Saturday, January 19, 2013

My Outside the Box, Artist Date

Hi everyone, Desiree here!! I just love this months topic, thanks Traci, it reminds us the importance of taking some time to get recharged and refilled. By taking this time to date your creative self, you give that part of yourself importance. Instead of stealing time you are setting aside time to do things that are different and inspiring. I find that since I have been a working artist for so many years I make a date in my studio everyday to work on something.  Like Leslie and Jamie, I love my studio,  its all mine and I collect things and have my walls filled with things that inspire and move me. Because art is also my job I sometimes need to remember its FUN!! And it is, so an artist date for me is getting out of my studio and seeing what others are doing by visiting friends or allowing myself to just do something fun. When I spend too much time in my studio I do find that my art starts to become a bit forced. I try and walk or exercise often during the week since art isn't a very active sport, just walking can help me clear my head and feel renewed. 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 am even happy just going to Michael's or 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 her post inspired me to buy the book, I actually bought 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 the first thing that comes into your mind. It is very similar to  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 way to improve my writing. I do a fair amount of writing 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 have always wanted to write, but never have carved the time in their schedules, and life is getting away. We have agreed to do this book together this year, a commitment that I am excited about  and also a bit nervous, but 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. Last weekend our families spent a few days together in a beach cottage in Crystal Cove, Linda and I even taking time to write by the sea! I have painted this beach before and I enjoyed this artist date with a friend writing.

My writing is so messy, I am finding once I start writing the 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, I already see a pattern or style developing, Linda said that I write like an artist, painting a picture with words. It is a new place where I am recording things I haven't written about anywhere else and I can visualize paintings or quilts coming from these writings. I think this will help remind me about the importance of the journaling I do in many of my sketchbooks. For so long it has just been about the sketching and often the journaling has been an afterthought. When I look back at old sketchbooks I find that my favorite pages in my journals are the ones where I took the time to really share something insightful or something that might be forever lost if I hadn't written about it.

Each year, when I visit my mom, I sketch and journal in a special (Mom's Garden) sketchbook (more painting than journaling), just of her gardens and the valley where she lives. This year I only wrote about it and I think I will add my new written pages to this journal. Maybe by gluing a piece of vellum over the painting that holds the writing but allows me 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 sketchbooks and blogs by taking the time to be more thoughtful with my journaling this next year. I hope your artist dates are filled with anything that inspires you to jump in and be creative!!  


  1. Good for you, Desiree! Writing is sooo hard, glad Judy's book inspired you so!

  2. Hi Desiree, I am so delighted that my book is your companion into your year of writing. I hope the prompts inspire, bring back memories, and invite explorations into who knows where. I love how our circles go 'round. So thanks to Jane, too for introducing you to the book, and me to your post and to this beautiful site.

  3. Great post and I'm going to go check out that book.

  4. Thanks Judy for posting! I am enjoying the book and exploring this new writers life. One of the added bonuses I am seeing as we meet to read and discuss is that I am getting to know my friends so much better. We are sharing things about ourselves, feelings, past events that we wouldn't have normally have shared so I am getting to know them better!
    Hope you enjoy it too Sue!

  5. Thanks Jane, Judy and Desiree! Desiree I'm so grateful for your sharing! This post resonated with me - I'm on board too! Though a bit scary it's good to know I'm in good company to embark on this year of writing! Great time to start, looking forward! Thank you Judy for your wonderful book - a fabulous endeavor!! Jane, thanks for your Interviews as Inspiration highlight with Judy! Come on Sue!