As the winter days and weeks pass, I have been on the most wonderful, heartwarming journey! This path has led me to lovely places of inspiration, time in nature, quiet hours of thinking and journaling, and most importantly, creative time in my little Paper Garden studio downstairs. Matters of the heart… most certainly!
All year long, I am focusing on nourishing my creative heart and soul. It feels great… and has yielded happy discoveries that warm my heart and assure me that this journey is a truly important one! One of my ‘guides’ on this journey is the inspiring book, It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again (An Artist’s Way Program for Retirees and Other Creative Souls), by Julia Cameron. Enjoy this post from January to see how this journey began.
Several times a week, I now begin my days by writing Morning Pages. It has become a quiet time of discovery, connections, and enthusiastic planning for my creative hours in the studio. One of my favorite discoveries has been the creative ‘ribbon’ that has curled throughout my entire life! From the ages of 8, 18, 28 and into my Renaissance (the ‘R’ word that I use for my retirement), my love for lettering, playing with inks and watercolors, photography, making cards, writing letters, and collecting quotes has always had a special place in my heart. So many sweet memories… I thought about my childhood journals. I remembered my early years as a teacher, with no money for art supplies, when I would heat emboss sentiments for cards over my toaster (not recommended!). I recalled having the entire kitchen floor of my apartment covered with handpainted green flourishes drying as I created Christmas cards. I smiled as I thought about all of the famous quotations, lettered with pen and nib and black ink on parchment, that decorated the long staircase up to my apartment. (They were my homework assignments from years of Calligraphy classes in my 20s ~ perfect for decorating on a budget!) I can still hear my friends saying, “You can get a college education just climbing the stairs to Dawn’s apartment.” Yes, truly… matters of the heart!
So, it was a joy during the past few weeks to be able to nourish my creative heart by attending two lettering workshops, a cardmaking workshop, and two Saturday Papercrafting Crop days with my crafty ‘tribe.’ I have spent so many mornings enjoying glorious time in the studio… feeling fresh and inspired!
Weekly Artist’s Dates have become one of my favorite parts of The Artist’s Way program. Taking the time to nourish my creative spirit makes even familiar, favorite places seem new again! While walking through beautiful Orchid Greenhouses I thought about the color combinations on the blossoms.
Rather than shopping, I wandered through my favorite store, Crate&Barrel, with a whole new purpose. I looked at patterns, textures, and colors for inspiration.
The textures, patterns, and colors on upholstery fabric and duvet covers caught my attention. Paisley patterns danced in my head for days.
Matters of the heart…
It was time to create some Paisley patterns of my own, using paper and ink!
A rare warm, sunny January afternoon inspired an Artist’s Date at the Morton Arboretum. As I strolled along the beautiful ‘Conifer Path’ I was immersed in the heady evergreen scents. Nature’s scents are what I miss the most in the middle of winter. I noticed all of the shades of green and the forms of the needle-filled branches.
Now I look forward to creating some evergreen branches of my own using watercolors
and perhaps adding a hand lettered quotation.
These are matters of the heart… that nourish my creative soul!
Last week, my Artist’s Date was a quiet morning spent in a wonderful, independent bookstore, Prairie Path Books. I could instantly feel that I was among friendly, interesting, kindred spirits there! They were curious to hear about my journey through The Artist’s Way program. In fact, they have even hosted Artist’s Way gatherings there in the past. So, they completely understood that I wasn’t shopping, but there to learn and discover instead. I spent time reading the opening passages of several beautiful memoirs. The words of each author filled my heart with new inspiration.
Matters of the heart… I have given so much thought to each exciting ‘tool’ in It’s Never to Late to Begin Again over the past few weeks: Morning Pages, Artist’s Dates, Solo Walks, and Writing Memoir. Each one is so valuable and each takes time. Since my goal this year is to nourish my creative heart with creative time in my little studio, I will be tweaking The Artist’s Way plan going forward. There must also be family time, time for workouts, time for home and garden projects, tea with friends, reading, scrapbooking, blogging, and travels.
So, I have decided to s-t-r-e-t-c-h this 12-week journey of discovery into a 12-month journey. Ahhhhhh! I’m really looking forward to working at a much slower place, and having more time to write memoir. It’s something that I have long wanted to begin. Telling our stories and documenting our lives in different ways is yet another ‘ribbon’ that curls throughout my life.
Matters of the heart…
and when my heart speaks, I always listen!
Be sure to let me know if you are interested in reading more about
this journey of discovery or possibly joining in!
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The kindness, encouraging words, and creativity
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Heartfelt thanks for being a part of my life…
and for allowing me to be a part of yours!
Happy ♡ Day!