The Artist's Way Book Group

Over the last few weeks, I've been running and participating in, an Artist's Way Book group. It has been an energising, enlightening, awakening process. Creating a creative cluster to work through Julia Cameron's Artist Way book, has provided a unique space, for the group of people who said 'yes' to the invitation to participate - to explore our creativity together.

Each week there are a few requirements to take part in the group each week, and I noticed that the biggest challenge for a lot of people was - you need to set aside time for yourself. There are 3 requirements that every participant is asked to agree to for the entire time of the group:

  • to write three pages longhand every day
  • to go on an artist date every week - by yourself
  • to go on a walk each day.

    Week One Artist Date: Visiting Port Macquarie Hastings Library

    I used to want an artist studio, however after visiting the library, I now want an IMAGINARIUM. "A playground for your imagination is the best way to describe a new free-to-use facility known as ‘Imaginarium’ at Port Macquarie Library." I want one!!

    Image from Port Macquarie Hastings Library

    Have you ever gone to the library as though you are going to an art gallery? If not, I want to invite you to try it out as an exercise soon, it is fascinating. I heard of this idea through another book called The Artists Library by Laura Damon-Moore and Erinn Batykefer. Intro by Jessica Pigza. Here's a little snippet from the book... "So how do we define artist? ....

    To us, an artist is a person who uses creative tools and techniques to make new things. An artist can be a professional musician, or a kid learning how to use sound-editing software in a library's digital lab. An artist can be a world renowned author, or a senior citizen taking part in a memoir writing workshop at her local library. Creativity, like information, is free to everyone who steps into a library. Wherever you are in your artistic development - from finger painting during story time to researching themes for an interactive museum installation - the library can help to nurture and "incubate" your growth as a creative person." I borrowed it from the library!

    So check out your local library... you just never know what you are going to find there... it makes a great artist date.

    Artist John Olsen's journals can be found in the National Library of Australia
  • Kristin Nicholas' Colourful New England Farmhouse

    Kristin Nicholas and Mark Duprey’s 1751 home was a blank canvas, painted in simple whites and pastels, but Nicholas has spent the past 14 years layering on brushstrokes in vivid colours. A working artist known for her knit, crochet and stitchery designs, Nicholas has made their home a true reflection of her talent and spirit. “There isn’t a room left that’s how we found it,” she says.

    Why Art Matters - Ted Talk Video

    An internationally recognized teacher, author, and speaker on school reform, Linda Nathan is the founding headmaster of Boston Arts Academy, Boston's first public high school for the visual and performing arts. Under her guidance, BAA has won state, national and international awards and recognitions, and consistently sends over 94% of its graduates on to college.

    Dr. Nathan is the author of the book, The Hardest Questions Aren't on the Test: Lessons from an Innovative Urban School, and is currently executive director of BAA's Center for Arts in Education. In this talk, she explores the importance of the arts as key to a complete educational experience.