Cameron just published a new book “Listening Path”, which revisits and elaborates further on her three tools; Morning Pages, Artist Walk and Artist Date.  Julia brought creativity onto the mainstream of conversation and wrote over 40 books, plus created plays, poetry and film.  

Morning pages are needed to be written daily. The three pages are written ideally in the morning, with a flaming pen; fast, no consideration for grammar, with a stream of consciousness. Write down anything that comes into your mind, yes even when it doesn’t make sense. When writing your pages there shouldn’t be any expectations, just as when you meditate.  Clearing your mind by doing the Morning Pages brings serenity and quiets the overactive mind. It is a great tool to help be in tune with your intuition and connect to your heart.

Julia recommends walking 20 minutes a day.  She believes that walking enables you to walk out a problem.  The repetitiveness of walking brings ideas to the forefront of your mind, as well as, the stimulation of what you see along the way can create solutions to your problem. We also hear guidance, as we walk.  We take small steps out of our block and into the creative world.

The Artist Date is done once a week.  She recommends choosing something mysterious, playful or whimsical and done alone. It doesn’t have to be Art oriented and ideally pushes you out of your comfort zone.  You want to enchant yourself; woo your own consciousness.  It is something Artist’s normally have a great resistance to.  We are reluctant to play.  Playing is absolutely necessary to fill our well of creativity.  When you go on an artist date you are filling your consciousness. Artist dates can allow synchronicity to happen. You are opening the door to endless possibilities.

Julia suggests that even during the Pandemic we can have simple Artists dates in the confine of our own home.  You can take these small adventures by doing things you normally wouldn’t do; perhaps listening to a frivolous podcast, taking a bath with fizzing bath bombs, produce silly crafts, treat yourself to a movie, create some nail art, learn calligraphy or create your own recipe.  If you need any extra indoor and outdoor suggestions for Artist dates, I suggest finding them on Pinterest. It should be fun, playful and enjoyable.

The three tools are to help us to create with more joy and explore new ideas. Julia wants us to be open to listening to our intuition, not our critic, when it asks us to try something different. As we create, Julia suggests that we create from the higher self.  She suggests, avoid being demanding that our art must be perfect and a finished product, but allow it to be a work in progress.  To paint in the present with joy, instead of painting for the future with an end in mind, creates two totally different experiences.  Julia’s mantra is “I can do it, if I don’t have to be perfect”.  

When we are too serious, our art suffers.  When we play our art grows.  May we all listen to our inner child and live a life of joy, especially during these difficult times.  Be gentle with yourself.  When you hear the higher self or inner child ask, “Just try” we can respond “YES” and allow ourselves to begin this wonderful journey to create with freedom.

*Just a note I recommend you join the Savvy Painter Community, by Antrese Wood.  Her podcasts rank among the top 30 educational podcasts in the world.  She also provides services, workshops and inspiration to all artists.