I've been fairly quiet lately. I haven't painted in a month. Instead, I've been working through the Artist's Way program, based on a book by Julia Cameron. In the pursuit of unblocking my creativity and creative self, I've taken a sabbatical from creating paintings and begun exclusively exploring me.
In the pursuit of the process, I've done lots of creative things, other than paint -- baking, kitchen witchery, cooking, participation in a wide variety of events that capture my attention and expand my soul. I spend time, every day, transferring the clutter from my head onto notebook pages. Surprisingly, it does a miraculous job at emptying out the nonsense so that I needn't focus on it, or become scattered by it. I've found the process to be cleansing, but also cathartic. It spurns me to do more, think more, explore more.
I also do what Julia Cameron calls weekly "Artist Dates." In other words, I experience things that fill my mind with images. I visit antique stores, go to the movies, walk in the woods, participate in spiritual activities and meaningful rituals that touch my soul. I spend time with people who challenge and support me. In short, I become connected to the world in an expanded way.
Naturally, I do other things as well -- exercises as prescribed by the author, attend workshops and classes on the chapters in the book, complete weekly check-ins where I evaluate progress and commitment. The class is spread over the duration of one year.
Only in my second month, I've never felt more alive. I've never felt more connected. I've never felt more excited about second-by-second living.
I've got several paintings in the planning stages. But, in the end, any planning I've done will fly out the window when my muse comes to call. She has the final say. And, I'm learning to abide her wishes; because (when I do) the work is powerful and meaningful and important.