Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Artist's Dates

Romance ii (ii of ii ) dyptic
Emerging Series
(c) Deb Chaney 2006
36 x 24 x 1 1/2 " Mixed Media & acrylics on canvas
The original paintings (there are 2) are available, and for view at
Java Station Coffee House in Santa Barbara, CA

Feng Shui Recommendation: This painting supports love, relationships and marriage. Place the original or its image in the back right hand corner of your room or home to further support this area of your life.


Something that really surprised, actually pretty much shocked me, when I interviewed artist and illustrator Brandy Masch was the she had ever heard of an artist's date. We were sitting on her studio floor chit chatting about this and that and I casually asked her what she liked to do for artist dates and she said "what's that?" So, Brandy, and all other artist that have not heard of this term, here it is the official Artist Date blog! Artist's dates explained, 101. :)

An artist date, by my definition is a scheduled date with yourself and yourself alone (no boyfriends, husbands, buddies, kids or anyone is allowed to be with you for this time!) where you have SCHEDULED time to do something that nurtures your inner creative spirit. An activity or non- activity that in essence fills and recharges your creative well.

This term comes from Julia Cameron's The Artist Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity and as part of a world wide following of a way to life that nurtures the healthy co-existing of living and making art. A way that recognizes we are spiritual beings and not just human do-ers.

If my mother was here over my shoulder while I type this, and thank you God she is not, she would say in her way that I could live in a perpetual artist date mode myself - alone, doing things that nourish myself and my soul. And at this point in my life I'd rather agree.

I crave time alone to play and be and have fun and certainly have found the balance and demands of work, single parenting, family and making art to take its toll on my emotionally. But that fact is that in our fast paced society I believe we all need time out, time to breathe and play and be. Time to remember that being happy comes from connecting within and that when we stop all the mindless doing and go to the place and re-connect we get back to our wholeness and become happier more peaceful beings. I wish my mother would go on an artist date. For her and for the rest of us who have to be around her when she has not taken time out to care for herself!

The concept of the Artist's Date is that we plan for it once a week and it serves as a sort of preventative medicine, if you like, to prevent us from reaching that point of break down we sometimes do when we are trying to 'do' it all.

So, what would I consider an artist date? Always with myself... A long beach walk, making crafts ( I'm currently addicted to making Artist Trading Cards), getting my nails done, a long bath with epsom salts and lavender, going and getting a massage, visiting a museum or gallery, seeing a movie, going to a coffee shop and hanging out - writing, sketching, sitting, sitting and journalling - collaging & free writing, people watching, lying in the sun, meditating, yoga class, visiting a book store, a nice long nap, window shopping, going for a bike ride...

If you have ever caught a glimpse of my "Breathing space" blog posts ( photos I've taken in nature) these are from artist's dates!

Bottom line on your artist date is this:
schedule it,
write it down
and go and do it!
Because it'll never be urgent but it sure is important.

I'd love to hear about you artist's dates...please do leave your comments.

4 comments:

Lyza said...

I love this blog, Deb! Artist Dates are so important, and like you I would live perpetually in "artist-date" mode if I could! But alas, life does require our attention in so many other ways. And because of this, I add these special dates to my calendar. And when anyone asks me to do something during that time, I tell them I have an appointment. On occasion I come across a person who is persistent in finding out why I can't join them, asking what is so important that I can't cancel for them (yes, this happens). This is when the appointment comes in really handy, I simply state that I have a very important appointment with a client that cannot be broken (me!), and I gracefully decline. Then, as I set off on my creative adventure, I feel free and am so glad that I can value my creative time with myself, and it builds great confidence and empowerment. So... schedule those Artist Dates - whether it's an uninterrupted lunch break or a weekend getaway - and bring whatever inspires you! :) Thanks Deb for this great topic!!!

Deb Chaney said...

Lyza Loo! Yeah, i couldn't agree more. These times are so important! What's your top #1 thing to do or be on an artist's date?

Elizabeth said...

I'm leaving TONIGHT for a two week artist date in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I've never focused so much time on myself before. It is going to be fascinating.

Deb Chaney said...

Enjoy Elizabeth and have some R&R for me and lyza while you are at it! xoxo Deb