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October 4, 2006

artist's way: week 4

by gl. at 12:14 pm

one of the artist's way participants brought scarlet runner beans for us to open last night: lovely things to hold in the hand and rattle. i think i'll try to grow some next year.

now that it's been a month, some of the initial giddiness has worn off, but at the same time, participants are really looking forward to meeting every week. one has had a breakthrough with morning pages, after resisting them (and her art) for years. participants are finding artist dates to be frustrating if they aren't perfect, if they aren't completely inspirational. if you don't make time for art, imperfect experiences will feel like a waste of time. the only way out is through: the more you allow yourself an opportunity to experience art, the ratio will eventually balance out.

this week's art activity was one where you write down every single horrible thing your critic says to you, all the reasons it tells you that you can't write, paint, dance, draw, act, metalsmith, etc. then you highlight the thing that provokes the most emotional reaction and let your hand create a movement based on that emotion. you use that movement to draw a scribble over that page of writing. then you squint & turn it around until you can create something out of it. then you pass it along and other participants contribute to that piece, adding something to it or transforming it to protect you from your critic. this sounds like sort of a silly exercise, but it's amazing to see the transformation, and being able to visibly contribute towards the protection of each other really helps bond the group. though the exercise begins somberly, by the end everyone is smiling in delight and surprise.

this is the week we begin media deprivation: no reading, tv, music, radio or movies for the rest of the week. this is meant to balance out your consumption versus your production. julia cameron thinks you shouldn't read at all, even if you are a student or you're at work, but i don't think media deprivation is supposed to be a punishment or something that makes things worse for you. so i make exceptions for things which are absolutely essential, situations you don't control, and things that can only happen this week that you have already planned.

the goal is to be conscious. awareness leads to progress. so what this means for me is that i'll scan incoming email to see if it's something that needs to be responded to this week, and if not i'll leave it alone. it means i'll go to the hp lovecraft film festival this weekend because i plan for it all year. and otherwise i'll try to be very good about doing more.

center (power): a scarlet star-shaped tambourine overflowing with flowers donated by a cluster participant.

music: adam hurst's passages, which really is as good as i thought it would be for artist's way. but the cd player doesn't like it much: it skipped sometimes and would randomly stop. it's been doing that more often lately. does anyone else know of a small cute red cd player i could buy?

posted by gl. | October 4, 2006 12:14 PM | categories: artist's way