Sunday, May 27, 2012

Nourishing Your Inner Artist


Photo courtesy of Free Artistic Photos


It’s been several years since I read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. If you’ve read the book you are familiar with The Artist Date: time that the author encourages you to set aside each week towards “nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist.” Some of my favorite artist dates I’ve spent at local art galleries letting myself get lost in the creativity of others. In each brush stroke or click of the shutter I find motivation, energy, and inspiration to fuel my own projects.

Reading is another way that I feed my inner artist and I am starting this week on yet another reading high.  I finished Sara Zarr’s How to Save a Life (Amazing!) and Margarita Engle’s The Firefly Letters (Lovely!)  I’ve also started Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (too soon to tell, but I’ve heard great things and have high hopes.)




I’m also a big So You Think You Can Dance fan. I just get lost in the emotion and artistry of so many amazing dancers. And I’ve learned that the most powerful artists whether they be painters, photographers, writers or dancers, are the ones who put their whole heart and soul into their work – something that we can forget to do when we focus too heavily on the technicalities of our craft.

I missed the first half of this season’s premier episode of SYTYCD last Thursday because I was at writing group, but I made it home in time to see this guy, Hampton Williams, who bares his soul and in doing so, he reaches ours. We all want to be that kind of artist/dancer/writer, don’t we?



In what ways do you nourish your inner artist?



34 comments:

  1. I was very much inspired by Julia Cameron's books, and have been consistently freewriting (3 pages on average) everyday. The Artist's Date is a great idea, too. Thanks for sharing that video, Ruth. I love his dancing, and his tears, and that divine song!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the video, Claudine.

      I haven't kept up with my morning pages lately. Must start that again.

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  2. Extraordinary dancer. Thank you for sharing it.

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  3. I won Why We Broke Up a couple months ago. Thanks for the reminder. It's been sitting in my TBR pile.

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  4. Thanks for sharing that clip. That was so powerful. I have looked at the Artist's Way on a few occasions, but never bought it. A few months ago, I came across a photo in a magazine which was so beautiful. I had the desire to recreate it in collage form, so I bought some supplies at at the art store - a canvas, paints, textured paper, etc. I work on it in small bits of time. I have no art background so I have no idea what I'm doing, but I enjoy it immensely. That seems to satisfy me on some level when I feel like creating something other than a story.

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    1. I know what you mean, Dawn. I don't know what I'm doing when it comes to art, either. But I still enjoy dabbling with paint. And I think it helps keep ideas flowing to have more than one creative outlet. I love the sound of your collage project - I love textured papers.

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  5. Yes, it's so important to nurture and fill out cups so that we can pour it all out. I like to listen to music, read good books, play the piano, sing, hang out with family and friends. They all feed me ...

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    1. Oooo, you play the piano? I'm jealous ;)

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  6. I probably don't nourish my inner artist was much as I should but music and long walks, beautiful places, cute animals, and watching children interact and play all seem to work for me :) I love Sara Zarr too BTW!

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    1. This was my first Sara Zarr book. Now I can't wait to read another one.

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  7. I'm a big fan of Artist's Dates and a weekly day off, an old-fashioned sabbath with NO writing, reading for writing nor researching. Like needed showers.

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    1. I agree, Robert. A day away from it all can make a huge difference.

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  8. Beautifully written books... music that soars... classic old movies... three ways I nourish the artist in me. And trying to write to uplift and inspire. I used to draw and paint a lot, but not much recently. Thanks for sharing. The Firefly Letters sounds interesting to me from the beautiful title. I'll have to check it out. Thanks!

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    1. oooo, yes, classic old movies for sure. Especially anything Jane Austen ;)

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  9. Years ago I read THE ARTIST'S WAY and it changed my life. Like you, I am nourished by reading good books. Good music and trips out into the woods also sustain my creativity.

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    1. It's a powerful book. I think I'm due to read it again ;)

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  10. Fantastic post to read this morning, Ruth. The book, the amazing video that brought me to tears along with those who were actually in the audience, the reminder to take time to nourish that artist inside . . . all perfect for me today.

    Thanks.

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    1. Glad this connected with you today, Lee =)

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  11. Reading always keeps me going, but nature itself gets my creative juices flowing.

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  12. I do lots of different things to let the inner artist in me come out. Watching American Idol makes me dream about my inner singing artist, however it's been so long since I sang a song... that artist has flew the coup I'm afraid. But my writing artist is still going strong and watching children play, watching and playing with my dogs, reading, watching movies, looking at beautiful and peaceful scenery all help me relax and help me create.

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    1. That's funny Allyn =) I can't sing at all, but I like to watch American Idol, they're putting their art out their in front of the world and I find that very inspiring.

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  13. Reading nourishes my inner artist. And now a confession: I own a copy of The Artists Way, but I have yet to read it.

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  14. I love to watch movies with an artistic theme: Finding Forrester, Miss Potter, and Once are just a few films we own that I watch every so often. My husband owns a copy of The Artists Way, I will definitely borrow it from him. Thanks, Ruth.

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    1. Oh, I love Finding Forrester. Now that you mention it, I want to watch it again =)

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  15. Ruth, this is something I need to give more thought. I've tended lately to get caught up in meeting deadlines and am in dire need of a "nourishing" day out.

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    1. It is easy to get caught up in deadlines, isn't it?! I do hope you take that time to nourish yourself Jean. I'd love to hear what you decide to do =)

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  16. By reading craft and "getting in touch with yourself" types of books, I think. And by looking at the sky and water in great photos like that!

    Oh, and Ruth, you're going to want to visit my blog. :)

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    1. There is something about the vastness of the sky and water that inspires. I try to drive by the ocean every day.

      I just came from your blog, Marica and I am SO EXCITED!!! I'll have to give my 1,000 words another go-over before I send them off to you. Thanks again for this opportunity =D

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  17. I've just started piano lessons again. I find that making music - or trying to anyway -is good for my creativity.

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  18. I like the idea behind The Artist's Way, however I also believe that we should be open to inspiration at all times, even from seemingly mundane things, not just at a specific time. You never know when something might hit you!

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